Reading Reflections

For many of the class readings, I will have questions that everyone should respond to on the shared discussion board. These reflections are meant as a way to encourage reflection on and to fuel further class discussion about the readings. Responses need not be long (1-2 paragraphs is fine), but should provide indicate your personal reflections on the reading and prompting questions. Submit your responses by 10am the day of class.

  1. If you see research aspects of design work, how would you explain it to a non-designer colleague? If not, how would you justify your stance to a designer colleague?
  2. In what ways did or didn't the work described in Kinzie et al. paper follow the user-centered design process as described in the Preece chapter on interaction design and the Johnson chapter on first principles?
  3. What evaluation methods could be used to extend the results of these papers to future system implementation or refinement? What are the challenges to applying these methods in this domain?
  4. For the scenario-based design paper, what are some alternative ways to approach the project?

Assignments (submit to the course dropbox by noon)


  1. Design Question: In one paragraph, motivate and describe a design research question that is relevant to your research or interests. Focus on the problem in terms of human needs, rather than on any technical solution. Explicitly indicate the target users for the design (e.g., consumers, clinicians, biomedical researchers, public health workers, etc.). Bring this paragraph in to class with you.
  2. Design Problem: Bring a statement of the problem that your design is targetting. Note that the problem statement should not presume any form of the solution yet. Bring this statement to class with you for class feedback
  3. Value-Sensitive Scenarios: Follow the Nathan paper for strategic activities (tables 2-5) to identify stakeholders, future trends, values, and pervasiveness for your design. You may use bulleted lists, rather than paragraphs to describe everything. Use that information to create 2 or 3 brief (~2 paragraphs each) scenarios for how your design could be used. Prepare a presentation of your scenarios for class.
  4. Personas

    For this assignment, create a poster for two persona who represent potential users for your design. Think of this poster as something that would go up in the room of designers and programmers who are developing your system. The team should be able to connect with these people and be able to draw conclusions about how he/she would interact with the system. The persona should be a fictionalized character but should have some charcteristics that relate to information or observations related to your target users. Present the personas in class.

  5. Designs

    Each team member should create three different designs for one component of your design project. Remember that the idea is to encourage divergent thinking. Bring in those designs to class and we will have a group design session. Build upon your personas and your value-sensitive scenarios to create a final design. from assignment #4,. Your choice of how to describe your design should match your design problem. The design could include storyboarding the interaction for your system, sketches for an interface, etc.

  6. Evaluation Study Specification If you had a few extra weeks at the end of this course, how would you evaluate your completed design? In about a 3-page document, describe and include a justification for the following:
    • your target study population and how it relates to the stakeholders
    • goals you tried to satisfy with your design
    • goals for the evaluation
    • characteristics of your design that you want to evaluate
    • methods you would use to meet your evaluation goals
    • procedure you would follow to setup the evaluation
    • procedures that the study participants would follow
  7. Final design project presentations

    The presentations should be approximately 25 minutes with 10 minutes for questions for each team--up to a maximum of 35 minutes for both presentation and questions. Every team member should be involved in some part of the presentation. Practice and time your presentations to make sure that they do not exceed the maximum time. Developing strong presentation skills is one of the best things you can do for your career - no matter what your career turns out to be.

    While your fellow students are presenting, I'd like each of you to fill out an evaluation form for their presentations. Each person will get a style component, but the content will be based on the entire team's presentation. I'll bring these forms to class. Please provide constructive feedback to help your classmates improve their presentation skills. The forms will look largely like the grading rubric with room for constructive feedback.

    Every team is expected to do a user-cented evaluation of their design. I expect the evaluation to include the same number of users as there are team members (e.g., a 3-person team should evaluate their design with 3 different users). Otherwise, you have complete flexibility in how you choose to implement that user-centered evaluation. For example, you could show each user a series of paper prototypes where you assign them tasks to accomplish and have them "use" it and depending on what they choose present them with another paper prototype as if they were using it interactively on a computer. For other options, you could come up with a set of questions that you want to ask the user about the prototype or use a set of heuristics for them to base their assessment of the interface upon. There were a number of approaches from the readings and from our discussions in class. You can choose what fits best with your project and design. Information about your user-centered evaluation should be included in your final project presentation.


Last Updated on Sunday, May 20, 2012
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