Assignment P5 (Fall 2016)

Due: Sunday, October 2nd, 2016, by 11:59PM UTC-12 (Anywhere on Earth). This assignment is based on lessons 2.9 (Interfaces and Politics) and 2.10 (Conclusion to Principles).

Assignment Instructions

Answer the following four questions in a maximum of 300 words each (unless stated otherwise); 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 OMSCS program is an excellent example of a place where technology and society are intersecting. First, select and describe a positive effect of the existence of programs like the OMSCS program, emphasizing how that positive effect is due to specific criteria of the program (~100 words). Then, select a potential negative repercussion of programs like the OMSCS program, emphasizing how that negative effect is also due to specific criteria of the program (~100 words). Finally, design how the program can be structured to preserve the positive effect while limiting the negative effect (~50 words).
  2. Identify an area you encounter regularly where political motivations are determining the design of technology. First, describe the area you’ve selected (~50 words). Then, describe the stakeholders in that area, including their motivations (~100 words). Then, describe at least three ways those motivations are specifically affecting the design of the technology in that area (~100 words).
  3. Use at least five of the principles covered in this unit to redesign a piece Piazza (for example, the topic list, a single message thread, the notification system, etc.). Present your design (~125 words), and then specifically describe how each of five principles from this unit can be applied to that redesign of Piazza (~125 words). For the purposes of this question, a principle could be any lesson topic, any design guideline or heuristic, any theory concerning interface design, or any paradigm of interaction design.
  4. Select any publicly-viewable web interface you encounter on a regular basis, and critique it from the perspective of the topics covered in this unit. First, briefly describe and provide a link to the interface you’ve selected (~50 words). Then, describe how the interface violates five of the principles we’ve discussed in this unit (~200 words). For example, you might discuss how the interface uses poor representations, violates the principle of equity, violates the principle of consistency, commits value-insensitive design, and demands a high cognitive load.

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.