Assignment P2 (Summer 2017)
Due: Sunday, May 28th, 2017, by 11:59PM UTC-12 (Anywhere on Earth). This assignment is based on lessons 2.4 (Human Abilities), 2.5 (Design Principles & Heuristics), and 2.6 (Mental Models and Representations).
Answer the following four questions in a maximum of 400 words each (on average), with a recommended length of 350 words each. Including more than 1600 words in your assignment as a whole may incur a grade penalty. Clearly delineate where each answer starts and ends.
You are encouraged to complement your response with diagrams, drawings, pictures, etc.; these do not count against the word limit. If you would like to include additional information beyond the word limit, you may include it in clearly-marked appendices. These materials will not be used in grading your assignment, but they may help you get better feedback from your classmates and grader.
Question 1 (from Lesson 2.4): ~400 words
In the lectures, we discuss three types of human perception that are commonly used in user interface design. Using the example of driving a car, describe how each of these three types of human perception (visual, auditory, tactile) are currently used to give the driver feedback while driving a car.
Then, for each of these three types of human perception, suggest another way it could be used to give the driver feedback about something that does not currently use that modality. For the purposes of this question, you can assume an older, simple car; you will not be penalized for designing a “new” feature that actually already exists in some new high-end cars.
Finally, briefly name a different kind of human perception outside these three (here’s a few), and name one way it is or could be used for feedback to the driver. If you find yourself stuck, try thinking especially about how you might give feedback to a distracted driver.
Question 2 (from Lesson 2.5): ~400 words
Many of the design principles and heuristics we discuss here relate to other material we have already covered in the class. Select three of these fifteen principles and describe how each principle might be used to support the creation of an invisible interface, especially in terms of each one’s relationship to specific phases of bridging the gulfs of execution or evaluation.
Then, select two principles and describe how each principle could be used to create interfaces that emphasize the participant view of the user; in other words, select two principles and describe how each relates to understanding not just the user’s abilities and thought process, but also the context in which they exist outside their interaction with the interface.
Question 3 (from Lesson 2.5): ~400 words
From your everyday life, select an interface that either (a) leverages the principle of tolerance in its approach to errors, or (b) is intolerant of errors the user commits. Describe the interface, and describe how it responds to user errors, whether by tolerating them or penalizing them.
Then, describe how the interface might be improved through the use of improved constraints to avoid the user committing errors in the first place (regardless of whether the interface tolerates them or not). Then, describe how improved mappings could be used to avoid errors. Then, describe how improved affordances could be used to avoid errors. These redesign options can be mutually exclusive (in other words, you can generate either three different redesigns, one for each principles, or one redesign that incorporates all three principles).
Question 4 (from Lesson 2.6): ~400 words
From your everyday life, select an interface that you would argue uses a good representation of its underlying content. Describe the connections between the representation and the underlying content; in what ways does the representation exemplify at least two criteria of a good representation?
Then, select an interface that you would argue does not use a good representation of its underlying content. Describe the mismatch between the representation and the underlying content; in what ways does the representation violate at least three criteria of a good representation?
Assignments should be submitted to the corresponding assignment on T-Square in accordance with the Assignment Submission Instructions. Most importantly, you should submit a single PDF for each assignment. This PDF will be ported over to Peer Feedback for peer review by your classmates. If your assignment involves things (like videos, working software prototypes, etc.) that cannot be provided in PDF, you should provide them separately (either through the class Resources folder or your own upload destination) and submit a PDF that describes how to access the assignment.
This is an individual assignment. Every student should submit an assignment individually.
Late work is not accepted without advanced agreement except in cases of medical or family emergencies. In the case of an emergency, please contact the Dean of Students.
As with all assignments and projects in this class, this assignment will be graded on a traditional A-F scale based on the extent to which your assignment meets expectations. Due to T-Square restrictions, your grade will be provided on a 5-point scale: a ‘5’ is an A, a ‘4’ is a B, a ‘3’ is a C, a ‘2’ is a D, a ‘1’ is an F, and a ‘0’ is a failure-to-submit.
After submission, your assignment will be ported to Peer Feedback for review by your classmates. Grading is not the primary function of this peer review process; the primary function is simply to give you the opportunity to read and comment on your classmates’ ideas, and receive additional feedback on your own. All grades will come from the graders alone.
You will typically be assigned three classmates to review. You receive 1.5 participation points for completing a peer review by the end of the day Thursday; 1.0 for completing a peer review by the end of the day Sunday; and 0.5 for completing it after Sunday but before the end of the semester. For more details, see the participation policy.