Over the years, toolkits have been designed to facilitate the rapid prototyping of novel designs for graphical user interfaces, physical computing, fabrication, tangible interfaces and ubiquitous computing. However, although evaluation methods for HCI are widely available, particular techniques and approaches to evaluate technical toolkit research are less well developed. Moreover, it is unclear what kind of contribution and impact technical toolkits can bring to the larger HCI community.

In this workshop we aim to bring together leading researchers in the field to discuss challenges and opportunities to develop new methods and approaches to design, evaluate, disseminate and share toolkits. Furthermore, we will discuss the technical, methodological and enabling role of toolkits for HCI research.


The central goal of the workshop is to develop a longterm research agenda around toolkits for HCI from the perspectives and experience of HCI researchers in designing, building and sharing toolkits. We particularly focus on four main themes:

T1: Taxonomy and Trends in Toolkit the first theme is aimed at mapping the historical context of toolkits in HCI. We are interested in synthesizing seminal publications, toolkits and systems that have influenced the field and shaped research directions. Furthermore, we intend to map out recent trends and developments in toolkit designs in order to produce a taxonomy of toolkits that can help provide overview of the role of toolkits in HCI. What kind of toolkits were introduced in HCI? Which (type of) toolkits were successful in enabling new research? Which toolkits were less successful, and what can we learn from them?

T2: Strategies for Designing and Building Toolkits The goal of the second theme of the workshop is to enumerate a number of successful and failed strategies for designing and building toolkits. We are particularly interested in summarizing the motives, goals and ambitions of toolkit papers, as well as the approaches that were taken to achieve these goals. Why should we design toolkits? How does one architect and design a toolkit? Who is the toolkit aimed at and what does the toolkit enable?

T3: Methods for Evaluating Toolkits The third theme focuses on exploring previous methods used to evaluate toolkits and frameworks to build a comprehensive toolbox for evaluating toolkits. This theme is aimed at designing a new set of criteria and evaluation methods that can be used by authors when developing toolkits. How does one evaluate a toolkit? What are characteristics or properties of well-designed or impactful toolkits? What methods or approaches can be used to evaluate toolkits?

T4: Toolkits as a Research Method for HCI – The final theme explores the methodological and conceptual role of toolkits within HCI research. It is often difficult and unclear how to articulate the precise research contribution of toolkits. This theme draws inspiration from design research and engineering to propose new ways in which toolkit design can be positioned as a research method for HCI. What is the role of toolkits within HCI? How can we establish toolkit design as a research method? What are the contributions of a toolkit paper?

Attending the Workshop

We solicit position papers of up to 4 pages (including references) in the standard ACM SIGCHI Paper format ** (so not the normal extended abstract format) that describes:

  1. three challenges or opportunities for toolkit research (technical challenges, methodological issues, theoretical developments, historical overviews,..)
  2. three successful toolkits (widely cited, interesting concepts, enabled other research,…)
  3. a brief overview of your past work, position on toolkits in HCI, and suggestions for topics to discuss in the workshop.

Submissions will be juried by the organising committee based on originality and relevance and selected papers will be made available on the workshop website beforehand.

The final deadline for the papers are 10 February, 2016. Papers submitted before 20 December 2016 will be considered for the early acceptance round (see https://chi2017.acm.org/workshops.html).

Please note that at least one author of each accepted position paper must attend the workshop  and that all participants must register for both the workshop and for at least one day of the conference.

** We have chosen to use the Full paper template over the Extended abstract template to allow for more space for figures, related work and discussion of the proposed themes.

Important Dates

20 February 2017: Final deadline for paper submission.
24 February 2017: Notifications of acceptance.
03 March 2017: Submission of camera ready papers.
7 May 2017: Workshop day!

Submit Paper


Program Committee

nicNicolai Marquardt is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Physical Computing at the University College London. At the UCL Interaction Centre he works on projects in the research areas of ubiquitous computing, interactive surfaces, sensor-based systems, prototyping toolkits, and physical user interfaces.

stevenSteven Houben is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Interactive Systems in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University. His research goals are to design, build and evaluate Cross-Device Interactive Systems and Physical Computing devices for human-data interaction and information handling.

Michel Beaudouin-Lafon is a Professor of Computer Science at Université Paris-Sud and a senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. His research interests include fundamental aspects of interaction, engineering of interactive systems, computer supported cooperative work and novel interaction techniques. His current research is conducted in the Ex Situ group, a joint lab between LRI and INRIA.

Andy Wilson is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. His research is focused on applying sensing techniques to enable new styles of human-computer interaction. He directs the Natural Interaction Research group at Microsoft Research.