My perspective about the methodological tradeoffs that were made when the study was designed

Journal Critique




Journal Critique

The Title of the Paper and the Authors

Meschtscherjakov, A., Wilfinger, D., Gridling, N., Neureiter, K., Tscheligi, M. (2011). Capture the car! Qualitative In-Situ Methods to Grasp the Automotive Context. Automotive UI. Nov.30th-Dec.2nd 2011, Salzburg, Austria.


            The title of the paper contains the names of the authors, but the name of the journal is not indicated. There is no little information about the authors to help identify their work, and current titles. The paper does not have the volume and issue numbers of the journal. However, the authors have indicated the month and the dates of publication, as well as the page numbers. The article was published on Nov.30th-Dec. 2nd 2011. The page numbers range from 105 to 112.

•A brief summary of the paper


            Although the paper has an abstract, most information is irrelevant. The paper lacks a proper flow of what an abstract should have such as a proper background, aims, methods used, results found, conclusions, and comments. The abstract has 251 words instead of the required 150 meaning there are one hundred excess words. The abstract has a short background information defining the Human computer interaction (HCI) as a space divided into three areas including the driver’s area, the front seat area, and the back seat area. The main aim of the paper is the driver and the design of in-car electronic devices to help the driver increase comfort and safety. The abstract has a poor structured because the recommendation is placed in the middle of the paper, while it should be the last point. Actually, the authors are wrong because the proposed use of qualitative in-situ studies is a methodology but not a recommendation. The authors do not explain well what is found in the abstract, for example, a lack of experience on usage of in-situ methods and its application to cars is an unclear limitation in the abstract. The paper does not list what the authors found after carrying out the research, conclusions made, and recommendations arising.


            The introduction is out of the main topic because it discusses personal and ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp) technology. It goes on to discuss the in-vehicle information systems (IVIS) such as navigation and infotainment systems, which inform and entertain drivers as well as the passengers. The text adds that there is an increase in usage of MP3 players and mobile phones. The authors bring in the recommendations on what should be done to improve driver situation and avoid negative effects of the Ubicomp technology among passengers. The introduction does not initiate the idea of design spaces in cars and fails to explain the three including driver, passenger, and design spaces in the front seat. The paper does not have research questions, objectives of the study and significance of carrying out the research

My perspective about the methodological tradeoffs that were made when the study was designed

            The authors do not label section 3 as the methodology parts for readers to understand. However, they name it the qualitative studies in automotive UI Research. The methodology used is qualitative in-situ studies and lab based studies making use of a driver stimulator.

•Opinion as whether the chosen methodology was appropriate given their research questions (and why)

            The chosen methodology, qualitative in-situ studies was not appropriate because qualitative methods involve use of literature and exploratory research. It makes use of opinions, ideas, and insights given to the problem. Quantitative method fits best in the research because it generates numerical data that is transformed into usable statistics. The author’s do not state quantitative methods used to analyze 47 papers. Among them, lab based studies included 8.51%, and a driving simulator (44.68%. the researchers dealt with numbers which qualify the quantitative method of data collection. The methods found that 21.28% papers do not have study participants. The HCI literature best suits use of qualitative method because it studies video records made. The in-situ qualitative studies chosen fits because they are conducted on the site of the drivers operations. They include a contextual inquiry (CI) that addresses the conduction of the driver in their tertiary tasks. The ethnographic study focused on help offered in the front row, while the probing study focused on the use of technology in the rear seat. The authors were correct to indicate that they used qualitative method because their findings were sourced from notes taken while driving and taking voice recordings. The process of analyzing data included transcribing and structuring it. The methodology appropriate for the study is in-situ mixed method study because the research utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methods.

The study section is not clear on which method selected the 20 families to participate in the study. The question arises because many families have cars with children who use the rear seat. In addition, how did they make sure that the identified member of the family has the ability and capacity to learn and comprehend what was said in the workshop? The authors failed to explain on the ethics and feedback to the families, which could be the reason why the three families failed to return the probing package. The authors did not promise to keep the information obtained in private and secure places. Thus, some families feared the security of their cars. The probing packages were perfect for the study because they were clear, offered guidance, were compact, and provided illustrations on usage. The fact that the probes were digital, was a great advantage to the families because the era has changed from analog to digital.

            Among the 20, 17 families with 28 children attained a mean age of 6.7 years. The authors do not state which method found the mean age. The general implications are correct although the authors do not restate that they were both qualitative and quantitative methods. The methods were actually intrusive because they involved drivers on duty and other participants and children were involved. However, the methods consumed a lot of time, three week making it difficult to plan single observation episodes. The paper ends with well-cited references used throughout the paper.

 •Discussion of what I think would be the most interesting next step to research and the methodology you would use to do so.

            It would be very interesting to research on driver spaces. The choice of researching on driver spaces aims to reduce the occurrences of fatal road crashes that cause loss of many lives. The research will identify whether driver space affects the ability to properly operate the vehicle.The proposed research is interesting despite many interventions, communications, and studies done previously on the causes of road crashes. Use of in-situ mixed-method is most appropriate for the study because it utilizes qualitative and quantitative methods. The qualitative method will help development of interaction designs, match experiences, and contextual influences identified within the design spaces. Quantitative methods will enquire on age, experience and get sample sizes for the study. Questionnaires, crash databases, self-report surveys will be useful in the study of approximately 20 drivers. The report analyzed will identify whether driver space has impact on increasing numbers of road crashes.


Meschtscherjakov, A., Wilfinger, D., Gridling, N., Neureiter, K., Tscheligi, M. (2011). Capture             the car! Qualitative In-Situ Methods to Grasp the Automotive Context. Automotive UI.      Nov.30th-Dec.2nd 2011, Salzburg, Austria.