Participatory Design Methods for Difficult-to-Access Users - CHI 2022

The goal of the workshop is to share experiences and discuss practical methods for conducting successful participatory design projects with difficult-to-access users. We invite both researchers and practitioners to join us in identifying challenges as well as sharing or generating possible solution.



We invite position papers for the CHI 2022 Workshop on Participatory Design Methods for Difficult-to-Access Users.

Important dates

Submission deadline: Thursday, 24 February 2022
Workshop date:


Participatory design includes the active participation of users throughout the design process, to understand their perspective and the context of their work. Unfortunately, some users are exceptionally difficult to recruit and work with. This may be due to the work itself, such as users who work in safety critical settings, or treat confidential information, or are exceptionally busy. In other cases, the users belong to fragile populations, such as young children, the elderly or the blind. Still others may work in sites that are hard or impossible to reach, especially common during the global CoVid pandemic. Although a few researchers have developed specific participatory design methods that explicitly address the problem of difficult-to-access users, we lack guidelines and best practices for how to recruit and work with them.

We are especially interested in:

  • Gathering specific examples of participatory design with difficult-to-access users;
  • Adapting or generating new participatory design methods;
  • Identifying tools that support remote participatory design activities;
  • Defining strategies for gaining and maintaining participant engagement


We welcome submission of maximum four pages(excluding references) using CHI Extended Abstracts Format that describes relevant experiences related to recruiting or working with difficult-to-access users, including specific characteristics of those users, both successful and unsuccessful strategies, and final results.

Submissions will be assessed by the organizers in terms of potential for promoting discussion and balance across perspectives. At least one author of each accepted submission must attend the workshop, either physically or remotely, and all participants must register for the workshop and at least one day of the CHI 2022 conference.


Wissal Sahel (IRT systemX, Inria)
Florine Simon (ENAC)
Anke M. Brock (ENAC)
Wendy E. Mackay (Inria)



9:00 - 9:15 - Introduction
The organizers will introduce the workshop goals and program.

9:15 - 10:45 - Presentations (90 min)
Participants will give short presentations about a key problem, a solution or an experience.

10:45 - 11:00 - Break (15 min)

11:00 - 12:00 - Brainstorming (60 min)
Participants will work in groups to identify specific users and relevant methods.

12:00 - 12:30 - Presentation results (30 min)
Each group will present their results to all participants.

12:30 - 13:30 - Lunch Break (60 min)

13:30 - 15:00 - Video Prototyping (90 min)
Groups will create video scenarios of novel Participatory design methods.

15:00 - 15:15 - Break (15 min)

15:15 - 16:15 - Present results (60 min)
Each group will present and discuss scenarios to all participants.

16:15 - 17:00 - Discussion (45 min)
Discussion to plan next steps: Publications; Collaborations.

Places & directions


The workshop will be hybrid :
On-site at CHI 2022 New Orleans, LA
Virtual participation through this link :