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Human-Computer Interaction

Now that you have formed teams around a proposed project topic, you are encouraged to spend some time discussing the original proposal in detail before moving forward. This is a good opportunity to consider any refinements to your scenarios, as well as any high-level changes in your project’s direction. Keep in mind that you are not obligated to follow the ideas in the original proposal exactly, nor are you expected to make any changes to the project. If you make significant changes, you may wish to run these by the instructor.

Deliverable (main report): Describe any changes you have made to the project from the original proposal. If you are not making any changes, say so. Any supporting figures can be included in an appendix.

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Part B. Concept and Task Validation through a Field Study (55%-65%) (Up to 3 pages, not including appendices) Step 1: Determine your focal points Start by determining a list of focal points that will drive your field study. In general terms, at this stage most projects will need to:

 learn more about the users that your system is intending to support;

 obtain information about the current practice;

 confirm the accuracy of your project’s task examples (aka scenarios) and further develop them.

The above goals are too general to act as focal points in an actual study; they are intended to give you an idea of what kind of information you should be looking for.

Deliverable (main report): List roughly 3-5 specific focal points, as determined in step 1.

Step 2: Develop your interview questions Derive a set of interview questions from your focal points (you can add other questions, too).

Deliverable (appendix): Include the actual interview questions used (and any other evaluation instruments).Norah Alhareky�


Step 3: Identify an appropriate number (see below) of representative users for your intended system that you will be able to use in your Milestone II field study. These must be volunteers recruited from people you know personally, such as friends, family and classmates. While it is acceptable to recruit participants from among your classmates you are strongly encouraged to only use classmates as a last resort.

For this course, you are expected to perform at least one interview per person.

Step 4: Plan the field study It is crucial to decide in advance on a protocol for any field study. For example, a protocol should summarize the results of the following types of tasks (not all of which will be appropriate for every team):

 Work out details of face-to-face techniques meticulously ahead of time. In particular, consider the ordering of interview questions, especially if and when you plan to disclose your system concept to participants as part of the interview. Keep in mind that doing so before ascertaining details about your participants practices could bias their responses such that the way they describe their practice fits more ideally with your system concept. Also consider what you hope to observe.

 Decide where interviews and observation will be conducted. A field study should ideally be conducted in the context where the practice your system will support takes place. This may not be possible in all cases (e.g., mobile vacation blogger), so consult with the instructor if your project idea makes this difficult. Also remember that interviews require a quiet environment.

 Decide what materials or tools you will need. Depending on the location of your interviews, you may want to take pictures or create sketches, so think about bringing a camera. You may also want to bring a laptop to make taking notes easier.

 Verify that your set of interview questions takes an appropriate amount of time. Each interview should last around 30 minutes.

Deliverable (main report): Provide a brief overview of this protocol, with just enough detail that someone else could approximately replicate your field study with the help of your interview questions.

Step 5: Conduct the field study Leverage what you learned in the lectures (and in 3020) when conducting the field study. You should conduct the interviews and observations in pairs. Each person in your team must take part in 2 interviews, so that you each get experience as the person conducting the interview, and as the person taking notes for the main interviewer. Remember to take pictures or make sketches illustrating the context of the interviews or any important artifacts that might help you later on in your analysis.

A transcription of the notes must be typed up (so they are as legible as possible). A word-for-word transcription of the interview is not required.

Deliverable (appendix): Include typed interview transcripts (include who was the interviewer and note taker).


Step 6: Analyze field study data Analyze your data, looking for themes and key representative examples. The organization of the results and the findings will be tricky.

Step 7: Report results Your report should outline your focal points, and address them grounded in examples from your interviews or your visits to the interview sites. In so doing, you should also describe the context, and how that context affects your findings. The important thing is to provide your reader with a good description of your participants, including their motivations, and what the interview area looks like. (Of course, participants should not be identified explicitly by name, nor should they be identifiable by aggregating all the descriptive data about them.) You should comment specifically on the representativeness of your participants and identify the number of participants assessed. Also, describe the particular area(s) where interviews were conducted and reference any relevant photos or sketches.

An example outline for your results section:  Describe the participants and the interview areas. Photo of the areas would likely be interesting

to help ground the discussion.  Describe your first focal point, and outline your understanding of that focal point given study

data.  Repeat this process for the second and additional focal points.

Depending on the length of your interview, you may have more results to report than your have space. You need to be judicious about what results and focal points you address in the main body of your report, and what you leave for an appendix.

Deliverable (main report): Write up your results, including descriptions of participants and discussion of your focal points. Additional any images, figures, diagrams or summarized data that is not included in the main body of the report should be included in an appendix.

Step 8: Revise Scenarios (if necessary) An important secondary output of your study analysis phase is updating and verifying your scenarios.

Deliverable (appendix): Include revised scenarios preceded by a summary of changes from the Milestone I version. If nothing has changed, say so explicitly.

Step 9: Formulate conclusions and recommendations. Summarize the key insights (the most significant and influential) gained from the field study. This means taking a step back from the particular details of your study, and describing what you have learned from interviewing real participants. For example, has anything surprised you? Is there a current practice that seems to work well for users? What does not work well?

Next, draw your conclusions and recommendations for the next step of development. Perhaps the full realization of your system concept is beyond the scope of this course project. Based on what you learned in this field study, which aspect do you think you should focus your limited time and resources on? (Note that this will be fleshed out in the detailed requirements in Part C, so here all you need to do is foreshadow that section.) Finally, critique your process: list any problems noted with the design and execution of the field study itself, and document any inherent limitations. Note: in the unlikely event


that your user study shows no support for your system concept (i.e., you are unable to validate it), you need to consult the course staff before proceeding to Part C.

Deliverable (main report): write up your summary of key insights, conclusions and recommendations as well as the critique of your process.

C. Requirements Definition (up to 1 page) (15%)

Because it may be unrealistic to fulfill your full system concept for all possible target users, you must prioritize the aspects of the system that you will develop based on the information you gathered during your field study, and estimate their difficulty. The primary output of this stage is a specification of the interface functionality that your system must deliver. It does not specify how – i.e. this stage is design- independent and usually it will be possible to implement requirements in a variety of ways.

Step 10: Create prioritized list of requirements From your scenarios and associated inquiry with potential users, decide upon the major requirements for your system and prioritize them into: a) absolutely must include; b) should include; c) could include; and d) exclude. Similarly, categorize the kinds of users using the above four labels, deciding which kinds of users must be included, and which users you will exclude.

Deliverable (main report). List your major requirements and kinds of users, categorized by priority. Each category should be accompanied by a brief discussion as to why the items were placed in that category, including mention and justification of any user types that you have decided to not support.

D. Design Alternatives (up to 1 page, not including appendices)(20%)

Step 10: Brainstorm Several Design Alternatives From the most promising scenarios (in most cases, 2-3) and requirements, your team should roughly sketch out several competing interfaces. The alternatives should be as different as possible, to span the possible space represented by the task example(s). Detailed designs are not required at this stage (low- fidelity prototyping will happen in MSIII). Assess the pros and cons of each alternative. (Think about the project goals and your stakeholders.) Tip: To help generate more diverse ideas, each group member may want to try to create a few rough sketches of ideas before gathering as a group. Remember that you don’t need to be an artist to have and sketch good ideas.

Deliverable (main report): Write up a description of each design alternative so that the reader can understand the gist of the design approach being taken. Also include your assessment of the pros and cons of each alternative. Supply the sketches themselves, annotated where possible in an appendix.



For Milestone II, submit your written report by July 26, 2018 Mid night. Make sure to clearly label all section headings and appendices, and to include a table of contents. Each section has a maximum page limit (listed above); however, there is no limit to the length of your appendices.

Summarized List of Deliverables

Below is a summary only. Please see above for a description of each deliverable.

Main Report:

 Revised Project Direction (Optional – Max 1/2 page)  Field Study (Max 5 pages)

 Focal points  Protocol  Results  Discussion: key insights, conclusions, recommendations and critique of process

 Requirements (Max 1 page)  Design Alternatives (Max 1 page)

Appendix  Supporting figures for revised design direction (optional)  Interview questions  Interview transcripts  Additional study images, figures, analysis, etc.  Revised scenarios  Sketches

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