The Project

The project in this course is meant to provide hands-on experience with conceptualizing, articulating, prototyping, implementing, evaluating, and presenting the ideas, methods, tools, and evaluation metrics learned in the course.  

Groups: To facilitate a more complex project, we require groups of three to five people.

Scope: The project must have significant design, implementation, evaluation, and presentation elements.  There must be sufficient work for each group member over the course of the quarter. This website is a good example of the UX design process. 

Deliverables: Deliverables include, but are not limited to, low-fidelity (paper) prototype, high-fidelity prototype, the final system; a final conference-style paper with appendices detailing the work; and end of quarter presentation.

Late submission: Submissions are due at midnight of the due date. We will accept up to 1 hour later to account for Internet problem. After that, it's 20% penalty per day. After 3 days the grade goes to zero.

The final paper: The final paper is an overview of your project -- from concept and competitor analysis to prototypes of various stages, a description of the final system, and a presentation and analysis of the evaluations in between.  There is no page limit - see the requirement for the final paper below. The final paper must be submitted electronically and in paper by 12 PM on Tuesday March 15th, 2016. The paper based report must be delivered to Engineering 2 room 309.

Your role: It is assumed that the project group members work amongst themselves to divide up the workload.  We especially encourage groups with mixed specialties (e.g., two computer science students, one cognitive science student, and one DANM student).  Each team member is expected to present the project milestones and deliverables.  If you feel that you are doing a disproportionate amount of work, please contact the TA early in the process.

Sample Student Projects From Prior Quarters

  • Robotic ring bearer
  • Pong-duino: an implementation of Pong on the Arduino
  • One-handed real-time strategy game (publicationpublication)
  • Visualizing audio in a FPS game (publication)
  • Redesigning myUCSC website and TAP (transport and bus passes) website
  • Interactive system to help children with autism communicate
  • A friendly interface to author-goal based story generation
  • Rock Vibe: Rock Band for people with no or limited vision (publication)
  • Controlling a first person shooter game using face tracking

Sample IDEO Methods


Checkpoints (Dates Indicate Due Date For The Email To Be Sent To The Course Email)

  • Tue Jan 12, 2016: Project proposal (3 points)

Project description (and the names and emails of your group members) – 1 email per group. Remember your project description should include the following:

  1. What is it for? What does it do?
  2. What’s wrong with existing ones?
  3. Who your target users are? Where are you going to recruit them?
  4. How do these users do the things your proposed system is supposed to facilitate, usually?
  5. What tools do you need to build that system?
  • Tue Jan 19, 2016: Personas (5 points)

There are 2 deliverables this week: the set of personas in one page (called Zen personas in the lecture notes) and individual personas. I need each group member to do one persona. To create these personas, each of the group member needs to use a different technique from Ideo method cards' techniques (so communicate with your group mates to make sure you are not duplicating the technique). Format the personas in a similar format to the one in the slides. Please include in your report which technique you used, and describe in great detail how you did it (e.g., the exact questions if you use the Five Whys). The Zen personas are group collaborative work.

  • Tue Jan 26, 2016: Functional and non-functional requirements (10 points)

In this week's deliverable, you have to do 2 things: a competitive analysis and a list of min 5 each of functional and non-functional requirements with their priorities (and justify why they are high/medium/low priorities).  Just like in the personas deliverable, explain which Ideo method was used to generate each requirement (and describe in detail please). An example of the requirement document is attached below. 

  • Tue Feb 2, 2016: Storyboards (10 points)

This week's deliverable is a storyboard of your proposed system, created by your users in a group setting. I need a piece of evidence that it was your users who did the storyboard creation, in the form of a snapshot or a few minutes videos (blur their faces if they object to have their faces shown). There are several examples of storyboards in the lecture slides. Below is an example of storyboards from one previous year's project:

Storyboard Example

  • Tue Feb 16, 2016: Wireframe (10 points)

This week's deliverable is a set of wireframes of your interface (everything from the main interface to message pop-up box to error message, etc). You don't have to write it in the program you are going to build the system on, you can just draw using any drawing software (or PowerPoint) but I need to already see proportions, colors, fonts to use, etc. Kind of like the Apple wireframes in the lecture slides. Explain the content of the various wireframes as necessary, please. 

  • An example wireframe is here
  • Tue Feb 23, 2016: Test plan and IRB approval package (15 points)

This week's deliverables are: 1) a testplan for testing your final system; follow the format of the test plan in the lecture notes; and 2) IRB approval package. Even if you qualify for an IRB exemption, I would like you to practice creating an IRB approval package. Create: the IRB full application form, the recruitment ad, and the consent form.

  • An example test plan is here
  • Thu Mar 3, 2016: Inspection of high fidelity prototype (10 points) 

Today's deliverable is the inspection report. I need each group member to do either cognitive walkthrough or heuristic evaluation on the high fidelity. That means you must already finish your high fidelity prototype at this point. You are welcomed to use Nielsen's heuristics, but I would strongly recommend you to find a set of heuristics that matches your group project more. Below is the link to the game heuristics.

Game heuristics by Desurvire et al.

Nielsen's article on how to do heuristic evaluation and the rating system

How to do cognitive walkthrough

How to do cognitive walkthrough v.2

To summarize, I need each group to submit a report. The first section of the report is a simple compilation of the inspection work by each team member - you can either just write the problem (and the severity rating if you are doing a heuristic evaluation) in text or include again the screenshot of the storyboard or interface and circle the problem area. Next, the report should present a combined list of usability problems identified and their priorities of fixing (and in which way you will fix them, e.g., if the problem is "navigation menu is difficult to find" then list the solution of, say, "move the navigation menu to the top of the page.").

  • Exam day, Mon Mar 14, 2016, 12-3 PM: 12 minutes Presentation + Demo (see below) and 4 minutes Q&A (5 points for your presentation and 2 points for Q&A). 

For this presentation, you will need to email the course email by Monday 10 AM a PowerPoint or PDF (plus some media files, see the last bullet point) and then make a presentation that covers:

  1. Why such system, what are the limitations of current system/practice that the system addresses.
  2. Requirement method and summary
  3. Iterative design (lo-fi, hi-fi, with the expert evaluation, user testing, final version). Specifically how your later iterations took into account the results of the previous evaluation of the earlier iterations. 
  4. Conclusion - how your system had made a change (to practices, theories, compared against other similar systems, what you learnt, etc).
  5. A video or a series of snapshots of users evaluating your system at select stages.
  • Exam day, Mon Mar 14, 2016, 12-3 PM: The final system (15 points)

During this presentation, we will be grading your final system as you demo-ed (hence, please make sure everything works). The final system is worth 15 points.  

  • Tue Mar 15, 2016: User evaluation report (5 points) + the final report (10 points)

Your final report is due on Mar 15 at noon (12 PM). This report is worth 10 points. This is the chance of fixing the various deliverables that you submitted in the past weeks. There is no page limit or formatting requirement, just use your judgement to make the document looks professional and clear. Late submissions will not be accepted.

The new section in this report is the data analysis of the user evaluation, worth 5 points. You will be graded based on the evidence of capturing the testing data properly, as well as analyzing and interpreting it in a meaningful way (i.e., it provides a sense of whether your system provides a good user experience and/or usability or whatever questions you aim to answer). Here are what need to go into that report:

  1. Details about the users (demographics, how many, where you recruited them etc).
  2. Details about the tasks (Hint: cut and paste from the test plan).
  3. The usability testing method you used, plus pictures of the users doing the testing.
  4. Data (raw and processed).
  5. Conclusion from the data.

TOTAL COURSE PROJECT POINTS: 100 (translated into 50% of your course grade).