Confessions from a grounded theory PhD: Experiences and lesson learnt

in CHI, Conference paper (text)


Grounded Theory (GT) is used within HCI research, but nuances and more modern interpretations of the method are rarely discussed. This paper has two intentions: to offer guidance on practical issues when applying GT, and to clarify the space of methodological possibilities. We describe an extended GT study on understanding why practitioners choose particular usability evaluation methods. We describe five stages in this study to highlight our experiences and choices made. We draw out seven practical and methodological considerations in applying GT in a CHI context. This challenges the more traditional inductive and objective positions on GT use; it sensitizes novices of GT to these issues; and through the extended case study it provides substance for debate on issues that affect those that use qualitative methods more broadly.