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CSE 403, Spring 2014
Assignment #3: Evaluation of paper prototype and requirements

Due: Monday April 21, 2014 by 23:00 via Catalyst
(Activity in class on Monday, April 21, 2014)

Before class on Monday, April 21, 2014 hypothesize which parts of your user interface you most need feedback about. You may learn otherwise, but you should at least have a good rationale for your hypotheses. Choose at least three high-level goals — use cases — that a user may wish to perform. (For example, “You want to buy tickets to the Nirvana Drummers Reunion Tour.”) The goals should cover the main functionality and the functionality about which you have the most substantial questions. They may be related to, or the same as, the use cases that you created while determining the system requirements.

Also before class, create a paper prototype of your proposed user interface. You have already designed parts of the interface for the previous assignment; your paper prototype may reflect that design or an improved one.

In class on Monday, April 21, 2014 you will spend half the time being a customer for another group's system, and half the time having another group evaluate your system. Don't forget to assign responsibility for various tasks such as note-taking. And, don't forget to shut up, which is the best way to get realistic feedback. (The rare exceptions include prompting the user to think aloud, or if the user is hopelessly stuck.)

You will receive the requirements document for another group (the same one for which you will evaluate the paper prototype).

Two documents are due from you, each in PDF. This is a group assignment, not an individual assignment: for each group, one member will submit the two documents.

The first is a reflection on what you learned from the paper prototype exercise. What was expected? What was not? What will you change as a result? What should you have done differently before the exercise, to make it more effective? This should be 1-2 pages long. Additionally (and not included in the page limit), it should contain a photograph of your paper prototype (the file size should be no more than 1MB) and a brief (no more than 5 sentences) description.

The second is an evaluation of the requirements and the paper prototype of the group for which you serve as the customer. This should be 1-2 pages long. Some questions you might ask include: Is the project addressing a well-defined problem? Does it provide value in ways that not met by the alternatives? Are the requirements clear? Are useful features missing? Is the UI well-designed? You can also see the requirements assignment.

You will be graded on the quality and thoroughness of the feedback you provide. Your review should be written with a professional tone. Suggestions of any variety are most welcome. By working as a customer of the product, and writing a review for the team, you are contributing to their project by becoming collaborators. You essentially become part of their team. Remember that a project without a good customer is usually a failed project! Your insights are very valuable. It is good to get practice at at thinking critically about designs and providing constructive feedback, because you will be asked to do this throughout your career.