P4: Final Report

Please complete by Fri, Apr 25th (poster session on Wed, Apr 23rd)
This portion of the project is worth 25% of your course grade.

Note that you will present a poster on 4/23  and submit a report by 4/25 at 11:59pm. The poster session will take place in the GVU Cafe, on the 2nd floor of TSRB at 1:05pm.

In this final phase of your group project, you will compose your final report. The final report is a cumulative document that will include all previously-conducted project work (and any refinements to it) and will add information on a prototype evaluation. The specific approach that you take to address the prototype evaluation will depend on the approach you took in P3.

The remainder of this description  outlines the components that should be included in all reports and details how you should approach the evaluation component of P4, according to your approach to P3.

First, for both approaches:

Your final report should include revised documentation resulting from phases P1 – P3. Separate your final report into four sections that correspond to each portion of the project. At the beginning of each section, clearly indicate whether the section includes revisions from your original document, and if so, summarize those revisions (e.g., if you re-ran a survey with revised questions, describe which questions changed and point out where the added material can be found).

Second, plan section four (Evaluation) of your report depending on your approach to P3:

Approach 1 (you chose to spend more time on user feedback):

To compose the fourth section of your report, your group will complete the preliminary evaluation of the prototype (if not yet completed), that you began in P3 . After completing the evaluation, you will analyze the results of your evaluation, drawing from course lectures and OUE Ch. 15 to do so.

Include the following in your report:

  • A description of the results of the study (data presentation)
  • A discussion of the results
  • The implications of the results with respect to your design
  • A description of how the prototype design could be improved in light of the implications

Do not simply describe your evaluation methodology but describe what you learned from it. Explain why you chose the tasks that you did for your users. Explain why  you asked your users the questions you asked. Describe the findings and any conclusions that you can draw from the user feedback. What aspects of your design “worked” and what failed to meet your specifications? If you had more time to work on the design, what would you now change and improve? Remember, no designer ever gets a system “just right.” We will reward teams who honestly and carefully assess their design and who clearly provide a plan for its improvement.

Approach 2 (you chose to spend more time on development):

To compose the fourth section of your report, you will include a proposed evaluation for your prototype. We expect that your evaluation plan will involve sample users interacting with your system, who fit your target user population. Outline the tasks that these users would be asked to perform. Identify evaluation measures that make sense for your system, and clearly tie the evaluation measures you identify to your prototype design. Design a questionnaire to get your target users’ subjective feedback about the interface and interaction. Propose a plan to analyze the results you would obtain from your feedback sessions and instruments, drawing on class lectures and OUE Ch. 15.

Include in your report the following:
Interview guides and/or other scripts you would use when introducing and studying your prototype with users

  • Survey instruments to capture relevant measures you identified
  • A description of the evaluation techniques, tasks and users you would involve in your study
  • Design rationale for the evaluation tasks and materials you plan to employ
  • Expected approaches to analyzing the results you would obtain from your feedback sessions and instruments

Finally, for both approaches:

Last week of classes:

The design project will culminate in a poster session in which each group presents their system to the class, to their potential users, and to visitors (e.g., HCI faculty and students). Each group will be expected to have a poster, a system demo (for approach 2) or a summary of preliminary evaluation results (for approach 1), and be prepared to give a polished 5-minute summary and walk-through of their design and prototype.

It is important that you do a good job communicating all your efforts for the semester, and interact with the poster viewers, engaging them and answering questions. You want to make sure that your objectives in the project are discussed, your system is clearly presented, and that your design process is communicated. Also describe what you learned from your usability study. Practice your presentation! Five minutes is NOT long — plan accordingly. This is very useful for the real world, in which it is often the “elevator pitch” that catches someone’s attention, and interest in your project.

P3: Prototyping

Please complete by Fri, Apr 4th
This portion of the project is worth 10% of your course grade.

Please see the P3 Description document for instructions.

P2: Design Alternatives

Please complete by Fri, Mar 7th
This portion of the project is worth 10% of your course grade.

In Part 2 of the project, you will use knowledge gained in Part 1, along with knowledge from the readings and lectures, to develop a set of design alternatives addressing the problem or need you are focusing on.  You will use “informed brainstorming” to explore the potential design space for the problem or need. Then, you will apply the techniques that we learned in class, including personas, scenarios, sketches, storyboards, wireframes and mock-ups, to design a set of alternative user interfaces. That is, you should provide pencil-and-paper and/or digital images of the interface at various stages; you do not need to build a working prototype. However, your designs should be sufficiently detailed for a potential user to provide useful feedback about them. Along with your designs, you should provide documentation walking the reader through how the system will work. You should also include justifications for the design decisions you made, and what you consider to be the relative strengths and weaknesses of each design.

The approach you take to generating these designs is important. Don’t do the following: the group splits up and everyone creates one design serving as an alternative to be turned in. Instead, use the methods we discussed in class, including elaboration and reduction. In brainstorming sessions, all team members should be present. You should seek to create some fundamentally different design ideas to explore the potential “design space” for the problem or need—pushing the boundaries of the space of possibilities. That said, once the ideation process has concluded and plans have been agreed upon, you might choose to create design assets independently, then regroup to refine and submit them.

Your project report should explain how you addressed the instructions mentioned above. It should also include design sketches, drafts, storyboards, etc., that you generated. If some of your sketches are on paper, either scan or photograph the material and convert it to an appropriate electronic format. Make sure that your report adequately reflects the design process that your group undertook. The key is to come up with many different design ideas, not just a small set of variations from an existing one. You should plan on turning in at least five different designs. Each should take the user through the entire set of interactions you anticipate supporting in an eventual system.

We will utilize one full class day near the end of this part of the project. Each group will post some of their design ideas on at the wall. Breaking up into groups of viewers and presenters, students will circulate and interact with the designers. Each group can use this opportunity to get feedback about their design ideas as they engage in the reduction process and head into Part 3 of the project.

P1: Preliminary Research and Task Analysis

Please complete by Fri, Feb 7th
This portion of the project is worth 10% of your course grade.

The goal of this section of the project is to develop a deep understanding of your target users. You will do this by first identifying an activity or task that is currently unsupported, or which could be better supported through an improved interactive design.  Identify the characteristics of how the user approaches the task and describe how this knowledge will influence your design. Assess any existing systems and related literature available now to learn what current solutions are out there.

Apply the research methods outlined in the assigned readings and class presentations to learn about your users, selecting the techniques most appropriate to your problem. Set research questions that you are trying to answer: that information will serve as constraints for the artifact you design later.

Include the following in your report:

  • A description of the important characteristics of the users of the system.

  • A task analysis consisting of:

    • A description of the important characteristics of the tasks performed by users.
    • A description of important characteristics of the task environment.
    • A simple structured task analysis of the problem in one of the forms described in the readings (e.g., Hierarchical Task Analysis).

  • An analysis of how the task is currently performed (with or without computational support) including the strengths and deficiencies of the current approach.

  • A description of the larger social and technical system or context in which your design will fit.

  • An initial list of usability critieria, or principles, that should be used in the eventual evaluation of your design, including a high-level description of how you could measure the successful adherence to these principles.

  • A brief description and justification of how the above information was gathered.

  • A discussion of the implications of what you learned by addressing the goals listed above.


P0: Form Teams

Please complete by Fri, Jan 17th
      • List the members of your team
      • Identify the high-level problem area or topic

Enter this information in the “Project Teams” Wiki page (in T-Square).