HCI Research in Sensitive Settings:

Learning Researcher Reflexivity, Ethical Conduct and Empathy in Participatory Design Approaches

Course at CHI 2024, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 
While there is an increase in HCI research in sensitive settings, design researchers often lack the needed training or preparation to navigate ethical challenges or emotionally difficult situations. In this course, we will provide researchers, designers or students concrete skills and insights into conducting HCI research in sensitive settings, based on our experience in involving users with a broad range of vulnerabilities in HCI research. We share lessons learned on ethical research practices and inclusive design methodologies to be applied in sensitive settings. Lastly, all attendees will apply the lessons learned to their current research projects during hands-on exercises.
Dates and Venue
Session 1: Tuesday, May 14th, early afternoon
Session 2: Tuesday, May 14th, late afternoon
Two in-person sessions at CHI2024 in Honolulu, at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center.​​​​​​​

Full course description: LINK TO PDF
You can subscribe to the course during your CHI2024 registration
For more info or questions, please contact Maarten Houben: m.houben1@tue.nl
how to design and develop technologies for sensitive settings?
Benefits
This course is an updated version of our CHI'23 course on HCI research in sensitive settings. During this course, the attendees will learn:
     (1)  empathic participatory design approaches for developing accessible and empowering products, services, and systems
     (2)  best practices for mindfully balancing power imbalances and dealing with emotionally difficult situations
     (3)  to identify, act, and reflect on ethical challenges in participatory design practices involving users with specific vulnerabilities
     (4)  managing researcher's expectations, reflexivity, and self-care in sensitive settings

All attendees will be invited to apply these insights to their research projects and will receive feedback from other attendees and the instructors.
how to engage vulnerable users and relevant stakeholders during design and research activities?
Content
This course will consist of two in-person sessions hosted at CHI 2024 in Honolulu, at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. The first session will focus on designing technology and a second on engaging users and stakeholders.

Session 1: Designing Technology for Sensitive Settings 
Tuesday, May 14th, early afternoon session
During the first session, we will share a general overview of empathic approaches to technology design in sensitive settings, such as in education, care homes or for people with chronic diseases. We will present example cases to illustrate the development of user-friendly, empowering, aesthetically pleasing, and non-stigmatizing products for people with specific vulnerabilities. In this part of the course, we will also address the design characteristics of technology related to aesthetics, interaction, and sustainability in relation to their fit to sensitive settings. Next, the attendees are invited to relate these theories, methods, and products to their personal experience in design projects or practice during a hands-on exercise in group.

Session 2: Engaging with Users and Stakeholders in Sensitive Settings 
Tuesday, May 14th, late afternoon session
In the second session, we will provide attendees with multiple insights into ethical challenges and best practices in engaging users with vulnerabilities and different groups of stakeholders in sensitive contexts. In addition, we will also focus on researcher reflexivity in sensitive topics, and participants will engage with the topic of self-care and how it pertains to their research or design practices. The attendees can apply these insights regarding the inclusion of different target groups in tackling ethical challenges and establishing suitable research practices to their expertise, experiences, and future research plans.
Instructors background

Maarten Houben is an Assistant Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Department of Industrial Design. His PhD research focused on the beneficial effects of everyday sounds and soundscapes in technologies for dementia. Maarten adopts a design approach for designing and evaluating novel technologies in everyday care environments by involving key stakeholders such as people with dementia, their relatives, and care practitioners.
Minha Lee is an Assistant Professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology at the Department of Industrial Design, with a background in philosophy, digital arts, and HCI. Her research is about morally relevant interactions with technological agents like robots or chatbots. Her work explores how we can explore our moral self-identity through conversations with digital entities, e.g., via acting compassionately towards a chatbot. She has organized workshops at relevant conferences: CSCW '20--'21, IUI '21, HRI '2021, and Philosophy of Human-Technology Relations (PHTR) '20. ​​​​​​​
Sarah Foley is a Lecturer in Applied Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction. Her research interests lie at the intersection of aging, care, and technology. She employs co-design and qualitative methods in her research. Her PhD research examined the role of design and technology in dementia care. Current research interests include care, online communities, and qualitative methodology.
Kellie Morrissey is a Lecturer in University College Cork's School of Applied Psychology. A psychologist by training, her main interests are in the intersection of health and politics in designing digital objects in sensitive settings. Her main research areas are participatory design approaches to engaging people with dementia in meaningful activities, with a secondary interest in design to improve women’s access to appropriate and high-quality health and reproductive services.
Rens Brankaert is an Assistant Professor of Active and Healthy Ageing at Eindhoven University of Technology, Department of Industrial Design. He is also a Professor Health Innovations and Technology at Fontys University of Applied Sciences, School of Allied Health Professions. He co-leads the (TU/e) Expertise Center for Dementia and Technology. Rens has a specific interest in designing ‘Warm Technology’ for people living with dementia. He approaches this from a person-centered perspective and is interested in the impact of design in care practice.
Course Participants – Registration Instructions

You can subscribe to the course during your CHI2024 registration​​​​​​​
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