The Project

The project is a hands-on application of concepts learned during the course. You will iterative through the design process starting with conceptualization and ending with a presentation. User involvement and evaluation will occur during each step.

Groups: You will organize into groups of 2-to-4 students, with the group size determining the project scope. Groups larger than 4 will not be permitted as the project scope becomes too large to complete within the quarter.

Scope: The project must have significant design, implementation, evaluation, and presentation elements.  There must be sufficient work for each group member over the course of the quarter.

Deliverables: Deliverables include, but are not limited to, low-fidelity (paper) prototype, high-fidelity prototype, the final system; a final conference-style paper with appendices detailing the work; and end of quarter presentation.

Submission E-mail:

Late submission: Submissions are due at 11:59 P.M. on the deliverable date. Submissions received by the end of the following course period will receive a 10% reduction in points. Late submissions will not be accepted. In the event that users cannot meet with the group before the deliverable deadline, students must contact the professor and the TA immediately.

The final paper: The final paper is an overview of your project -- from concept and competitor analysis to prototypes of various stages, a description of the final system, and a presentation and analysis of the evaluations in between.

Sample Projects

  • Rock Vibe: Rock Band for people with no or limited vision (publication)
  • Controlling a first person shooter game using face tracking
  • Pong-duino: an implementation of Pong on the Arduino
  • One-handed real-time strategy game (publicationpublication)
  • Visualizing audio in a FPS game (publication)
  • Restaurant Picture Menu App

Checkpoints (Dates Indicate Due Date For The Email To Be Sent To The Course Email)

  • Thurs Jan 26, 2017: Project proposal (3 points)

Project description (and the names and emails of your group members) – 1 email per group. Remember your project description should include the following:

  1. What will it do? How will it work? (web/mobile/physical)
  2. Does something similar exist already? What is wrong with the others?
  3. Who your target users are? Where are you going to recruit them?
  4. How do your users currently do this?
  5. What tools do you need to build that system?
  • Tue Jan 31, 2017: Personas (5 points)

Due this week is personas: An individual table, and a group Quick-and-Dirty. Each group member will create a table persona, and then the group will combine the personas generated into a Quick-and-Dirty persona.

To create the persona: Each group member will pick an IDEO method and investigate a user with it (Note: Your group members are not users). Each group member will answer the IDEO method questions provided on the Homework page. Based on the observations of users will answer the persona questions, and then generate the persona. This is similar to the example performed in class, but created from observations of your users.

Your group will submit a report containing each member's IDEO method results, the persona questions answered, and the generated table persona. Your group will also enclose 1 quick-and-dirty persona created from the table personas.

  • Tue Feb 7, 2017: Functional and non-functional requirements (10 points)

In this week's deliverable, you have to do 2 things: a competitive analysis and a list of min 5 each of functional and non-functional requirements with their priorities (and justify why they are high/medium/low priorities).  Just like in the personas deliverable, explain which Ideo method was used to generate each requirement (and describe in detail please). An example of the requirement document is attached below. 

Example of requirements section:

  • Tue Feb 14, 2017: Rapid Prototype (10 points)

This week's deliverable is a rapid prototype that is developed in part with your users. You are welcome to use any prototyping tools available. Paper and pencil, storyboard, wireframe tools, or wizard of oz are all acceptable. You will meet with your users and work together with them to develop a quick prototype. You should have the main interactions or main screens sketched or roughly designed.

In order to do this you will take your functional and non-functional requirements and decide what the primary interactions are (hint: high priority) so you can determine what screens to prototype. Next you will meet with your users and work with them to design the layout. You might do this by presenting a base screen and change elements based on how your users try to complete a task. You could also prototype a use scenario instead via a storyboard - groups without interfaces to design should use a storyboard to prototype the interaction.

You will submit a report containing: A discussion of how the prototyping was performed, what observations you made, pictures of the users working on the interface, pictures of the final interface. It would be a good idea to include any designs that you did not use.

Do not create a high-fidelity prototype, present it to your users, and ask them for feedback. Not only will you lock them into your design, you will lose points for this. 

  • Tue Feb 21, 2017: Wireframe (10 points)

This week's deliverable is a set of wireframes of your interface (everything from the main interface to message pop-up box to error message, etc). You don't have to write it in the program you are going to build the system on, you can just draw using any drawing software (or PowerPoint) but I need to already see proportions, colors, fonts to use, etc. 

  • Tue Feb 28, 2017: Test plan and IRB approval package (15 points)

This week's deliverables are: 1) a testplan for testing your final system; follow the format of the test plan in the lecture notes; and 2) IRB approval package. Even if you qualify for an IRB exemption, I would like you to practice creating an IRB approval package. Create: the IRB full application form, the recruitment ad, and the consent form.

  • An example test plan is here
  • Thurs Mar 9, 2017: Inspection of high fidelity prototype (10 points) 

Today's deliverable is the inspection report. I need each group member to do either cognitive walkthrough or heuristic evaluation on the high fidelity. That means you must already finish your high fidelity prototype at this point. You are welcomed to use Nielsen's heuristics, but I would strongly recommend you to find a set of heuristics that matches your group project more. Below is the link to the game heuristics.

Game heuristics by Desurvire et al.

Nielsen's article on how to do heuristic evaluation and the rating system

How to do cognitive walkthrough

How to do cognitive walkthrough v.2

To summarize, I need each group to submit a report. The first section of the report is a simple compilation of the inspection work by each team member - you can either just write the problem (and the severity rating if you are doing a heuristic evaluation) in text or include again the screenshot of the storyboard or interface and circle the problem area. Next, the report should present a combined list of usability problems identified and their priorities of fixing (and in which way you will fix them, e.g., if the problem is "navigation menu is difficult to find" then list the solution of, say, "move the navigation menu to the top of the page.").

  • Exam day, Tues/Thurs Mar 14 & 16, 2017, 12-3 PM: 12 minutes Presentation + Demo (see below) and 4 minutes Q&A (5 points for your presentation and 2 points for Q&A). 

For this presentation, you will need to email the course email by Monday 10 AM a PowerPoint or PDF (plus some media files, see the last bullet point) and then make a presentation that covers:

  1. Why such system, what are the limitations of current system/practice that the system addresses.
  2. Requirement method and summary
  3. Iterative design (lo-fi, hi-fi, with the expert evaluation, user testing, final version). Specifically how your later iterations took into account the results of the previous evaluation of the earlier iterations. 
  4. Conclusion - how your system had made a change (to practices, theories, compared against other similar systems, what you learnt, etc).
  5. A video or a series of snapshots of users evaluating your system at select stages.
  • Fri Mar 24, 2017: User evaluation report (5 points) + the final report (10 points)

Your final report is due at noon (12 PM). This report is worth 10 points. This is the chance of fixing the various deliverables that you submitted in the past weeks so that the overall flow from deliverable to deliverable is consistant and understandable without oral explanation. There is no page limit or formatting requirement, just use your judgement to make the document looks professional and clear. Late submissions will not be accepted.

The new section in this report is the data analysis of the user evaluation, worth 5 points. You will be graded based on the evidence of capturing the testing data properly, as well as analyzing and interpreting it in a meaningful way (i.e., it provides a sense of whether your system provides a good user experience and/or usability or whatever questions you aim to answer). Here are what need to go into that report:

  1. Details about the users (demographics, how many, where you recruited them etc).
  2. Details about the tasks (Hint: cut and paste from the test plan).
  3. The usability testing method you used, plus pictures of the users doing the testing.
  4. Data (raw and processed).
  5. Conclusion from the data.

TOTAL COURSE PROJECT POINTS: 100 (translated into 60% of your course grade).