Assignment P2 (Fall 2016)

Due: Sunday, September 11th, 2016, by 11:59PM UTC-12 (Anywhere on Earth). This assignment is based on lessons 2.3 (Direct Manipulation and Invisible Interfaces) and 2.4 (Human Abilities).

Assignment Instructions

Answer the following four questions in a maximum of 300 words each; if you supply more than 300 words, the grader will stop reading at the 300th word, and you will not receive credit for anything written after that. Clearly delineate where each answer starts and ends. You are encouraged but not required to complement your responses with diagrams, drawings, pictures, etc.; these do not count against the word limit, though any captions, text in tables, etc. does.

  1. The current process that Georgia Tech uses for enrolling in classes is not very direct. First, briefly describe one of the processes by which people look up and enroll in classes at Georgia Tech (~50 words). Then, describe a redesign of the system that more significantly direct manipulation (~125 words). Finally, describe two specific benefits of this redesign beyond general usability (~75 words).
  2. Select an interface (besides driving) that you use on a regular basis that has become invisible by learning; that is, an interface that you used to spend a lot of time thinking about, but now ignore in favor of focusing on the task. First, describe the components of the interface you used to think about a lot while using it (~75 words). Then, describe your thought process now, and especially explain why you no longer have to spend as much time focusing on the interface (~75 words). Finally, briefly describe how you might redesign the original interface to get you to the point of invisibility more quickly (~100 words).
  3. Take the example of driving a car. In the lectures, we discuss three types of human perception that are commonly used in user interface design. Describe how each of these three types of human perception are used to give the driver feedback while driving a car (~25 words each). Then, for each type of human perception, design how it could be used to give the driver feedback about something that does not currently use that modality (~50 words each). Finally, briefly name a different kind of human perception outside these three, and name one way it is or could be used for feedback to the driver (~25 words). 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 advanced or high-end cars.
  4. In the lecture, we give five suggestions for reducing cognitive load in interface design: using multiple modalities, letting the modalities complement each other, giving the user control of the pace, emphasizing essential content while minimizing clutter, and offloading tasks from the user onto the interface. Select two of these tips. For each tip, select an interface from your everyday life that violates the suggestion. Briefly describe the interface (~25 words) and the violation of the tip (~25 words), and then describe a redesign of the interface that would incorporate the tip into its design (~75 words).

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 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.

Grading Information

Each question is graded out of 5 possible points; thus, the assignment as a whole is graded out of 20 possible points. Your grade and feedback will be returned to you via T-Square. An announcement will be made via Piazza when grades are returned.

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. Peer reviews are due one week after the due date of the assignment, and count towards your peer review grade. Remember, peer reviews are graded not just based on completion, but also based on feedback quality. Each peer review should be substantive, whether in the way it critiques, praises, or elaborates on the assignment.