Experimental Studies in Interaction Design and Engineering Design Science - a Repository for Experimental Setups
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This paper answers the design science‘s call for the systematical implementation of research methodology in order to empirically study the principles, practices and procedures of design. As a research methodology, experiments depend on robust study designs that quantify selected dependent variables, independent of time, location, or conducting researcher. However, it has been shown, that experimental science struggles with the repeatability of experiments, as context and participants introduce many unexpected independent and dependent variables to what is otherwise a robust experimental protocol. Crucially, the lack of detailed information in the description of the experimental setup may prevent the fellow researcher to comprehend data outcome along with corresponding cause-effect interpretation and, moreover, may lead to contradicting results when conducting confirmatory studies and/or meta-analyzes. Grounded in the positive sciences, we strive to minimize this hurdle and present the concept of the experimental item-mining repository, targeting to generate a standardized document with detailed information about the experiment. This repository can potentially become mandatory for certain types of journals in the field, so that any published study is properly documented and does not jeopardize the foundations of science. The level of detail required for a successful submission in the repository is very high: from environmental influences, such as noise and temperature, to detailed plans of the rooms, and lists of hardware and software - incl. version number - involved. Along with a call for open source science and the necessity of detailed empirical information, we provide and present the concept of this online repository by providing a design observation example from our own studies. A later version might be incorporated into a new CERN IdeaSquare Journal of Experimental Innovation (CIJ).