Fall 2017»CSCI 380 Homework 3

CSCI 380 Homework 3

Assigned Date: Friday, Sep. 29, 2017
Due Date: Friday, Oct. 6
Due Time: 2 hours before class time

Last modified on October 27, 2017, at 01:47 PM (see updates)

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


This is the second phase of the semester project.

Continue development of an innovative user interface.


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 (may be slightly different for different user personas). Make sure your personas carefully span the space of potential users. See textbook; also see How To Create UX Personas, and (for a more business motivation perspective) see Personas - Design Thinking Book.
  • 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.
    • Focus on user tasks
    • Keep the conceptual model as simple as possible
    • List the following:
      • Object types (e.g., book, drink, recipe) 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.
    • Again, the above are conceptual - things the user needs to know about the application domain (independent of the UI). The UI will follow from this.
      • Avoid objects that are specific to the UI.
      • Avoid objects in the underlying system (e.g., car carburetor, or a database).
      • For example, think of the trouble with Norman's refrigerator (what is the proper conceptual model?)
      • Or the conceptual model of a clock:
        • 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.


Update your report on Google Drive to include the above.

Append the above outline to one already there. I.e., the above should come after "Evaluation heuristics"

Update the original material to reflect your new, improved understanding of your system. For example, add evaluation heuristics, as there is new stuff to evaluate (hint: think, conceptual model!).

Everything in your report should fit consistently together (including your evaluation rubric).


  • Your report should have sections that follow the specified 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.


  • Bring a hard-copy of your report in class, on the due date, to be graded.
  • Also, upload your report to the shared Google Drive folder, called 'Hmwk3'.
    • Name your report 'AppName.CSCI380-hmwk3', where
      • 'AppName' is your application name;
      • for example, YouTube.CSCI380-hmwk3 or Snapchat.CSCI380-hmwk3.
  • You can see others' reports, but do NOT modify them in any way. (Google Drive keeps track of all changes - so be careful.)
  • Do not make any changes to the shared folder structure (e.g., do NOT create any other subfolders, rename files, etc.).


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., 20% of your grade).

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