Human Computer Interaction

CSC 212/412, Fall 2012

(Monday and Wednesday, 3:25-4:40pm, Georgen 109)

Final Project Proposal

For the final project, you'll be developing an application, add-on, or other tool to help elderly people access the web.

Final Project Components

Part 0: Team Selection (due 10/3 at 11:59pm)

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.

Part 1: User and Task Analysis (10/24)

For this component you will first interview at least two potential users to derive a set of tasks that they perform while browsing the web (or would like to perform, but are currently unable).

  1. Interview at least 2 target users of your system using contextual inquiry.
  2. Analyze new and existing tasks. Describe at least three tasks that users may like to perform with an improved 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 a few solutions for each of their current obstacles.
  4. Answer the task analysis questions.
  5. 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 2: Proposal (due 11/5)

Work with your team to propose a project based on your group's interviews and the reports from other groups. 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 sub-group of users that you want sticking with the theme of older adults.

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

Part 3: Evaluate Other Projects (due 11/12)

On 11/6, 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 4: Team Plan! (11/19)

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 5: Low-Fidelity Prototypes & Usability Testing (11/28)

For this part of the assignment, you'll create a low-fidelity prototype of your system and find at least one participant 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 script with your 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).

The participant will perform all 3 tasks. Keep participant names confidential.


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

Part 6: Interactive Poster Session (12/12 in class)

We'll announce more about this part of the project later during the class, but each group will create a poster describing their project and will present it to other classmembers and outside visitors.

Part 7: Final Usability Testing and Project Report (12/22)

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.

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