Homework 2: Comparing Menu Designs

For 05-440/05-640: Interaction Techniques, Spring, 2016

Assigned Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, due: Monday, Feb. 15, 2016

Be sure to see the policies for grading, late turn-in, cheating etc, on the homework policy page.

NOTE: TURN IN THIS ASSIGNMENT IN HARDCOPY IN CLASS on Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. Please print out your entire report on paper, staple it together, and bring it to class. (If you have to miss class for any reason, you can turn in your hardcopy in advance in my office, NSH 3517, or if necessary, upload your assignment to Blackboard to demonstrate that you have it done on time.) Be sure your name is on your report!

In this assignment, each student will evaluate at least five (5) different designs for menus, and write up a report on the results. (Possible extra credit for more kinds of menus.) The menus must be ones you can access and run yourself (that is, it is not sufficient to be able to read about them in a document or see a video demonstration. This is because you need to be able to investigate and report on the low-level details of the operation, which is often not reported in demos.


Menus are everywhere in computers, games, smartphones, and consumer electronics. And there are a lot of different designs for menus. The goal for this assignment is for you to find as many different kinds and behaviors of menus as possible, and document their properties.

Examples of menus include:

Below are some different dimensions by which menus can differ. There may be many other dimensions as well.

Types of Menus:

The KIND or TYPE of menu:

Contents of Menus:

How many items are there in the menu? How are the items (content) in the menu arranged?

Interactions with the Menu:

How does the user interact with the menu?


Your assignment is to collect 5 examples of different kinds of menus. Ideally, all the examples you find will differ on the above dimensions. Try to cover as broad a range of menus as possible. (Possible extra credit for more kinds of menus.)

For each of the five (5) menus, in your report, you should include at least the following information:

As a final section of the report, you should have a discussion section that shows that you have command of the following topics from the class syllabus, with respect to the menus you studied and other menus from the readings, videos and discussions in class. The discussion section will be about 1/2 page (single spaced):

We also would like to show off a variety of menus in class on the day the assignment is due (Monday, Feb. 15, 2016) so be prepared to present your menus, if possible. Please also email the professor with a few screen shots (or a URL for web menus) of your most interesting menu(s) in different states. Be sure to include a caption about where the menus are from.