The assignment is very flexible: choose a topic of interest to you within the domain of Human-Computer Interaction and carry out a cohesive, complete project based around it. The range of possible topics that you can choose among is very broad. However, the project you pick should incorporate a design element, a prototyping element, and either an evaluation component or a design for subsequent evaluation. The relative weights between these components is up to you to propose--for example, it is reasonable to design and prototype an interface, with the emphasis being on the "realism" of the prototype. It also is reasonable to try to design a mechanism to choose between two equally-plausible interface choices. Here the emphasis most likely would be on evaluation, with rudimentary implementation. I think the most interesting problems will be ones in which you identify and work with some "client" to develop a solution to one of their problems. Such clients can include organizations with which you are involved, work site, etc. You can propose to carry out a project as part of a larger effort. However the caution here is that you will need to be able to separate out the contribution made by this class' project from the rest.
The prototyping does not necessarily need to be computer-based. A sufficiently well-developed prototype for a physical control of a computer application also would be acceptable.
You may work individually or in teams. A team can be as large as you want it to be, but correspondingly larger results will be expected from larger teams. It seems to me that the most productive teams are usually about two members in size.
All members of a team will receive the same grade for a group project. You will need to prepare a written project proposal and get it approved by the instructor, prepare a written project status report, prepare a final report (written), and give an oral presentation (in class). All documents generated as part of the project should be turned in on paper and also collected on a Web site.
Here are some more details about these pieces:
The proposal should include the following information:
Note that a deadline is specified for the project proposal, not a due date. You need to have an acceptable proposal submitted by the deadline. You can turn in the proposal at any time up until the deadline but if you wait until the last minute you won't have the option of revising the proposal if it's not acceptable. Proposals turned in after the deadline will still be commented on but will not be graded.
In this report, you should assess the progress you are making on your project and update the work plan as necessary. Include your group's names and email addresses on this document as well. This is not likely to be a long report--just a checkpoint document to make sure you're on a good track-- towards completing the project in the available time.
A comprehensive report describing the project. This should be a "complete" document, so it should include the problem statement, explain your solution (both rationale and what you did), and evaluate the results. This report should stand by itself as the archival description of the project. It's likely to be a reasonably large document--four or five pages is too short! Written reports will be evaluated both on the quality of the project but also on the quality, comprehensibility, and completeness of the presentation.
These will be scheduled beginning in late November. The length available for presentation will likely be 1/2 class period (subject to adjustment if there are lots of groups). The presentation should include a description of your project, a demo of the prototype, and a discussion about what you've learned and what you might do next if you were continuing the project. Oral reports will be evaluated on the quality of the work, the clarity of the presentation, and the effective use of the presentation time and facilities.
Since the early presentation slots are a few weeks before the later ones, there will be extra credit awarded to groups that present earlier (pro-rated), so plan ahead!
If you need suggestions on projects, please see me. There may be ideas associated with some ongoing research projects that can be examined.