Assignment P5 (Spring 2017)

Due: Sunday, February 19th, 2017, 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

Select and answer three of the following four questions in a maximum of 400 words each (unless stated otherwise); if you supply more than 400 words, the grader will stop reading at the 400th 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 (~125 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 (~125 words). Finally, design how the program can be structured to preserve the positive effect while limiting the negative effect (~100 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 (~150 words). Then, describe at least three ways those motivations are specifically affecting the design of the technology in that area (~150 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 (~175 words), and then specifically describe how each of five principles from this unit can be applied to that redesign of Piazza (~175 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 (~100 words). Then, describe how the interface violates five of the principles we’ve discussed in this unit (~250 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

You are to choose three of the four questions above to answer, and each question is graded out of 5 possible points; thus, the assignment as a whole is graded out of 15 possible points. If you answer more than three questions, the first three will be graded. 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. 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.