Homework 4: Implementation of the Prototype

For 05-863/08-763/46-863: Introduction to Human Computer Interaction for Technology Executives (Fall, 2009)

Homework 4: Start: Mon, Nov. 16, 2009, Finish: Mon, Nov. 23, 2009

Using the design that resulted from all your testing and revisions from Homework 3, you are now going to implement the interface, and then run a user test of that implementation. You can use any way to implement your prototype such as those that were discussed in class (see lecture 7 which includes links to various places to download versions of the implementation tools).

PART A: The first part of this assignment is to implement your interface. You should implement at least enough that all your user tasks can be completed, with sufficient feedback so the users can see what the system's responses are. You should simulate actions of your device. For example, if you were doing a copier, when the user clicks "Start" you might display a screen or dialog boxes that says everything about the current operation, for example: "now copying, 2-sided, no staples, using paper tray #1". If there are parts of your user interface you do not implement, there should still be controls (buttons, sliders, etc.) that would lead to those parts of the interface, but instead lead to screens or dialog boxes that say "not implemented yet" or something. That is, all of the screens you show should look complete, even if all the operations do not necessarily function. As another example, if you have a "search" button, it is fine if the search-results screen always shows the same thing, no matter what is searched for.

  1. The deliverable for PART A is the complete implementation before your user test. Just zip up your entire directory structure including project files, etc. Name your file: HCI-HW4a-lastname-firstname.zip, for example: HCI-HW4a-myers-brad.zip. Put this file on blackboard. NOTE: Make sure it will be easy for us to run your system, and to see the source code. Make sure any required images are included in the zip file, and include a "readme.txt" file explaining how to run your application.

PART B: Perform a user study of the prototype you created in PART A. You should put your implementation in front of at least one and preferably more than one user. This should be a different user than you used for your other homeworks, and this person should also be a novice at your appliance.

As before, you might want to videotape your sessions. However, since this user study will be done entirely on a computer, you can use screen capture software instead. Microsoft supplies a nice free one, called "Windows Media Encoder 9 Series" which seems to work well for Windows 2000 and Windows XP but maybe less well for Vista: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/forpros/encoder/default.mspx. It will also record what the user says by using your computer's microphone (like if you have a laptop with a built-in microphone).

  1. The deliverable for PART B is the User Test Report filled in for your user test(s), including at least 5 rows of observations for each user. Here is the template again (same as last time):  http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bam/uicourse/UserTestReport_template1.docx. Be sure to fill in the script part in the file (if the script is the same as previous assignments, please mention this, but go ahead and include it again, so we have everything in one place).

These will be turned in using hardcopy, like usual.

PART C: Next, you will modify your implementation to try to fix the problems you observed in your user study. The fixes should correspond to what you wrote in the "Possible solution" section of your User Test Report turned in for part B.

  1. The deliverables for PART C is your new implementation. Again, just make a zip of this version. Name your file: HCI-HW4b-lastname-firstname.zip, for example: HCI-HW4b-myers-brad.zip. Put this file on blackboard.
  2. Also turn in a summary of what you changed. This should be a short description. Be sure to reference the appropriate row of your template to motivate your changes. This will be turned in using hardcopy.

Important Notes: