Human-Computer Interaction: An Empirical Research Perspective is the definitive guide to empirical research in HCI. The book begins with foundational topics including historical context, the human factor, interaction elements, and the fundamentals of science and research. From there, you'll progress to learning about the methods for conducting an experiment to evaluate a new computer interface or interaction technique. There are detailed discussions and how-to analyses on models of interaction, focusing on descriptive models and predictive models. Writing and publishing a research paper is explored with helpful tips for success. Throughout the book, you'll find hands-on exercises, checklists, and real-world examples. This is your must-have, comprehensive guide to empirical and experimental research in HCI—an essential addition to your HCI library.

Key Features

    • Master empirical and experimental research with this comprehensive, A-to-Z guide in a concise, hands-on reference
    • Discover the practical and theoretical ins-and-outs of user studies
    • Find exercises, takeaway points, and case studies throughout


    HCI/UX researchers and professionals interested in user studies, as well as university students in academia and industry human-computer interaction.

    Table of Contents



    Author Biography

    Chapter 1. Historical Context

    1.1 Introduction

    1.2 Vannevar Bush’s “as we may think” (1945)

    1.3 Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad (1962)

    1.4 Invention of the mouse (1963)

    1.5 Xerox star (1981)

    1.6 Birth of HCI (1983)

    1.7 Growth of HCI and graphical user interfaces (GUIs)

    1.8 Growth of HCI research

    1.9 Other readings

    1.10 Resources

    Chapter 2. The Human Factor

    2.1 Time scale of human action

    2.2 Human factors

    2.3 Sensors

    2.4 Responders

    2.5 The brain

    2.6 Language

    2.7 Human performance

    Chapter 3. Interaction Elements

    3.1 Hard controls and soft controls

    3.2 Control-display relationships

    3.3 Natural versus learned relationships

    3.4 Mental models and metaphor

    3.5 Modes

    3.6 More about degrees of freedom

    3.7 Mobile context

    3.8 Interaction errors

    Chapter 4. Scientific Foundations

    4.1 What is research?

    4.2 What is empirical research?

    4.3 Research methods

    4.4 Observe and measure

    4.5 Research questions

    4.6 Internal validity and external validity

    4.7 Comparative evaluations

    4.8 Relationships: circumstantial and causal

    4.9 Research topics

    Chapter 5. Designing HCI Experiments

    5.1 What methodology?

    5.2 Ethics approval

    5.3 Experiment design

    5.4 Independent variables

    5.5 Dependent variables

    5.6 Other variables

    5.7 Task and procedure

    5.8 Participants

    5.9 Questionnaire design

    5.10 Within-subjects and between-subjects

    5.11 Order effects, counterbalancing, and latin squares

    5.12 Group effects and asymmetric skill transfer

    5.13 Longitudinal studies

    5.14 Running the experiment

    Chapter 6. H


    No. of pages:
    © 2013
    Morgan Kaufmann
    Print ISBN:
    Electronic ISBN:

    About the author

    I. Scott MacKenzie

    I. Scott MacKenzie is Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at York University, Canada. For the past 25 years, MacKenzie has been an active member of the HCI research community, with over 130 peer-reviewed publications (including more than 30 papers in the ACM SIGCHI conference proceedings). MacKenzie’s interests include human performance measurement and modeling, interaction devices and techniques, text entry, mobile computing, accessible computing, touch-based interaction, eye tracking, and experimental methodology.

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


    "One could easily imagine it being titled An introduction to empirical research in HCI. That is its strength, and there it shines. The book is relatively short but packed with information; features tight but lively writing; and is thoughtfully illustrated and amply sourced…For those wishing to learn more about HCI through (publishable) experiments, this is a fantastic introduction.", December 20, 2013
    "Human-computer interactions (HCI) is an ever more important subject for study as computers become ever faster, smaller, and more integrated into daily life. MacKenzie …emphasizes the performance of research into HCI in this work intended for the working scientist…Each chapter concludes with student exercises and there is a supplementary website that contains software source code, several statistical applications, and packages for experiments in HCI."--Reference & Research Book News, December 2013
    "This is intended to be a textbook specifically for use in teaching the topic at a degree level, and it achieves that aim in no small measure…The text is clear, slightly conversational and offers a refreshing look at the field of study…The book contains a number of interesting case studies designed to illustrate the various issues, and it also contains some questionnaires and other example material, all designed to make the reader query how and why they do things.", November 2013
    "Scott McKenzie is one of the most thoughtful, thorough, authoritative, and careful HCI researchers I know.  This book puts his experience, insights, and wisdom into a highly accessible, practical, and user-friendly form.  It ties general notions in user interface design to solid scientific concepts and experimental procedures, and it teaches readers how to perform them for themselves.  And it even concludes with a chapter on how to