Human Computer Interaction

CSC 212/412, Fall 2011

(Monday and Wednesday, 3:25-4:40pm, CSB 209)

Final Project Proposal

The topic of the final project is mostly up to you. We prefer projects that offer something new -- I've seen a million calendars, bulletin boards, etc. Be creative!

Final Project Components

Part 0: Team Selection (due 9/26)

Choose your teammates. Teams are comprised of 3 or 4 people. If you have only 3 people on your team, we may add a person. There will be NO teams of 1 or 2. In the absolute worst case we will make a team of 5. If you do not want to choose your own team, a team will be provided to you.

Teams are now available: Final Project Teams

Part 1: Proposal (due 10/12)

Work with your team to propose a project. The best projects will be small in scope, really nailing one unmet need of a user or dramatically improving something already possible. You can target any group of users that you want. Reiterating from above -- try to choose something either new or something on which you plan to

In your proposal of no more than 500 words, motivate your project and discuss how you would evaluate it.

Part 2: Evaluate Other Projects (due 10/19)

On 11/1, you'll be given the proposals of 2 of your classmates. Evaluate them in 500 words or less (total). Restate the idea of your peer's proposal in 1 sentence, list in bulleted form strengths and weaknesses, and provide 1-2 sentences of feedback.

Part 3: Team Plan! (10/24)

Work with your team members to break up the reponsibilities according to the milestones listed below. While all team members will likely contribute to each milestone, it may make sense for some team members to take the lead on different components.

Roles that might make sense for your project include: group manager (coordinate, vision), design (visual, and interaction), documentation (writing), user testing, development

Obviously, there are more roles than members on your team so each team member will need to take on multiple (and likely overlapping) roles.

Part 4: User and Task Analysis (11/7)

For this component you will first interview at least three potential users of the system you envision (no classmates from 212/412), derive a set of tasks that they will perform with your system, and then conduct a task analysis with 2 additional potential users (no classmates again) to refine these tasks. Specifically, the requirements are:

  1. Interview at least 3 target users of your system using contextual inquiry.
  2. Analyze new and existing tasks. Describe at least three tasks that users may perform with your system, and compare/contrast these tasks with the tasks that users perform now in this domain. Remember that tasks do not include how the activity is carried out.
  3. Brainstorm and draw a few rough sketches of important screens that your system will need to include.
  4. Observe at least 2 additional target users performing the 3 tasks that you identified above.
  5. Answer the task analysis questions.
  6. Present revised versions of the 3 tasks.

Your report should report on the steps above, and include at least the following -- a description of the interview and task analysis, a description of the target users that you interviewed/observed (their background, why they were appropriate given your system, etc.), the 3 tasks you identified and how they changed, and your design sketches. Your report is limited to 3 pages, but screen shots and other graphics are free.

Part 5: Low-Fidelity Prototypes & Usability Testing (11/21)

For this part of the assignment, you'll create a low-fidelity prototype of your system and find at least three participants to work through your tasks. The low-fidelity prototype should not be in the final medium of your project, so you'll most likely create a paper prototype.

Testing Procedure

Have one of your teammates demo the system to show the real participant how they would interact with your prototyped system. Do not show your participants exactly how to perform your tasks. Just show how the system works in general and give an example of something specific that is different enough from your tasks.

You should write up a script of your demo and follow the same script with each participant. The participant will then be given task directions for the first task that tells them what they are trying to achieve, not how to do it. When they are finished, you will give them the directions for the next task and so on. Keep each task on a separate card.

During the experiment, you should make a log of critical incidents (both positive and negative events). For example, the user might make a mistake or they might see something they like and say, “cool.” Write it down along with a description of what was going on. Later you should prioritize these events and assign severity ratings to the problems (use the ratings we discussed in the Heuristic Evaluation lecture – 0 for no problem to 4 for usability catastrophe).

Each participant will perform all 3 tasks. Keep the data separate for each task and participant. Keep participant names confidential.


Summarize your findings in a report of no more than 2 pages, and turn it in on Blackboard. Also include one (or more) digital renderings of your prototype (photo, screenshot, etc).

Part 6: Interactive Prototype (12/12 in class)

First, use the result of your low-fi prototypes and usability evaluation to redesign your prototype and use an interactive prototyping platform (like the web) to design an interactive prototype. You're more than welcome to use a tool that makes this especially easy if you want -- something like Dreamweaver or Flash, for instance.

Prepare a 6 minute presentation that overviews your project, the design process used to reach the interactive prototype, and the interactive prototype itself. If your interactive prototype is not available/working on this date, you will lose most of the credit for this part -- so make sure to get it done early, and don't twiddle with the only working version right before your presentation!

Part 7: Final Usability Testing and Project Report (12/18)

The final project report should be a concise summary report of all stages of the final project, presented with full knowledge of the outcome. You are limited to TWO PAGES (no funny business with the margins and font size). Specifically, we will be looking for the following components:

  1. Title (3 points)

    -- the title should clearly state what your project does and be "catchy"
  2. Motivation (7 points)

    -- what problem are you trying to solve? It may be helpful to draw from your user and task analysis for this part -- how do people currently deal with this problem, who are your users, etc.
  3. Solution (10 points)

    -- what is your solution and how does it address the problems you mentioned in the motivation for the users/tasks that you found in your task analysis?
  4. Evaluation (10 points)

    What did you learn from users that was unexpected that influenced your design? What could other designers learn from your experiences?
  5. Team Contribution (10 points)

    In addition to the above parts that are to be submitted by just one member of the group (with everyone's name on it), each team member should submit a short description of what each team member did individually (including what they did themselves). Although one goal of this is to ensure that all team members contribute, it is also meant to provide motivation for the team to organize early to ensure everyone has clear reponsibilities and that all team members are aware of what one another are doing.

Please email Jeffrey P. Bigham at with questions.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!