For due dates, refer to the course schedule.

Download Homework Documents
#H0 | #H1 | #H2 | #H3 | #H4
IRB Certificate Submission
#T1, #T2, #T3

Assignment 0 – Create Wiki Page

HW0 Document

Put up on the class T-Square Wiki  A paragraph about yourself, containing at least:

a) Name and email
b) Home town / state / country
c) Major
d) Work experience – both general and UI-related
e) Programming languages / tools
f) Design skills / tools
g) Something most people don’t know about you
h) One-paragraph description of a project idea – feel free to talk about this with others, but you need to submit a unique idea, not the same as others with whom you have spoken.
i) Count of number of computationally-enabled devices in your home (including but not limited to traditional computers).

Homework 1 – Study and critique an everyday device

You may talk about this with others as you develop your answers, but each of you needs to do your own report. But don’t talk with someone who is looking at the same device as you are.

Read again chapter 1 from Interaction Design. Then do the assignment (a modification of the assignment on page 31, at the end of the chapter in Interaction Design).  The assignment is restated here, slightly elaborated.

Turn in a three page double spaced (12point Times New Roman) analysis, due at class.

Find an everyday handheld device, such as a digital camera, TV or Tivo remote control, or a cell phone. Examine its design, paying particular attention to the ways in which the user is intended to interact with it.

a) From your first impressions, write down what first comes to mind as to what is good and bad about the way the device works.
b) Based on your reading of this chapter and any of your previous readings and work in HCI, list the usability goals that you believe are relevant for this device.
c) What is the most important goal?  Why?
d) What is the least important goal? Why?
e) Consider the design principles of Section 1.6.3. For each, how well does the design of your chosen device satisfy the principle?
f) What improvements could be made so that the device better satisfies each of the principles?

Homework 2 – Cellphone and Microwave Action Counts

Do this assignment on your own, with your cell phone and microwave oven. If you don’t have one, borrow a friend’s.

Part 1: The purpose of the first part of this assignment is to analyze the complexity of performing common operations on various cell phones. For each of the following operations, count the actions that are required to perform the action. Each button-push (either a physical button or a touch-screen button) is an action. Unless otherwise stated, assume the cell phone is in its initial power-on state and that if you have a security code, it has already been entered.

The operations are:

1. Dial a 10-digit number. (Enter a 10-digit phone number and cause the number to be dialed.)
2. Now store that number in memory, associate it with the name John Doe – which does not yet exist as an entry in your list of contacts. (If there is a method for doing this without re-entering the phone number, then do so. If you have to re-enter the number, then do it that way.)
3. Return the most-recently missed call. Assume you have not made or received any calls since missing the call.
4. Redial the most-recently dialed number. Assume that no calls were received since you placed the call.
5. Look up and dial John Doe. Assume that you do this by typing letters (rather than scrolling). Also, assume that three entries start with John, namely:

John Darling
John Dobkins
John Doe

6. Look up John Doe and change his number to some other 10-digit number. Assume the same three entries that start with John; access John Doe by typing, not scrolling.

Remember to start up in the initial power-on state.

What to submit on paper in class: Nothing

What to submit electronically by posting:

On the class wiki, there is a page in which each of you will enter your name (last name, first name), the manufacturer and model of the cell phone, and the action counts for each task. This will create a nice table comparing action counts for various cell phones – a great competitive analysis tool. Please group together all the analyses for the same model of cell phone. If you notice your counts are different than some one else who has analyzed the same phone, communicate with that person to understand why there is a difference. Reconcile the difference and correct the reported count(s).

Part 2: Same idea, but for your microwave oven.  Here are the operations:

1. Cook for 30 seconds2. Cook for one minute
3. Cook for one minute and 45 seconds
4. Set the clock to 1:50 pm.

Enter the action counts in the class wiki

Homework 3 – Hall of Fame/Hall of Shame

Individual project

For this assignment, you goal is to find a really good or really bad UI example – typically not the entire UI, but one aspect of a UI (which might be a web page, a PDA or cell phone interface, or a traditional desktop application – or anything else that is computer-controlled).  This will be your candidate for the HCI Hall of Fame / Hall of Shame.  You are making just one submission, either for the Hall of Fame, or for the Hall of Shame. Not for both.

Your submission will be a very short PowerPoint presentation, just an intro slide and one or two more. The first slide will have your name and the name of the system you are nominating. If you are nominating a web site, include its URL. The second and, if needed to make your point, third slides will be screen shots of the user interface (use a digital camera if the UI is not on a traditional computer).

On the screen-shot slides, add annotations indicating why the UI is good or bad.  Relate your pros/cons to the concepts, principles, guidelines we have discussed in class or you found in the readings. You should elaborate on your reasoning with notes on the PPts.

There are two turn-ins:

  1. On the due date, bring to class a printout of your PPts that includes the notes.
  2. Submit your completed slides for HW3 on tsquare. Don’t worry about printed hardcopies.
  3. Email to your GTA (Andy Pruett your PPt by midnight of the day before the due date.  The name of the file should be in the following format (so they can be placed in a single directory, organized first by FAME and then by SHAME ) – either
    1. FAME-your last name, or
    2. SHAME-your last name

In class, you will each have exactly one minute to present your candidate. Come up front to be ready to present during the transition between the previous presenters. The GTA will drive the PPt presentations. Just say “next slide” when you are ready for a transition. Don’t waste time on the first PPt, get into your annotated screen shots right away, and make your case.

You will have a printout of the directory listing of all the files, on which to make notes.  After all presentations have been made, you will vote for the two best of the best (Hall of Fame) and the two worst of the worst (Hall of Shame).

Your grade will be determined by how well you explain on the PPts (in the annotations and the additional notes) why your nominee is either good or bad. The key to success is to relate your explanations back to lots of the ideas we have discussed in class or that you found in the readings.

The submitters of the four nominations that garner the most votes will receive extra points for this homework.

HOF Example 1    HOF Example 2    HOF Example 3    HOS Example

Congratulations to the Spring 2014 Winners – download their submissions:

Hall of Fame
Naomi Mitchell – Any                      Julie Pflug von der Osten – Elevator Controls               James Ray – Imgur

Hall of Shame
Pulkit Agarwal – Career Buzz        Gabino Dabdoub – Bulk Rename Utility                           Nanna Hansen – Arngren

Homework 4 – Design Activity

Prototyping for Feedback: Internet of Things

This homework has two parts.

Part 1: Make a Prototype UI to demonstrate performance of a task (3 points)

Choose one of the three internet enabled devices for the home (listed below). Using a prototyping toolkit of your choosing, design a touchscreen smartphone (or tablet) UI for that device.

[About Prototyping Tools: you could do a drawing by hand, use photo or vector drawing software, specialized prototyping tools such as balsamiq, or even Powerpoint to do this. Consider that you’ll need to revise your work, so save a version after part 1 and make a separate version demonstrating part 2.]

Create a storyboard of screen images that shows the steps required to complete the specified task. Print two copies and bring them to class. One copy is submitted to the TAs for grading, the other is to be used for part 2.

Think low cost, quick prototyping. Get your ideas down, clear and complete enough to explain the UI design for the purpose of gathering useful feedback.

Part 2: In-class exercise and follow-up (2 points)

In groups (to be determined), take turns presenting your UI prototypes to each other. Record and organize all criticisms, critiques, or comments. List all and evaluate specific important points or ideas you learned. Using this feedback analysis as a guide, review and improve your prototype. Make sure to visually call out or note any important changes you made, and link these changes to specific feedback items. Make a printout of this revision and submit both documents at the start of the next class period.

Choose one of these Devices and Tasks

Use the product websites to learn a little about the capabilities of these devices in order to decide what information the UI should provide or what operations are required. When in doubt, use your imagination and don’t worry about the actual product limitations.

Phillips HUE wireless lighting. These internet enabled lightbulbs can reproduce almost any color or range of luminance. Various UIs exist for this device, but you should invent your own.

Task: Provide a way to create a scheduled color transitions timed for a specific event such as a dinner party, movie night, or your regularly scheduled bedtime. Do you need to set the target color, the start time, and the duration? Selection of a color targets can be done in a variety of ways: from an image, from the camera, or by selecting from a palette or color wheel! You don’t need to implement all the ways, but consider the options a user might want.

Lockitron. This as-yet-unreleased device can be attached over most domestic locks to add internet abilities for monitoring and remote control.

Task: Imagine this device includes some exterior keypad for typing in a code to unlock the door without the key. Design an interface to schedule a temporary one-time-use access code to grant a maintenance person entry to your home for an appointed time period. The interface should support monitoring or auditing the use of that code. Do you need to create a memorable code, specify the time frame when it is active, and provide feedback of lock status and unlock/lock events?

Sonte Window Film. This film is a material that changes from transparent to opaque by applying a small electric current. Assume a single window only has two states: clear or solid, and control of that state is internet enabled.

Task: Imagine that an entire house gets new window devices installed in a random order and they need to be identified and organized according to their placement in the home. All of the windows have been identified and named (kitchen 1, kitchen 2, etc). Create a UI for placing windows into control groups so that several can be operated at once. Should a particular window belong to multiple groups? Should these be represented graphically or in a hierarchical list?

Explanation of Grading Points

Part 1 (3 points)

(1) Shows complete task in appropriate level of specific detail.
(1) Meets requirements for touch interaction, is sized appropriately for mobile.
(1) Demonstrates understanding of user-centered design principles including but not limited to visibility of system state, recovery from errors, visibility of available actions.

Part 2 (2 points)

(1) Organized set of feedback responses.
(2) Revised design demonstrates reasoned response to gathered feedback.

IRB Certificate Submission

Go to CITI training and sign up for an account (use GT credentials). Navigate to Human Subjects Research and complete “Group 2 Social / Behavioral Research Investigators and Key Personnel”. Print your completion report at the end, and upload the pdf to the T-Square Assignment tab. If you have any questions, please post them in Piazza.

Test Question and Answer – T1, T2, T3 – due the class before each test

Individual Work

Prepare a question for the upcoming test – which will cover all the material covered in class and in the readings since the start of the semester for Test 1, and material covered since the previous test for Test 2 and Test 3. T/F and multiple choice questions are out of bounds. Also prepare your answer to the question. The question should be designed to require an answer on the order of 25 to 150 words.

There will be a wiki page on T-Square for you to submit your question prior to class. You do not need to bring hardcopy to class.

Grading will be based on the quality of the question and answer. Quality means that the question requires thinking, not just regurgitation of definitions or names of things.

BTW, this assignment takes 133 words – to give you an idea of the upper bound on answer length.