Designing User Studies in Informatics


Monday 18th of March - from 10-16 in room G112 Chydenia building Aalto University School of Business. (Runeberginkatu 22–24, Helsinki).

Tuesday 19th of March - from 9-13 in room A-310 The Main Building Aalto University School of Business. (Runeberginkatu 14–16, Helsinki).


Associate Professor Gondy Leroy, Claremont Graduate University

Organizer: Professor Virpi Tuunainen, Aalto University


Monday, March 18th, 2013 - Full day (10-16)

Day Objective:

The goal of the first day of the workshop is to learn to design a user study and design such a study for a current problem. In addition to practicing design skills, participants will have the opportunity to practice supervisor and reviewer skills.
Participants work in teams.

Day Overview:

Introduction and overview of study types

Team work: Case Brainstorming

Designing Studies – Independent Variables

Team work: Application to Case

Designing Studies – Dependent Variables

Team work: application

Designing Studies – Confounded and Nuisance Variables

Team work: Application to Case

Lunch Break*

Designing Studies – Between and Within-Subjects Designs

Team Work: Application to Case

Designing Studies – Appropriate Statistics

Team Rotations: Presentation of Study & Critical Evaluation

Team Work: Adjustments and Final presentations to group

(* Lunch can be bought at own expense from Restaurants Chydenia or Rafla).

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 - Half Day (9-13)

Day Objective:

The objective part of the second half-day of the workshop is to learn the practical aspects of conducting and completing a study, while also designing a study relevant to the participants current job or field of study.

Participants work by themselves.

Day Overview:

Designing Studies – Review of Day 1

Participant Work – Introductions to Personal Projects

Designing Studies – Bias and Other Problems to Avoid

Participant Work – Application to a Personal Project

Designing Studies – Practical Aspects: Understanding Main and Interaction Effects, Amazon Mechanical Turk, IRB, Statistics (+ other upon request)

Participant Work – Rotations of Presentation and Critique

Lunch Break - End of Workshop

Workshop Readings

Based on “Designing Users Studies in Informatics”, by Gondy Leroy, Springer 2011, ISBN: ISBN 978-0-85729-621-4.

Taken from: Part 1 Designing the User study

Chapter 2 - Variables

Chapter 4 - Between-Subjects Design

Chapter 5 - Within-Subjects Design

Electronic copies of these chapters will be provided by the presenter before the workshop.


This seminar is free-of-charge for member organization's staff and their PhD-students. For others the participation fee is 750 €. The participation fee includes access to the event and the event materials. Lunch and dinner are not included.


Doctoral students participating in the seminar can obtain two (2) credit points. This requires participating on both days and completing the assignments given at the seminar.