User evaluation for Software Engineering Researchers
(USER 2012)

ICSE 2012

June 5, 2012.    Zurich, Switzerland.
Workshop in Conjunction with ICSE 2012


Registration is limited to authors with accepted archival or non-archival proposals. The proposal submission deadline has now passed. If you are interested in participating in this workshop and do not have an accepted proposal, email

In this workshop, participants will interactively learn suitable usability methods through scaffolded group exercises, collaboratively develop and test plans for evaluating their projects, and construct a support network of like-minded researchers to help them achieve their goals.
Submission Guidelines

We will accept 1-2 page proposals describing a software engineering research project, concept and/or tool the attendee would like to evaluate with users. The proposal should include a concise description of the research problem, a description and motivation of the intended users, an explanation of why the attendee is interested in conducting a user evaluation, and any specific goals the attendee has for the workshop. Submissions from attendees who have designed or conducted a past user evaluation should additionally include a description of how it went, what was learned from the study, and what lessons they personally took away from the experience.

There are two options for submitting a proposal.

  • Archival Proposals: Submit your proposal by February 17, 2012 in IEEE CS format. If accepted, it will be published in the ACM Digital Library.
  • Non-Archival Proposals: Submit your proposal by May 21, 2012 in IEEE CS format. If accepted, you may participate in the workshop, however, your proposal will not be published in the ACM Digital Library.

Please note these caveats about non-archival proposals:

  1. Admission of non-archival proposals will occur on a rolling basis. A notification of acceptance or rejection will be returned within 3 business days after submission. Proposals will continue to be accepted until we reach 40 accepted proposals, or until May 21, 2012, whichever comes first.
  2. Non-archival proposals submitted by April 18 will receive an accept/reject notification in time to register for the workshop by the ICSE 2012 early registration deadline.
  3. Please do not register for the workshop prior to receiving an acceptance notification.

Submissions and final papers should be formatted using the IEEE CS format. Templates (for Word and LaTeX) and formatting instructions are available at

Submissions will be made through EasyChair:

Workshop Structure

The workshop will be structured around small group discussion. We will have a “panel” of 4-5 researchers experienced at performing user evaluations helping us moderate discussion and present anecdotes. These panelists will be able to talk about their own experiences performing user evaluations, answer questions posed by the groups, and provide guidance on user study design and pragmatics.

We plan to spend the morning focused on refining research questions, and the afternoon focused on choosing study methodologies and practicing study implementations. Throughout the day, we will incorporate activities that simul- taneously introduce user evaluation methodologies.

9:00a-10:30a  Session 1
  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Affinity Diagramming and Contextual Inquiry Practice
10:30a-11:00a   Break
11:00a-12:30p  Session 2
  • Coming up With a Useful Research Question
12:30p-2:00p   Lunch Break
2:00p-3:30p  Session 3
  • Components of Study Design
3:30p-4:00p   Break
4:00p-5:30p Session 4
  • Simplified Pilot Studies
  • Group Discussion and Conclusion
Important Dates

Archival Proposal Submission Friday, February 24, 2012, 23:59, American Somoa Time
Archival Proposal Notification Monday, March 19, 2012
Archival Camera-Ready Papers Due Thursday, March 29, 2012
Early Registration Sunday, April 22, 2012
Non-Archival Proposal Submission Monday, May 21, 2012, 23:59, American Somoa Time
Non-Archival Proposal Notification 3 business days from submission
USER Workshop Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Panel of Experts / Program Committee:
  • Ban Al-Ani (University of California at Irvine)
  • Janet Burge (Miami University at Ohio)
  • Margaret Burnett (Oregon State University)
  • Orit Hazzan (Technion University)
  • Andrew J. Ko (University of Washington)
  • Thomas LaToza (University of California at Irvine)
  • Christopher Parnin (Georgia Tech)
  • Lutz Prechelt (Free University of Berlin)
  • Jonathan Sillito (University of Calgary)
  • Helen Sharp (The Open University)