3. The 5-Step Approach for Controlled Experiment Design for HCI

3. The 5-Step Approach for Controlled Experiment Design for HCI

Controlled experiment, an approach that has been adopted from research methods in psychology, is now widely used in HCI. Design an effective controlled experiment is not necessarily easy, even for experienced researchers. Existing controlled experiment designing tools focused more on the process of designing, but they are often not intuitive and guided enough for less experienced users to use. We introduce a 5-step approach to guide users through the experimental design process, and helped them to better understand the experimental design process.


More details of this approach is explained in the following publication.

Meng X., Foong P.S., Perrault S., Zhao S. (2017) NexP: A Beginner Friendly Toolkit for Designing and Conducting Controlled Experiments. In: Bernhaupt R., Dalvi G., Joshi A., K. Balkrishan D., O’Neill J., Winckler M. (eds) Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2017. INTERACT 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 10515. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67687-6_10

The approach has been coded into a web application called Nexp. Although we no longer maintain the website at the moment, there is a short video on how it roughly works.

The code of the web application (developed by my PhD student Meng Xiaojun) can be found from this link.

The material has also been introduced as a course for CHI 2016.


Shen is an HCI professor at the National University of Singapore working on realizing his vision of HeadsUp Computing, a new Interaction paradigm that can transform the way we live and interact with computers. In his free time, Shen loves to read, run, spend time with family and friends, and explore nature.

Leave a Reply