Submission to IxD10: (Re)Designing Researcher-Practitioner Interaction

I’ve just submitted one of my two proposals to the Interaction ‘10 conference. Here’s what I submitted:

Title: (Re)Designing Researcher-Practitioner Interaction


Do you wish you knew more about what research was available to help guide your interaction design decisions? Do you have the feeling that it’s out there but you aren’t sure where to find it or how to interpret and use it? Do you wish your design education had better prepared you for finding and making use of human interaction research?

Do you feel that research is just irrelevant to what you do?

The HCI community believes that a disconnect exists between research and practice. Over the past 30 years, research into the nature of such problems has been conducted in a variety of disciplines. Some of the studies report that research findings are often couched in jargon, are overly technical in an academic sense, and can be simply irrelevant to practitioners. Some studies attribute the problem to academics’ lack of familiarity with real-world problems and business realities or to the way these are tackled in the practitioner community; others have found that practitioners appreciate and recognize the value of theory-driven research provided its relevance is made clear to them. In their self-defense, researchers point out that aiming research to industry dilutes its academic value and that applied research has no rewards when it comes to salary and promotion.

A full-day workshop (working session) on researcher-practitioner interaction will be held during the CHI 2010 conference in April, where researchers and practitioners will come together in an effort to clarify the issues underlying the apparent misalignment between them and to define an approach to ameliorating it.

This IxD10 discussion will be led by one of the CHI workshop organizers, who will take your comments and feed them into the workshop discussion. Take this opportunity to contribute to the dialog and improve the utility of research to design practice. Make your voice heard.


Elizabeth Buie is principal consultant at Luminanze Consulting, LLC. With more than 30 years’ experience in UX, she has done research, analysis, specification, design, development, and evaluation for web sites, web apps, desktop and mainframe apps, and complex systems such as spacecraft control centers. Elizabeth’s interests span the researcher-practitioner divide: Although she has always worked as a practitioner, she has long been interested in research and has dabbled in it from time to time.

Elizabeth has master’s degrees in mathematics and in human development. She is a co-chair of the CHI 2010 User Experience Community and an organizer of the CHI 2010 workshop on Researcher-Practitioner Interaction. She also serves on the editorial board of the UPA’s Journal of Usability Studies.

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