Assignment P3 (Fall 2016)

Due: Sunday, September 18th, 2016, by 11:59PM UTC-12 (Anywhere on Earth). This assignment is based on lessons 2.5 (Design Principles and Heuristics) and 2.6 (Mental Models and Representations).

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. 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 the gulfs of execution or evaluation (~50 words each). Then, select two principles and describe how each principle could be used to create interfaces that emphasize the participant view of the user (~50 words each).
  2. 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 harshly penalizing them (~100 words). Then, describe how the interface might be improved through the use of improved constraints (~50 words), improved mappings (~50 words), and improved affordances (~50 words) to avoid the user committing errors in the first place. These redesign options can be mutually exclusive (in other words, you can generate either three different redesigns or one redesign that incorporates all three principles).
  3. Select and briefly describe a game with which you are familiar (~50 words); this could be a board game, a card game, a sport, a video game, or any other kind of game. Then, briefly describe a slip that a player might make in this game (~50 words), and a mistake that a player might make (~50 words). Then, design how the interfaces in the game could be modified to address both that slip and that mistake (~100 words). In addressing the errors, your design might prevent the player from committing the error, or it could introduce tolerance or recovery into the error.
  4. 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 (~125 words)? 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 (~125 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.