Category Archives: Usability

Essay on privacy practices for HCI research

I have reproduced an essay published last year in the HOT Topics online journal.

This article reviews the privacy requirements that should be considered when conducting HCI research. Legislation is reviewed for many countries and employment situations, and the OECD privacy protection guidelines are used to make concrete recommendations to HCI researchers and practitioners.

Have a look at the essay and provide comments.

Commentary on new usable security research: The Emperor is biased

I have recently posted a long commentary on some new research by Stuart Schechter, Rachna Dhamija, Andy Ozment, and Ian Fischer. Their paper, titled The Emperor’s New Security Indicators: An evaluation of website authentication and the effect of role playing on usability studies, has been receiving a lot of attention because it shows that people ignore new security indicators being used by banks to prevent phishing attacks.

I think there are serious problems with the methodology in this research caused by a failure to understand the psychology of research participation. As a result, I think the results are biased in the direction of providing over-estimates of the real-world rates at which these security indicators will be ignored. My motivation in this commentary is to discuss the issues associated with this kind of research methodology; so that we can all do better research.

There are at least 3 well-know psychological phenomena related to participation in research studies that are important here: demand characteristics, task focus, and obedience to authority. In this essay I review these phenomena, explain how each one could have biased the results, and provide concrete suggestions for improving this, and similar, research.

Please have a look at the essay at
and provide comments there.

Advice on designing scientific posters

Here is a useful article on designing posters for scientific conferences. This is something that many students and professors get so horribly wrong, but the few that are done right can be oh so good.

Advice on designing scientific posters

A scientific poster is a large document that can communicate your research at a scientific meeting, and is composed of a short title, an introduction to your burning question, an overview of your trendy experimental approach, your amazing results, some insightful discussion of aforementioned results, a listing of previously published articles that are important to your research, and some brief acknowledgement of the tremendous assistance and financial support conned from others—if all text is kept to a minimum, a person could fully read your poster in under 10 minutes.

Technorati Tags: , ,