Assignment M2 (Spring 2018)
Due: Sunday, February 11, 2018, by 11:59PM UTC-12 (Anywhere on Earth). This assignment is based on lesson 3.3 (Needfinding), and focuses on executing your needfinding process.
Answer the following prompt in a maximum of 1500 words, with a recommended length of 1200 words. Including more than 1500 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 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.
In this assignment, you’ll execute the needfinding plan that you outlined in Assignment M1.
Abstract: ~50 words
First, include an abstract that briefly introduces your project and gives context on what task you’re addressing. You’ll include this abstract in each M assignment to give the grader and your peers context on what you’re working on. If you’d like to include more context than you can fit into 50 words, feel free to include an appendix containing an extended abstract.
Needfinding Execution 1: ~200 words
For the first needfinding plan that you outlined in Assignment M1, execute it and report the results. The type of information you report will depend on the approach you selected, but you should generally report the raw results. These might be the raw notes you took for something like naturalistic or participant observation; survey results if you performed a survey; interview quotes if you conducted interviews; and so on. You may provide long-form raw results in an appendix and focus on summarizing the results in the body of the assignment.
Then, briefly summarize the takeaways from this particular plan.
Last, report on the concretes steps you took to control for the biases you anticipated previously.
In all these steps, remember that it is completely acceptable to fail. If your needfinding approach did not glean useful data, discuss why you believe that is the case. If you were unsuccessful in controlling for biases, discuss what you should have done differently.
Needfinding Execution 2: ~200 words
Repeat the steps for Needfinding Execution 1 for the second needfinding plan you outlined in Assignment M1. Remember to include the raw results, a brief summary of the main takeaways, and a report on the concrete steps you took to control for biases during needfinding.
Needfinding Execution 3: ~200 words
Repeat the steps for Needfinding Execution 1 and Needfinding Execution 2 for the third needfinding plan you outlined in Assignment M1. Remember to include the raw results, a brief summary of the main takeaways, and a report on the concrete steps you took to control for biases during needfinding.
Data Inventory: ~350 words
Based on the observations from your three needfinding exercises, complete your data inventory. Answer the seven questions outlined with regard to needfinding (and remember, the video gives more detail on the questions than the image alone).
For each question, specifically tie the answer to some of the observations you made throughout your needfinding exercises, and remember to keep your answers related to the problem space you defined previously. Remember again that you’re allowed to fail: if you did not gather the information necessary to answer a particular part of the data inventory, report what you should have done differently or what you would do next to answer it.
Defining Requirements: ~100 words
Then, define the requirements drawn out of this data inventory. What are the requirements of your interface in terms of questions like functionalities it must provide, learnability goals it must meet, or accessibility standards it must support (as well as others)? What metrics or criteria would you use to evaluate the success of a prototype that attempts to address these requirements? Depending on your results and your project, you will likely emphasize some requirements over others; for example, if you are focusing on novice users, learnability will likely take a higher priority, whereas if you are focusing on experts, you may care more about efficiency.
Continued Needfinding: ~100 words
Finally, briefly outline the next iteration of needfinding in which you might engage based solely on this initial experience. What remaining questions are there that would benefit from additional needfinding investigation? What new questions arose during this initial round of needfinding? What types of exercises would you do next to address these remaining or new questions?
Assignments should be submitted to the corresponding assignment submission page 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 links to or otherwise describes how to access that material.
This is an individual assignment. Even if you already know who you want to work with on the team project at the end of the semester, this assignment is to be completed by everyone individually.
Late work is not accepted without advanced agreement except in cases of medical or family emergencies. In the case of such an emergency, please contact the Dean of Students.
As with all assignments in this class, this assignment will be graded on a traditional A-F scale based on the extent to which your deliverable met expectations. This letter grade will be derived from internal scores assigned to each problem.
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.