Comparison of position papers

(first pass by Keith, but this is incomplete - please make it better!
Hey Keith - I (John Karat) annotated my own - just to further the discussion)
(Keith) - Great additions, thanks, John!

Position summary
Problem statements
Solution ideas
Eben Haber (IBM).
  • From corporate research lab, goal is to impact science and improve company's offerings.
  • Broad approach, many techniques (not all will work).
  • Context of their research is sysadmins.
  • Classic "know your user" problem: understand needs and constraints of practitioners in order to serve them with research.
  • Practitioners do not have time to review published literature.
  • When usability is not important to the project (time, budget, resources) then HCI research will not have an impact.
  • Publish papers (academically, not that useful)
  • Present to product groups (to get the word out and start longer term relationships)
  • Develop research prototypes
  • Work directly with product groups (e.g., create design documents).
  • Design guidelines paper (prescriptive, not descriptive) was exception to the rule that practitioners do not read papers/learn from research.
Nigel Bevan (Professional usability services).
  • Has focused on making methods more accessible to practitioners (in a wide variety of ways)
  • Communication barriers remain.
  • Researchers not rewarded for practical application of their work.
  • Applied research is not valued by the community.
  • Difficult to apply research in a cost-effective way.
  • Business model of standards does not work for practitioners.
  • Fund collaboration between researchers and practitioners.
  • Publish where applied research is valued.
  • Shared Body of Knowledge.
Tharon Howard (Clemson University).
  • Expert-vendor model, where "researchers" are hired as consultants.
  • Accomdationist paradigm, where "research" focuses on current environment instead of what a better, constructed environment should be (we try to fix current, bad environment instead of try to invent a new, better one).
  • Share research decisions with in-house staff (using Block's Balance of Responsibility model).
  • Do research into interpretive frameworks, study holistic at experience level, not just usability.
Pardha S. Pyla (Bloomberg L. P.), Catherine Grevet (Georgia Institute of Technology), Manas Tungare (Google Inc.), Manuel A. Perez-Quinones (Virginia Tech).
  • There is a gulf between research findings and their adoption in practice.
  • We should increase collaboration between researchers and practitioners.
  • Researchers study science in the abstract, practitioners focus on engineering and speed.
  • HCI education disconnected from real world.
  • Make research easier for practitioners to find/understand (writing, proceedings access).
  • Joint use of wiki/social media.
  • Encourage more case studies (in research conferences).
  • Real clients for HCI classroom projects.
  • Senior practitioners advise on thesis work.
Kath Straub
  • There are stereotypical researchers and practitioners who are separated.
  • Reality: they are getting curious about one another.
  • Creating an effective communication channel between researchers and
    practitioners will be a bi-directional effort.
  • Scientific papers are impenetrable to practitioners because researchers have been obliged to practice and write in a specific style.
  • Practitioners lack a research background to participate actively and effectively in the discussion.
  • Compare strategies, successes and failures to bridge communication gap
  • Identify/create interpreters
  • Develop clear guidance for researchers to make their work relevant to practitioners (and reinforce them)
  • Practitioners make the effort to become effective consumers of basic research
David M. Krum (USC Institute for Creative Technologies) & Mark Bolas (USC Institute for Creative Technologies)
  • Practitioners are isolated from research community (who is making advances in "interaction design").
  • Isolated individuals: lots to study besides HCI, more than 1 text can provide, limited design vocabulary.
  • Isolated organizations: Poor planning by management, domain knowledge valued more, unqualified/junior people, time and resource constraints.
  • Take the research to where the practitioner are (their conferences).
  • Use video/new media to reach practitioners.
  • Consumer Reports model of good/bad design.
  • Undergrad education for many majors (not just CS).
  • Certification.
Avi Parush (Carleton University)
  • There are 4 tiers of research that can help us apply research to practice (usability, comparison, guidelines, theory).
  • Practitioners can use the 4 tiers to ask 4 types of questions and find the relevant research easier
John Karat (IBM)
  • It has been hard to separate "product development" from "research" in his career: intertwined. This is good for me - but might not be for everyone - Role Specialization is fundamantal in human activity.
  • Understand that I do not mean "We shouldnt try to improve communication"
  • Research papers should be for the research community (and thus not "fixed" for practitioners). Case studies - which might be considered a kind of research paper - can be useful fo both communities.
  • Need to make ideas in research papers more practical.
  • Managers won't let practitioners do more research up front. Development managers that is. Research Managers - at least in IBM - get and give points for "business impact" (contrary to Arnie Lund's picture).
  • Communication is hard and there are not many incentives. The CHI community can do things about this - the establishing of an award recognizing impact on practitioners is a step.
  • Cannot justify the cost of teaching research to all practitioners (developers). We need to emphasize that growing "enlightened practitioners" is a potentially good thing. We need to stay in the same room to do this.
  • Translation services for research-based ideas.
  • Research agenda (ideas of things to study that have practical value).
  • Speed dating.
  • Book of case studies illustrating research/practice issues.
Randolph G. Bias (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Practitioners take-away is not common yet and hard for researchers to determine this.
  • Academia does not reward the application of one's own research.
  • Industry does not directly reward practitioners for adopting research finding.
  • Higher ed not teaching students how to interpret research results.
  • Related: low barrier of entry to the field means shoddy work is often done.
  • Practitioners take-away (in JUS).
  • Intellectual entrepreneurship.
  • Teach research methods to (future) practitioners.
  • Related: Certification, or something like it.
Susan Dray (Dray & Associates, Inc.)
  • The world of practice needs an infusion of academic rigor
  • "publish or perish" rules academia and narrower research (deep knowledge) is easier to publish (and harder to apply)
  • “produce or perish” rules business so all that matters is that the product is successful (not deep knowledge)
  • “PowerPoint culture” that focuses on form and brevity rather than content and
    rationale, judged by people outside the profession
  • Marketing people increasingly selling usability
    and other user experience research services
  • Infusion into industry of the type of critical thinking associated with
  • Do it the UPA way: start with practitioners and add in researchers
  • Benefit: “engaged scholars” will find a wealth of extremely interesting, perplexing, and complex
    problems to research
  • Benefit: academics do a better job of preparing their students to function as professionals

Jhilmil Jain (HP Labs)
  • Challenges faced by an industrial HCI researcher: Trying to be a researcher and a practitioner.
  • As a researcher in an industrial lab, we are measured by the number of top tier publications, and number of successful transfers to businesses.
  • Time from technology inception at labs to adoption by HP Business units is getting tighter. No time for traditional user research or usability testing. If we don't conduct these, CHI papers don't get published.
  • CHI paper review system is broken. Focus more on purity of methodology rather than practicality.
  • School focuses on traditional methodologies; agile methods should be taught as well
  • Are publications the only way to measure quality work?
  • How do you measure the
    value of a practitioner?
  • Encourage rotation between labs/divisions.
  • Breaking communities into design, UX, engineering, management is creating a further divide - organize by themes e.g. 3D for large scale displays, sustainability.
Keith Instone

Gitte Lindgaard
  • Attempts to collaborate with academic researchers was too hard in previous job
  • Job now is maintaining ties with industry (HCI practitioners)
  • Theme: students are a key way to bridge the gap
  • R-P interaction encouraged but not really funded in grants
  • When RPI funded, measure is papers published, not real metric for interaction
  • Applied research is not rewarded with higher ed
  • Worst for young researchers (established can do their own thing more)
  • Researchers: giving talks, running workshops, advising organizations as trusted 3rd party
  • Have practitioners do "real world" talks with students as part of their coursework
  • Local meetings that attract researchers and practitioners
  • Pass large project requests to consulting companies
  • Thesis research with a company
  • Practitioners as Adjunct research professors
Arnie Lund (Microsoft)
  • Product design UX
  • Has maintained a "research" program going as a practitioner
  • Research group focused on publishing, not getting ideas into products
  • Product groups not engaging research
  • Researchers focused on personal credit for an idea
  • Researchers like ideas from product groups on burning issues, but things practitioners need answered are are not "publishable"
  • Hard to move between "researcher" and "practitioner" within large companies - and getting harder
  • Researchers and practitioner self-select into preferred world
  • Move people between the research and practice sides of the company