CHI 2018 Schedule

This course is taking place at CHI 2018 (Palais des Congrès de Montréal) in Room: 524C on Monday, 23rd of April 2018.

CHI 2018 Course Unit 1

11:30-11:40Introduction and Goals
11:40-12:10Micro Lecture: Structuring your Research
12:10-12:50Tutorial: Dissecting a CHI Paper
12:50-14:30Lunch Break

CHI 2018 Course Unit 2

14:30-14:40Recap (Recover from Lunch)
14:40-15:00Micro Lecture: The Importance of the Introduction
15:00-15:50Exercise: Writing the Abstract and Introduction
15:50-16:30Coffee Break

CHI 2018 Course Unit 3

16:30-16:40Revision of CHI Paper Structure
16:40-17:50Tutorial and Exercise: Bullet pointing the CHI paper

Videos and Materials

Download 2018 Slides

Tutorial: Dissecting a CHI Paper

Download 2018 Course Handouts

Structured discussion of the following paper:

  • Read the paper(s).
  • Which parts of the paper are excellent? Why do you think they are?
  • What is the structure of the paper?

Dissecting the Abstract

Lay of the land, explaining why the problem is relevant and matters:

In the physical world, teammates develop situation awareness about each other’s location, status, and actions through cues such as gaze direction and ambient noise. To support situation awareness, distributed multiplayer games provide awareness cues—information that games automatically make available to players to support cooperative gameplay.

The actual research problem:

The design of awareness cues can be extremely complex, impacting how players experience games and work with teammates. Despite the importance of awareness cues, designers have little beyond experiential knowledge to guide their design.

How we are addressing the research gap or problem:

In this work, we describe a design framework for awareness cues, providing insight into what information they provide, how they communicate this information, and how design choices can impact play experience.

Our contribution to CHI and takeaways:

Our research, based on a grounded theory analysis of current games, is the first to provide a characterization of awareness cues, providing a palette for game designers to improve design practice and a starting point for deeper research into collaborative play.

Dissecting the Introduction

Lay of the land, explaining why the problem is relevant and matters:

Teams working together in the physical world develop situation awareness […]. Distributed games help players coordinate by providing awareness cues —information that systems automatically make available to collaborators to support cooperative actions […], awareness cues must be designed to provide the right information at the right time. […]

Why the problem is an important one:

Since teammates in distributed games are largely experienced through awareness cues, the principal challenge for game designers is to create tools that will provide the right information at the right time [62]. The design tension is to balance this information with ensuring that the game remains challenging, so giving a player omniscience is undesirable. […]

How we are solving the problem:

Using a grounded theory approach, we examined 24 games[…].

How we structured solving the problem and our paper:

We do this by first articulating the information made available through awareness cues to teammates. Second, we describe the essential design dimensions of awareness cues and how they make teammate information available. Third, we discuss potential consequences for games and play experience when particular design choices are made.

Why our research matters:

While prior work has considered synchronous verbal communications […], our work focuses on the understudied tools and techniques that games use to support coordination, which are made available to players without explicit effort.

Our main contribution to CHI:

Building on previous work in awareness, this work makes two main contributions. First, we provide a palette for game designers and researchers to identify and devise new awareness cues depending on the game experience they want to target. We expect that users of games (players and viewers) influence how cues should be designed and also consider how players adapt their play experience through cues. Second, we provide a starting point for future research and for informed design practices around awareness cues in online games, and in groupware more broadly.


Exercise: Writing the CHI Abstract and Introduction

  • Build a brief research plan for a CHI publication (10 minutes)
    • Problem statement
    • Indication of your methodology
    • Anticipated main findings
    • Anticipated conclusions

Now, write your own Title, Abstract, and Introduction for the research plan you have developed (30 minutes). Use the four questions to guide you through the process of writing a fictional CHI paper about this research topic that you have in mind:

  1. What is the real-world problem that we are trying to solve?
  2. Why is it important to solve this problem?
  3. What is the solution that we came up with to solve it?
  4. How do we know that the solution is a good solution to the problem?

Pass around your written paragraphs and discuss them in groups (of 3-4), I will assist. 20 minutes for discussions.


Tutorial and Exercise: Bullet pointing the CHI paper

Use the four questions to guide you through the process of writing a fictional CHI paper about this research topic that you have in mind:

  1. What is the real-world problem that we are trying to solve?
  2. Why is it important to solve this problem?
  3. What is the solution that we came up with to solve it?
  4. How do we know that the solution is a good solution to the problem?

Use the same process as many CHI authors: 

  • Sketch the rough answers to each question into bullet points
  • Get together a maximum of 15 bullet points among all 4 questions
  • Start writing out the bullet points into paragraphs
    • What contribution do you envision?
    • What research plan do you foresee?
    • Can you expand on your existing work?
    • What results do you need?

If you have time, use the nine-step editing system:

  1. Read through your text
  2. Break it up into points (ideas, thoughts, arguments)
  3.  Make sure every single point makes sense
  4.  Delete non-essential or redundant points
  5.  Make sure each point is unique and distinguished enough
  6.  Create sections by creating categories for the points
  7. Make the sections flow into one another
  8.  Sort your points into the categories
  9.  Make it read well by focusing on simple, clear, and elegant language

I will come around and assist your writing.