Short assignments 20% Class participation 15% Half-term paper 20% Team project 25% Evaluation project 20%
Date In-Class Activity Assignments Due ========================================================================== Jan. 18 Overview & Introductions Jan. 20 Readings (pages 1-34) Jan. 25 Readings (pages 35-70) Homework 1 due Jan. 27 Readings (pages 71-89, 122-141) Feb. 1 Readings (pages 142-185) Feb. 3 Project Status Reports 2-3 page status report due Feb. 8 Readings (pages 187-224) Paper topic due Feb. 10 Readings (pages 233-272) Homework 2 due Feb. 15 Readings (pages 273-311) Feb. 17 Readings (pages 313-343, 390-397) Feb. 22 Readings (pages 399-423, 442-456) Feb. 24 Readings (pages 469-499) Homework 3 due Feb. 29 Readings (pages 500-523 & handout) March 2 Project Status Reports 3-5 page status report due March 7 Group Work Day March 9 Readings (pages 525-563) Half-term paper due March 21 Readings (pages 571-602, 634-639) March 23 Readings (pages 667-697, 724-737) March 28 Readings (pages 739-782) March 30 Readings (pages 783-830) Evaluation project due April 4 Readings (pages 833-848, 854-866) April 6 Readings (pages 867-896) April 11 Project Status Reports 5-10 page status report due April 13 Readings (pages 897-906, 913-940) April 18 Videos and readings from handouts April 20 Videos and readings from handouts April 25 Project presentations April 27 Project presentations Final project reports due
Important: All reports are to be printed on a word processor or
typed (no handwritten assignments will be accepted except in cases of
drawings or diagrams). It is expected that students will use correct
grammar and spelling -- these are grounds to deduct from your
grade. (i.e. Use a spelling checker and reread what you write before
turning it in.)
Page limits identified are for single-spaced printouts using a 12 point font.
Homework late policy is that 10% will be deducted from your grade for every school day late up to a maximum of one week after the original due date.
Programming for projects can be done in the environment, language, and operating system of your choice on machines wherever you have access.
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org briefly describing your topic by February 8. If you want help selecting a topic or locating current literature, come talk to me. Term papers are to be turned in by the end of class on March 9.
The final project report (10-20 pages) will also require the design of an evaluation procedure for refining the resulting interface. The in-class presentations at the end of the semester will be approximately 15 minutes long and include all members of the team.
Project grades will be determined by both the instructor's review of the project and student's description of their and other member's work.
An example hypothesis is that: people can correct spelling errors faster with one interface than with another interface. In this case we could have all the subjects correct the errors in a preloaded document using the two interfaces, measuring how long the tasks take. We would have to vary the order of the interfaces and the documents corrected in each interface over the set of subjects.
Each student will be randomly assigned to be a subject in four other students' evaluations. Evaluation procedure should not take more than an hour (hopefully less) of each subject's time and cannot make assumptions about their characteristics (age, prior computer experience, etc.)
The evaluation write-up should be organized into the following sections: Introduction (and hypothesis), Evaluation design, Results (evaluation data), and Discussion (interpretation of data).
1. Write no more than two pages about the best system / computer
interface you have used.
Describe the interface and why you selected it as best. Is it good for a variety of users and tasks or just for you? How might you improve on its design?
2. Write no more than two pages about the worst system / computer
interface you have used.
Describe the interface and why it is bad. How could it be improved? Why might the designers have developed it the way they did?
Rittel's issue-based information system is a design method where various issues, positions for these issues, and arguments for and against these positions are enumerated. You are to turn in a 4-6 page issue base for the following design task:
Many researchers are designing systems to help people deal with the overwhelming amount of information on the Internet. Your task is to consider the trade-offs in the design of such systems.
Example issues that you can use to start your thinking are:
How should the user ask for information?
How should the information be displayed?
Format your issue-base as a indented outline. Example:
Issue: What color should it be? Position: Blue Argument for: Blue is a cool color. Argument against: Blue denotes sadness.
Assume a future where all the electronic devices in your home are connected to one another via a data network. (They may also be connected to the outside world.) Design an interface that allows you to control the activity of these devices and their interactions.
For example, the alarm clock might notify the coffee maker that it has been "snoozed" yet again allowing the coffee maker to use this information in deciding when to make the coffee. The TV might communicate with the vacuum cleaner or other noisy appliances. Come up with your own scenarios for what you would want to happen in your house.
Feel free to make assumptions about the nature of the communication between devices without explaining how it occurs (we are only concerned with the user interface for this assignment.) The devices should not be telepathic but can include significant reasoning capabilities.
This should include a description of input and output mechanisms used in the interface. Do not assume complete natural language understanding by the system. Be creative.
What to turn in: A design document with no more than five pages of text and five pages of figures.