Call: Design and Evaluation of Innovative Interactive Systems: Interdisciplinary and Trans-sectorial Training (DEVISE II)

Design and Evaluation of Innovative Interactive Systems:
Interdisciplinary and Trans-sectorial Training (DEVISE II)
(COST-IC0904 TwinTide Training School)*

VENUE: Bertinoro international Center for informatics ( [BiCi]
DATE:  30th October 2011 (Sun) – 3rd November 2011 (Thur)



The Training School is organized under the auspices of COST-IC0904 TwinTide (, an international European project researching on design and evaluation of interactive systems.


Third-wave human computer interaction (HCI) is characterised by a diversifying user base and use contexts, new emphasis on user experience and new interaction styles (Bødker, 2006). This implies a need for informed method choice sensitive to domains, user groups and system objectives.  Effective method use requires complex judgments about applicability across applications and genres, with failure implying significant financial and human costs.  The adoption of ICT across ages and abilities has further increased the need for effective design and evaluation (D&E) methods, which bring about useful, usable, desirable computing artefacts that improve life quality.

Informed by Third Wave HCI, a range of alternative D&E approaches (e.g. experience-centred design) have been developed with the concepts and techniques being imported from other disciplines (e.g. artistic approaches).  Different IT-enhanced areas of life such as personal health management, civil aviation security, lifelong learning, and social networking ideally exploit these new D&E methodologies. However, there is currently a shortage of established knowledge and experience to guide their use in new contexts.  The relatively mature methods inherited from First and Second Wave HCI approaches (e.g. formal methods and experiments) may not be applicable for innovative interactive systems.

Emergent D&E approaches need to be valorised in various contexts. Equally, the transfer of traditional HCI to new domains requires careful treatment.  Effective cross-sectorial transfer of D&E concepts and methods is plausible, but the related empirical evidence is yet to be substantiated.

Furthermore, the greater emphasis on User Experience (UX) has led to perceptions of quality targets such as trust, sociability, creativity and empathy that are subjective in essence and do not lend themselves to established specification and measurement approaches.  This has led to adoption of more informal, qualitative and subjective approaches to design and evaluation.  This trend has not only re-instigated the age-old debate between qualitative and quantitative approaches, but also the necessity and utility of theories for practice.


In the Training School DEVISE II, leading HCI researchers and practitioners are invited to present concepts and case studies in specific sectors to address one or more of the aforementioned concerns, including:

  • What are specific methodological challenges in designing and evaluating digital artefacts in a particular IT-enhanced sector?
  • Is the transfer of design and evaluation methods across sectors/discipline plausible?
  • Are qualitative and quantitative approaches to interaction design and evaluation mutually exclusive (or symbiotic)? How can they be best synergized?
  • Are HCI theories necessary and useful for design and evaluation work in industry?

Beneficiaries of DEVISE II are not only trainees but also their trainers because of mutual stimulation through discussions. Of particular importance is that training of early stage HCI researchers will not only promote their careers, but also contribute to the healthy development of the field.


The overarching goal of DEVISE II is to improve participants’ theoretical and practical understanding of emergent D&E methods, techniques and tools being employed in different IT-enhanced sectors by teasing out their differences and commonalities. Reviews of case studies and hands-on exercises will be employed as instruments to realize this goal.  It aims to enlighten young HCI researchers and practitioners through in-depth discussions with their experienced counterparts, enabling them to develop a holistic view of the field of HCI.

Participants are expected to:

  • get to know specializations of certain application domains, certain sector-unique D&E methodologies and their characteristics, and learn to generalize and specialize across domains and sectors;
  • gain knowledge and practical experience in designing and evaluating a range of innovative interactive systems with multiple methods and from multiple disciplinary perspectives;
  • learn how evaluation studies are devised and executed with respect to domain-specific as well as other contextual resources and constraints;
  • explore the relationships between qualitative and quantitative approaches and their synergy in different application contexts;
  • investigate how HCI theories can inform the design and evaluation work in practice and vice-versa;


PhD students in HCI, who have a reasonable level of knowledge in general design and evaluation methodologies and are at the first or second year of their doctoral studies, are eligible to apply for the Training School. The following documents are required for application:

  • CV
  • Supporting Statement (i.e., rationale for application, relevant background, list of publication, etc.)
  • Recommendation letter from a supervisor
  • Sources of funding
  • Scholarship required (yes or no)

The registration fee for the Training School at BiCi for a single person (including all three main meals and coffee breaks) will cost 465€. Successful candidates will be granted certain amount of scholarship to cover part of this registration fee. *Note: Travel expenses will NOT be funded.*

All application documents should be sent as a zipped file labelled with your last name to Effie Law ( by 8th September 2011. Each application will be stringently reviewed.  Notification of acceptance will be emailed to each applicant by 15th September 2011. Maximum 20 students will be accepted.

LECTURERS (confirmed):

  • Prof. Ann Blandford, University College London Interaction Centre (ULCIC), UK
  • Prof. Philippe Palanque, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse III, France
  • Prof. Jan Gulliksen, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
  • Prof. Gilbert Cockton, Northumbria University, UK
  • Dr. Tony Russell-Rose, UX Labs, UK


In DEVISE II, each of the 3 days will be split one-and-a-half timeslots for talks and practical sessions on specific themes. Please look up the website for the up-to-date schedule (  Student participants will be divided into small groups. Each group will conduct a mini-project before and during the School and present outcomes on the last day of the School.


  • Application submission deadline: 8th September 2011
  • Notification of acceptance: 15th September 2011
  • Confirmation of attendance: 19th September 2011
  • Training School: 30th October – 3rd November 2011

Dr. Effie L-C Law, ETH Zürich, Switzerland/University of Leicester, UK
Prof. Gilbert Cockton, Northumbria University, UK

In case of enquiry please contact Effie Law: or


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