Homework 1: Due Friday Jan 15, 2016, worth 10%

In this homework, you are asked to generate three reports of the findings from using two IDEO methods (one IDEO method per report, and another report that compares the two IDEO methods you use). The IDEO methods you use are bound by the following conditions, but you CANNOT choose Card Sort because that's the method I provided example on how the report should look like:

  • If your name begins with A-D, use one method from ASK category and one method from LEARN category.
  • If your name begins with E-G, use one method from ASK category and one method from LOOK category.
  • If your name begins with H-L, use one method from ASK category and one method from TRY category.
  • If your name begins with M-N, use one method from LEARN category and one method from LOOK category.
  • If your name begins with O-S, use one method from LEARN category and one method from TRY category.
  • If your name begins with T-Z, use one method from LOOK category and one method from TRY category.

Here are some rules that apply to the use of such method:

  1. It has to be about (interaction with) technology. Include detailed information as to who the persons involved in the report (e.g., yourself, the sociodemographics group you do "unfocus group" technique on, etc.)
  2. Include as much evidence of the user using this method as possible, including audio file, pictures, screenshots, video file. Do not include the interactive files with your deliverables, however we might ask them if we believe there is a gap in your report. You can include screenshots or pictures of users using a product if it helps your reporting.
  3. Your reports must include your reflection about that method. See example. 
  4. Your reports need to be emailed as PDF files to ucschci@gmail.com. No page limit or format (although the example file has a decent format).

Homework 2: Due Monday Jan 25, 2016, worth 10%

In this homework, you need to generate 3 things: a (free form) scenario, a Hierarchical Task Diagram, and a use case (list or diagram) of the following tasks. Ask somebody else to do the following tasks (I printed below the verbal instruction you will tell this person). Most likely, you will be doing a Fly-in-the-wall IDEO method for this but feel free to use a camera journal or some other method. Explain in a paragraph or two your IDEO method: 

  1. Use UCSC library website to find any 2 books carried by either McHenry Library (if your last name begins with A-L) or Science & Engineering Library (if your last name begins with M-Z) that are not being borrowed.
  2. Send the details of those books to your cellphone.
  3. Go to the library and borrow the books.

Now, of course you can have a scenario containing just those 3 tasks, but you are asked to elaborate in as much detail as possible of all the tasks performed. If that person searched for the books, what was the keyword? If the person browsed, what was the path? Did the person add to book cart before or after sending text to his/her phone? I know for sure that the sending text to phone as sub tasks such as provide the provider detail from pulldown menu and fill in phone number in free form text (see if it does have verification function such as if you don't fill in that box with numbers). What happens after the person finds the books (e.g., the checkout process). And so on. 

Some of you might have been more familiar with scenario building, but in case you are looking for examples, I found this particular example to be quite a good one: http://www.uiaccess.com/accessucd/scenarios_eg.html#retireess

Homework 3: Due Monday Feb 1, 2016, worth 10%

Last year many groups struggled with their test plans. Therefore, this year, I would like to have a chance to provide feedback regarding your test plan, but not on your project, of course. In Homework 2, you or somebody you observed used UCSC Library website. In this homework, I would like you to create a test plan following the 4 slides that have the title "A good test plan contains." The overarching and long term goal of the test is to find ideas to improve the current website (and consequently find the problems with the current website). For the methodology, use your chosen IDEO method. I am going to particularly review the tasks you assigned the users. Please indicate in your report whether you are using the mobile or desktop version of the website. 

Homework 4: Due Monday Feb 22, 2016, worth 20%

http://www.restaurant.com is a very successful business, but we had been hired to make it better.

  1. Create an HTA of how currently a person can buy a $25 gift card to the top rated romantic Italian restaurant in San Francisco. I just need you to walk through until you arrive to the screen right after “Proceed to Checkout.” Next, create your own improved HTA. This means, there must be 2 HTAs, the current practice, and your improved one. Argue why yours is better (e.g., shorter process, the flow makes more sense – say why it makes more sense, of course).
  2. Do a Nielsen’s heuristic evaluation (pick 5 that you argue do not have a “0” rating) on this site for the task above only. Remember heuristic evaluation report contains severity ratings, justification why such ratings, and suggestions for improvements.
  3. Critique the homepage in terms of 3 the visual design elements (Concept and hierarchy, Clarity, Consistency, Alignment, Text, Images, Color) and 2 Gestalt principles and create a wireframe of just the homepage to illustrate your fixes.