P4: Final Report

Please complete by Apr 25th Apr 27th
This portion of the project is worth 10% of your course grade.
P4 Description

Important: All teams will present their P3 work in class. From the schedule page you can see when your team will present and link to detailed instructions in slides from 4/8. We also provided presentation templates for Approach 1 and Approach 2. Your presentation will count for 25% your P4 grade.

P3: Prototype

Please complete by Apr 18th Apr 20th
This portion of the project is worth 25% of your course grade.
P3 Description

P2: Design Alternatives

Please complete by  Mar 11th (note Mon, Mar 7th in-class deliverable)
This portion of the project is worth 10% of your course grade.

P2 Description and Source File

On Mon, Mar 7th, each group will post their 3 top design ideas on the wall. Breaking up into groups of viewers and presenters, students will circulate and interact with the designers. Each group can use this opportunity to get feedback about their design ideas from the rest of the class as they engage in the reduction process. More details will be discussed in class.

P1: Preliminary Research and Task Analysis

Part A (“P1A”): Please complete by Feb 3rd
Part B (“P1B”): Please complete by  Feb 19th   Feb 24th
This portion of the project is worth 10% of your course grade.

P1A: Your first deliverable will be a preliminary proposal that describes a target user group, and identifies an activity or task performed by this group that is currently unsupported, or which could be better supported through an improved interactive design that would incorporate your chosen API.

Your proposal should describe the following parts (approx. 1 paragraph for each):

  • Your motivation for the project and understanding of the problem area. (5 points)
  • A description of the important characteristics of the users of the system. (15 points)
  • Data you will need to collect to learn more about your users (e.g., interview data, web content, ethnographic data). (5 points)
  •  You will submit the team contract according to the instructions above, as a separate file, but must acknowledge that you have submitted it and provide the file name in this P1 document.

Apply the research methods outlined in the assigned readings and class presentations to learn about your users, selecting the techniques most appropriate to your problem. Set research questions that you are trying to answer: that information will serve as constraints for the artifact you design later. Don’t worry about finishing all the research before P1B is due–P2 will focus on wrapping up the research and describing insights you gained from it.

P1B: For the second part of P1, conduct the following steps and make any refinements to your initial proposal. Include the following in your report for P1B:

        • A task analysis (20 points).  The task analysis should consist of:
            • A description of the important characteristics of the tasks performed by users.
            • A description of important characteristics of the task environment.

          To answer this question, tell us where users in your target group currently perform the task you are focusing on. Do they do the task in public? Are they mobile? At work while doing the task? Then think about what this means in terms of how they do the task: are they frequently interrupted? Are their interactions constrained in any way? Do they have privacy? 

          • A structured task analysis of the problem in one of the forms described in the readings (e.g., Hierarchical Task Analysis).
            See instructions and an example here (this was a required reading for 1/27). HTA or a flowchart-style analysis generally work well, but if you choose to do something other than these, briefly justify your choice. Focus on identifying the task that the user performs and not how you expect your system to support it. It is important to think about the task in terms of the what the user is trying to accomplish, and what that means in terms of what they need to do at each step, not the interface elements or system states. (The next question asks you to think about the UI, this one focuses simply on what the user has to do in relation to the task.)

            See the ATM example provided in email from 2/17. 


        • An analysis of how the task is currently performed (with or without computational support) including the strengths and deficiencies of the current approach. (10 points)Here, identify the characteristics of how the user approaches the task and describe how this knowledge will influence your design. Assess any existing systems and related literature available now to learn what current solutions are out there. This is similar to HW2 Part 2: if you have identified many possible tasks that your system might support, choose one to analyze in detail and describe the task at the level that you described one task conducted for HW2 Part 2. You don’t need to submit a storyboard, but you should clearly describe the steps (and do feel free to submit a storyboard if that helps to communicate the steps in the task)!


        • A description of the larger social and technical system or context in which your design will fit. (10 points)Are you envisioning a system that would work within a larger one (e.g., software to enable students on an academic campus to better navigate the campus is situated within the campus as an academic system with its own social and organizational context, while also needing to work with (or within) the school’s internal computing infrastructure, perhaps also needing to work on a mobile computing platform). Describe the larger systems that relate to your project and how they relate.Answering these questions can help: do you envision that your system would be used in a specific place? Which one and why? Would it be used with or without other users? On what other technology would it rely? Would it be used at a certain times? Are users alone, or do you envision your system supporting collaboration (either co-located or remote/virtual)?


        • An initial list of usability criteria and principles that should be used in the eventual evaluation of your design, including a high-level description of how you might support these principles. (10 points)To answer this question, tell us which principles you have learned in class thus far that you think will be particularly important. Refer to the same principles we are using for HW3.  For example, if you are designing a system that might be used in a time critical situation, an important guideline to include relates to preventing errors–how might you apply this guideline in your design?


        • A brief description and justification of how the above information was gathered (i.e., did you observe users? Did you interview them or run a survey?) (10 points)


        • A discussion of the implications of what you have learned by addressing the goals listed above  thus far about your target user group and the task they perform. In other words, what are the biggest “take-aways” thus far that you have learned through your user research and the task analysis you conducted?
          (10 points)


        • A statement of whether or not you wish to make any refinements to the initial understanding of the problem area and/or characteristics of the target user group (identified in P1A) and why. (5 points)


      • List any refinements you chose to make and why. (Extra 10 points)

Note: You will answer these questions based on your preliminary user research, but don’t worry about finishing all the research before P1B is due–P2 will focus on wrapping up the research and describing insights you gained from it.


This semester, you will work in teams of 3-4 on a group project. The project will be broken into four parts, with  emphasis placed on the final deliverable. Specific deliverables will be announced in phases. To get started, you will form a team and pick at least one of the following APIs to use in a UI code project:

You will also pick a target user group for whom a new UI is needed that makes use of the chosen API. Over the course of the semester, you will design the UI for this target user group and demonstrate your design. More details will be discussed in class- the tutorial given in class by Arash can be found here.


API Documentation Application Creation Request Limitations  Libraries Additional Tutorials
Twitter… apps.twitter… 15/15 min dev.twitter……tutorial
Instagram…… 500/hour……
Nutritionix developer.nutritionix… developer.nutritionix… 10,000/day developer.nutritionix… developer.nutritionix…

* Great suggestions by Randy Pausch for how to work successfully in groups.


P0: Form Teams

Please complete by Weds, Jan 27th
  • List the members of your team
  • Identify the high-level problem area or topic
  • Fill out the team contract located in the Resources section of T-Square. You will turn in this contact when you turn in P1A, on Feb 3rd.

Enter this information in the “Project Teams” Wiki page (in T-Square) by class on Weds, Jan 27th. Anyone not listed by this time will be put into a team by the teaching staff.