Team Project (Summer 2017)

Due: Sunday, July 30th, 2017, by 11:59PM UTC-12 (Anywhere on Earth).

Assignment Instructions

Answer the following prompt in a maximum of 6000 words, with a recommended length of 5000 words. Including more than 6000 words may incur a grade penalty. Note that only the overall assignment length limit is enforced; per-section lengths are provided as recommendations, but are not enforced.

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. For example, you might include copies of previous assignments, copies of your surveys, raw data, interview transcripts, raw notes, etc.: anything that does not directly address the assignment’s questions, but rather helps understand your progress as a whole.

Over the last few weeks, you’ve individually gone through one iteration of the design life cycle in your chosen area. For the final group project, you, together with your teammates, will iterate through it one more time. Remember, the design life cycle is intended to be iterative: the results of one iteration inform the next. The results of the needfinding, prototyping, and evaluation you have done should now inform what your group does going forward. Note, however, that you are not obligated to combine all your individual designs into one design, nor are you required to stay strictly to the problem spaces from your individual assignments; in all likelihood, your team pursued slightly different directions during the individual phase. The more you can borrow from the individual assignments the better, but your final project grade will be assigned solely based on the work you do separate from the individual assignments.

Rather than walking slowly step-by-step through the design life cycle the way you did for the individual assignments, instead you will deliver the results of this second iteration all together at the end. This should leave you the flexibility to schedule and distribute labor as necessary to complete your project.

Your final deliverable should include the following sections. The percentages indicate the percentage of the grade contributed by each portion of the project.

  • Summary (10%). Begin your final deliverable with either summaries of the individual assignments and their results or a description of the original problem you’ve chosen to investigate, depending on whether the individual assignments connected to the team project. This is intended to give a little historical context behind the needfinding and prototypes that will be done.
  • Needfinding Planning (10%). Whether the team project builds on individual assignments or not, you have likely encountered new questions about your users that need to be answered. Outline a plan for these additional needfinding exercises. Borrow from M1 for the structure and coverage of this section.
  • Needfinding Execution (10%). Execute the needfinding plan outlined above and report the results. Borrow from M2 for the structure and coverage of this section.
  • Design Alternatives (10%). Perform both individual and group brainstorming activities for design alternatives. Given that you may have already gone through one iteration, it is acceptable for your design alternatives to be smaller tweaks on existing alternatives, although ideally you’ll have some new ideas as well. Borrow from the first half of M3 for the structure and coverage of this section.
  • Prototyping (20%). Prototype at least two of your ideas with at least medium fidelity. Depending on your project, this might be polished wireframes, card prototypes for several screens and tasks, or physical prototypes. In some projects, if these are not possible, more complete Wizard of Oz prototypes are also acceptable. Functional prototypes are also acceptable and encouraged, but not required. You may use the same type of prototyping for both prototypes, but otherwise borrow from the second half of M3 for the structure and coverage of this section.
  • Evaluation Planning (10%). Plan your evaluation approach for these two prototypes. Use the same evaluation plan on both prototypes if possible to facilitate direct comparison between the two. You should evaluate the prototypes in multiple ways; these could be multiple evaluations within the same category (e.g. interviews, surveys, and think-aloud protocols), or they could be multiple evaluations across categories (e.g. think-aloud protocols, an experiment, and a heuristic evaluation). While predictive evaluation may be employed, your evaluation should not only be predictive evaluation; every group should include either qualitative or empirical (or both). Borrow from M4 for the structure and coverage of this section.
  • Evaluation Execution (10%). Execute your evaluation plan and report the results. Borrow from M5 for the structure and coverage of this section.
  • Conclusion (20%). Summarize the findings from this iteration through the design life cycle, emphasizing how the understanding of the user, model of the problem, and design of an interface have evolved. Then, outline what the next steps of your project would be if this cycle was to continue. What new questions are there about the user? What is the next step for the prototype development, increased fidelity or testing new improvements and changes? What type of evaluation would you be ready to use after those changes?

Submission Instructions

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 a group assignment. One member of your group should submit the assignment. Make sure to coordinate who will submit in advance.

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.

Grading Information

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.

Peer Review

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.