Fall 2016»CSCI 380 Homework 3

CSCI 380 Homework 3

Assigned Date: Friday, Sep. 30, 2016
Due Date: Friday, Oct. 14
Due Time: 12:20pm (10 mins before class)

Last modified on October 11, 2016, at 01:09 PM (see updates)

This is a group assignment - you must work in teams of 2 or 3. See course collaboration policy for details.


This may be the second phase of the semester project.

Continue development of an innovative user interface for an application utilizing a computer and/or a smartphone.


For this assignment you are to specify the following:

  • User Goal: Provide a refined user goal. It should start with "User wants to...", and describe in one sentence the high-level objective of the user. Again, user goals are about life and needs or wants - they do NOT (and should not) include your system. Your system is developed as a way to help the user achieve this goal.
  • User Personas: Create several user personas for your application (one persona per each major type of user). Your personas must include name, photograph, and a precise description of a user and what (s)he wishes to do with the system (may be slightly different for different user personas). Make sure your personas carefully span the space of potential users.
  • Conceptual Model: Provide a conceptual model of your application. This should describe in terms of tasks (not keystrokes, mouse-actions, or UI elements) what users can do with the system and what concepts they need to know, in order to be successful. For example, see conceptual models in a nutshell.
    • Keep the conceptual model as simple as possible
    • Focus on user tasks
    • List the following:
      • Object types (e.g., books, drinks, recipes) that the user should know in the application (less is more)
      • Attributes of each object type, and
      • Operations that users can perform on each object type.
    • Hint: Avoid objects that are specific to the UI, or unnecessary objects in the underlying system (e.g., car carburetor).
      • For example, think of Norman's refrigerator. Or the conceptual model of a clock/watch, e.g., Objects: time, date, day, hour, minute, second, alarm, etc.; Attributes: alarm state (on, off), etc. Operations: set time, get time, set date, get date, etc.

This assignment requires no traditional implementation (i.e., coding), but is full of important, meaningful implementation activities that will set the stage for what follows. Be very attentive and careful. Your success depends on the quality you infuse to your product / idea at this stage.


Produce a report (PDF), with the above outline.

Start with:

  • Application name, team names, class, date, etc.


  • Your report should have sections that follow the above outline. If you include figures and illustrations, you should do so only if they give substantive help to the reader in understanding the concepts presented. You should avoid decorative graphics/pictures.
  • As per course collaboration policy, there should be no discussion of any kind about this assignment (and possible solutions) with any person outside your team other than the instructor. You are not allowed to discuss/look at someone else’s solution (including material in books and the Internet) or show your solution to someone else outside your team other than the instructor.
  • Include references on materials (other than the textbooks and handouts) you consulted to do the assignment.


Grading will be based on your ability to carefully and succinctly identify the above key points.

  • Work for clarity, succinctness, and effectiveness.
  • Hint: It might help to think of your report as a (meta) user interface, and your classmates as your end-users. What is their goal in reading your work? What tasks they would want to accomplish? Help them achieve those tasks.

Grading will also be based on the quality of your evaluation of others' work (e.g., 10% to 20% of your grade).


  1. Submit your report in class on the due date to be graded.
  2. Also upload it on OAKS in PDF format.

To be eligible for full credit you must follow these instructions carefully.

Relevant Quote

"Any amount of work can be done in any amount of time... only the quality varies." ~Joao Meidanis