Methods to Account for Values in Human-Centered Computing

Workshop on Methods for Accounting for Values in Human-Centered Computing held in conjunction with CHI 2012

Workshop Summary

This workshop brings together scholars and practitioners of human-centered computing, requirements engineering, ethics and related fields. We will share knowledge and insights on methods to account for human values in information technology design. Through short presentations, group discussions and practical design group work, participants will collaborate on developing methodological frameworks for values in human-centered computing, and putting these methods into practice.


The overarching theme of this workshop is the development of new and collaborative methods for designing human values into information technology. The workshop organizers will work with participants to decide the focus of the workshop on a subset of the following topics:

  • factors that structure the incorporation of values into the design process
  • the current state of the art in values focused design methods through collaboration between researchers and designers
  • opportunities for new methods and tools that help designers in the real world more effectively design for values
  • developing initial frameworks that guide the selection of methods
  • combining values focused design methods with other design methods
  • challenges of designing for values in industry (such as temporal, logistical and financial constraints) and the implications these limitations have for the applicability of values-centered design methods

The intended workshop size is 15-20 people. Beside participating authors, eight eminent invited scholars particularly engaged in designing for human values will participate:


Alan Borning is a professor in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, an adjunct faculty member in the Information School, and a Fellow of the ACM. His research interests are in human-computer interaction and designing for human values, including current work on supporting civic engagement and participation.

Gilbert Cockton is Professor of Design Theory and Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the School of Design at Northumbria University (Newcastle, UK). From 2005-8, he held a UK NESTA fellowship on value-centred design, from which developed his research focus on worth as a primary basis for design purpose.

Tjerk de Greef received his M.Sc degree in information science at the University of Utrecht in 2004 and his bachelor degree in electrical engineering at the HAN University in 1999. After receiving his master degree, he was offered a position at the Netherlands organization for Applied Research (TNO), Defense, Safety and Security where he was mainly involved in human factors related research for the Royal Netherlands Navy. In 2008 started working as a Ph.D student at the Delft University of Technology (thesis defense is planned early July). His main interest relates to the design and evaluation of electronic partners in high-risk professional domains such as urban search & rescue and the military. Currently, he holds a post-doc position at the Delft University of Technology about machine ethics which is executed in close cooperation with David Rodin of the Oxford Institute of ethics, law & armed conflict. In his capacity as a researcher he has published a in number international journals and conferences and managed several projects. He has also been involved in the organization of various conferences and symposia. Since 2010 he serves as the treasurer of the European Association of Cognitive Ergonomics.

Sebastian Denef is a research fellow at Fraunhofer FIT, Sankt Augustin, Germany. At FIT, Sebastian's research interests is in the relation between people and technology and in designing technology for the transformation of social configurations. Sebastian holds a PhD in Industrial Design Engineering from TU Delft, Netherlands and graduated as Media System Designer from the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany.

Hamid Ekbia is associate professor of information science and cognitive science, and the Director of Center for Research on Mediated Interaction at the School of Library and Information Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, where he teaches human-computer interaction, Health Informatics, and Geographic Information Systems. His research is focused on how technologies mediate interactions among people, organizations, and communities. Ekbia has written about technology and mediation in organizations, scholarly and design communities, and indigenous populations. His recent book Artificial Dreams: The Quest for Non-Biological Intelligence (Cambridge University Press, 2008) is a critical-technical analysis of AI. He is currently working on two book projects: Constellation of Metaphors: Technology, Choice, and Culture (with Harmeet Sawhney) and Digital Discipline: The Active Complicity of the Modern Subject (with Bonnie Nardi).

Batya Friedman is a Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. She pioneered value sensitive design (VSD), an approach to account for human values in the design of information systems. Batya is currently working on multi-lifespan information system design and on methods for envisioning - new ideas for leveraging information systems to shape our futures.

Verena Fuchsberger is research and teaching assistant at the HCI & Usability Unit of the ICT&S Center, University Salzburg. She works in the field of Ambient Assisted Living and is particularly interested in the interaction between older adults and technology.

David G. Hendry is associate professor at The Information School, University of Washington, where he teaches courses in human-computer interaction, information system design, and foundations of information science. He investigates tools, practices, and systems that create the conditions for sustainable, inclusive participation in the design of information systems. Working with the theory and method of Value Sensitive Design, he is currently conducting studies on the use of information systems by homeless young people and drop-in centers that support their welfare. A member of the Value Sensitive Design Research Laboratory, David is currently Program Chair, Ph.D. in Information Science.

Jes A. Koepfler is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland’s iSchool. Her research focuses on salient values expressed through socio-technical systems, especially social media, by marginalized groups. She works with a team of values researchers at UMD to explore new research methods and theoretical approaches for identifying salient values in ways that can be useful for ICT design and policy development.

Christopher LeDantec is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at Georgia Tech. His research integrates theoretical, empirical, and design-based investigations of community technologies with a specific interest in developing mobile technologies for the disenfranchised and marginalized segments of society.

Jonathan T. Morgan is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Washington's Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, and a Research Fellow with the Wikimedia Foundation. His primary research interest is how groups of people collaborate online to create common goods or come to joint decisions. His two main projects right now are both related to Wikipedia. He works on the Teahouse, a space on Wikipedia designed to support new editors, especially women editors (who currently make up only ~10% of the Wikipedia editor community). He also studies WikiProjects, self-organized small group collaborations on Wikipedia, trying to figure out what makes the successful ones tick.

Christiane Moser is research fellow at the HCI & Usability Unit, ICT&S Center, University of Salzburg since 2008. She is currently working in the field of Child-Computer-Interaction and Ambient Assistant Living. She is interested in how usability, user experience, user acceptance and values can be combined.

Michael Muller works as a research staff member at IBM Research in Cambridge, MA, USA. He focuses on how employees adapt and shape social media in enterprises, and in how residents and cities can use social media for civic engagement. Michael has a long-term interest in methods for analysis and design, including participatory design and grounded theory. IBM has twice designated Michael as an IBM Master Inventor.

Katie Shilton is an assistant professor in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research explores ethics and policy for the design of information technologies. She currently leads a project that investigates the values and policy implications of Named Data Networking, a new approach to Internet architecture. Katie received a Ph.D. in Information Studies from UCLA in 2011.


Christian Detweiler is a third year PhD candidate at the Philsophy Section of Delft University of Technology, under the supervision of Jeroen van den Hoven. He is working on integrating value-sensitive design into existing design practice.

Alina Pommeranz is a fourth year PhD candidate at the Man Machine Interaction Section of Delft University of Technology. She focuses on developing tools supporting reflection on and active elicitation of values. Her interests are human-centered and value sensitive design.

Luke Stark is a third year PhD candidate in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, under the supervision of Helen Nissenbaum; his primary research examines digital information technology and negative affect.

Workshop on Methods to Account for Values in Human-Centered Computing held in conjunction with CHI 2012

Workshop website:


Position paper submission: January 13th, 2012
Notification: February 10th, 2012
Workshop at CHI: May 5th, 2012


This workshop brings together scholars and practitioners of human-centered computing, requirements engineering, ethics and related fields. We will share knowledge and insights on methods to account for human values in information technology design. Through short presentations, group discussions and practical design group work, participants will collaborate on developing methodological frameworks for values in human-centered computing, and putting these methods into practice.

The focus of the workshop is on collaboration and practical, hands-on experiences. Therefore, a major part of the workshop will consist of group work. Participants will work in groups to tackle a design challenge by applying values focused methods, and will collect and present their results as well as their reflections on the values focused design process.

The following list reflects (but is not limited to these) possible topics for participants to focus on during the workshop:

  • Methods for value elicitation; communicating values; implementing values in design; engaging in trade-offs among values; and evaluating technology in terms of values
  • Methods for dealing with emergent values and understanding how users and organizations adapt and re-purpose designs and technologies: dealing with contested normative questions that emerge after a technology has been put to use, and with the ways stakeholder values modify designed values, usage, and technology.
  • Combining values focused methods with other design methods; engaging with methods from the social and human sciences
  • Frameworks describing the context under which certain methods are most useful; ease of use and agility of methods; developing initial frameworks that guide the selection of methods
  • Best practices for transferring design methods between an academic research context and industry

We encourage participation from researchers from fields including, human-centered computing, requirements engineering, digital anthropology, participatory design, and applied ethics, as well as from practitioners working on user experience design (management) and related activities, and from representatives of government and non-governmental organizations working on legislation, standardization and similar issues.


We invite technologists, designers, and ethicists working on topics related to value-focused technology design to submit 2-4 page position papers (in CHI Extended Abstract format ) outlining their research on or experience with values focused or related methods and the reasons for their interest in the workshop.

Authors of accepted papers must guarantee that their paper will be presented at the workshop. If there are many submissions, workshop participation will be limited to one person per paper. Position statements will be presented as two minute elevator pitch presentations during the workshop. Submissions to the workshop should be sent to Christian Detweiler ( c.a.detweiler [at]

Papers will be published in the workshop proceedings. A selection of accepted papers will be invited to submit to a special issue of the the journal Ethics and Information Technology.

Christian Detweiler - Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
Alina Pommeranz - Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
Luke Stark - New York University, NYC, USA

Schedule for workshop "Methods to account for values in human-centered computing"
Welcome by the organizers
1-minute participant presentations: view on the topic and why they attend
index cards, form groups
briefing for design challenge by the organizers: exploration (challenge, goals, documentation)
coffee break
explore the design problem in groups
short presentations of each group
lunch break
briefing for design challenge by the organizers: design
design work in groups
coffee break
design work in groups
presentations of results, discussion, wrap-up
end of workshop

Important Dates

January 13th, 2012: Position paper submission
February 10th, 2012: Notification
May 5th, 2012: Workshop at CHI