Project, Part 2

Due Sat Apr 7 in Canvas

Checkpoint 1: Your design vision and the task(s) you want to focus on for work re-design must be identified before class on Wed, Mar 21 in order to participate in the class activity that day. Submit to Canvas your vision statement, personas you will develop, and their related scenarios by Thurs, Mar 22, 11:59pm. Feedback will be returned to your group by Mon, Mar 26.

Goals

The goals of this phase of the project are to provide you with experience:

  • Developing a design vision.
  • Developing personas and their storyboard scenarios.
  • Exploring the design space through storyboarding.
  • Working with low fidelity prototypes.

Details

In this project phase, your goal is to explore the design space of solutions to the problems identified in Part 1. You should go about this exploration in the following way:

  • Develop a vision of the new work practice.
  • Develop representative personas and their scenarios supported by the vision.
  • Brainstorm alternative ways of enabling the scenarios through storyboarding.
  • Develop at least three paper prototypes of design alternatives.
  • Develop at least three other low-fidelity prototypes using tools like Photoshop, PowerPoint, or Excel, etc.
  • Choose the most promising design alternative and render it more completely using low fidelity prototyping techniques.
  • Create a video demonstrating use of your most promising prototype using the Wizard-of-Oz technique.
  • Write an overview of the design.

Deliverables

You need to submit everything except the video in a single PDF file, with each of the items below clearly marked.

You must submit the following (each explained in more detail below):

  1. Your team vision of the new work practices.
  2. Your personas and their scenarios using storyboards.
  3. A written overview of the design.
  4. Low fidelity representations of the design.
  5. A video that demonstrates use of your best design using Wizard-of-Oz. Your video should be no longer than five minutes, and should include a brief introduction to the problem being solved.

The vision statement, personas, and storyboard scenarios should follow the conventions discussed in class and readings.

The written overview of the design should include the following information:

  • Introduction: A summary of your users, their specific goals, and the problems identified with current practices. Identify the one, specific user goal you are addressing with your design. This section is a summary of Project Part 1 and of the personas/storyboard scenarios.
  • Proposed system: A summary of the proposed system.
    • What problems your proposed system addresses and those it doesn't address. Rather than trying to solve everything, your system should try to solve some problems very well, rather than all problems marginally. In this section, you must be very critical and honest about the limitations in your proposed system.
    • How your proposed system might meet with resistance or simply fail in the user's culture of practice. This section is intended to help you identify flaws beyond simple usability-related measures.
    • How your proposed system improves upon existing practices/tools. In what ways do you expect it to be better, and why? What would you measure to demonstrate superiority? You do not need an evaluation plan at this point, just simply an indication of how you would measure success in a concrete fashion.

The overview should be no more than 4 pages of text. The overview is meant to supplement the low fidelity representations of the design, much like a placard supplements an art piece. The low fidelity representations should be able to stand on their own.

The low fidelity representations are the primary vehicles for communicating the design. Again, to repeat, the low fidelity prototypes should stand on their own. Communicate your design via sketches, storyboards, physical mock-ups (for example, paper-based/cardboard-based prototypes), and scenarios of use. All prototypes should be submitted so that we can print them out and use them to "execute" your scenarios. You are not required to use all of these representations. However, you should choose the ones you think best communicate the design idea and how it will be used.

Your design should address the problems identified in the first phase in ways that mesh with your users' desired work practices and culture of practice. If your users are highly mobile, never sit at a desk, but your design is a desktop application, it clearly does not mesh with current work practices. Be sensitive to your users' needs and attempt to blend computation into their work, rather than force it upon them. Consider hybrid approaches like the Anoto pen or Strata Drawers (as discussed in class) where physical tools are blended with computation.

Marking

Both the presentation and the above deliverables will be marked. The presentation will receive 15% of the mark, the other deliverables, 85%. Here is what we will be looking for when marking your projects:

  • Is the information requested above clearly communicated? Ask friends outside your group to comment on your design. If they cannot understand it without a lot of instruction, you need to refine your design.
  • Do you have each of the required items listed above?
  • Are we able to determine the full use of your proposed system from the low fidelity prototypes alone? Or are there holes in the design? For example, if you incorporate a pull-down menu, are the menu options specified? (These could be specified using a Post-It note or something like a transparency overlay.)
  • Have you considered how the design will work in the context of the work practices? This includes both cultural considerations as well as current methods of performing work.
  • Does your system mesh with current work practices and the overall cultural environment?
  • Have you packaged your low fidelity prototypes in a way that enables us to easily walk through them, to both "use" the interface and to evaluate it?
  • Have you indicated limitations?
  • Is your video within the time limit? Does it clearly communicate the problem being solved and can one fully understand your vision of how the system would be used in practice?
  • Are your descriptions clear, coherent, and efficiently present your findings, as evidenced by presentation style, proper grammar, and spelling?

Easy ways to lose points

The following are some easy ways to lose points:

  • Your proposed design addresses trivial problems (e.g., layout of items in a pre-existing interface) rather than true breakdowns in work practice.
  • Your designs don't effectively communicate how they will be used in practice.