» assignment 

It is recommened to start working with the assignment right away. Build a group of three participant (no more, no less), find out more about each others' interests and background, and get started!

Assignments belong to one of two categories -- design or evaluation task -- and must respect writing guidelines and template. Assignments are 8-eight pages long, no shorter, no longer. There will be a draft and a final version, both must be submitted by E-mail AND paper version. Evaluation will follow a checklist which will be sent out within a week by E-mail. For dates and deadline, please check "Examination". Tutoring of the final version will be offered.

» Design Tasks
A design task is the prototyping or design of an interactive computer-based artifact, tool, or system. A paper describing a design task must include (not necessarily in this order): design methods and process (discuss alternative design methods, chose one or a few which you apply; motivate your choice); evaluation sketch; next design steps. There must be a discussion that discusses the results of the work presented followed by a conclusion that draws conclusions on the work presented. You shall apply what you have learnt in the course on the work-situation and/or interactive system. The work process you will go through will look like this, step by step:
-Give a brief overview of related, previous work in the field you are going to design for.
-Select design criteria and a design method, e.g. paper prototyping or user-centered design.
-Decide who will be the future users of the system you prototype/design.
-Describe the design process and the results tool/system which came out of your design process.
-Use screen captures and/or photos showing your system before and during use.
-Get a few users (at least three) outside of your group and have them work with your tool/ system.
-Report on what you observed while these test users worked with your tool/system.
-How can you improve the tool/system you just tested to make it better?

» Evaluation Tasks
An evaluation task is the evaluation of an interactive computer-based artifact, tool, or system. A paper describing an evaluation task must include (not necessarily in this order): purpose of study; brief historical background; user types; use cases; user needs; usability and ergonomics aspects; evaluation method (discuss alternative evaluation methods, chose one or a few which you apply; motivate your choice), evaluation results; improvement suggestions. There must be a discussion that discusses the results of the work presented followed by a conclusion that draws conclusions on the work presented. You may collect data informally, through observations and interviews, or more formally, through a few task-solving sequences or task-analysis. The work process you will go through will look like this, step by step:

-Give a brief overview of related, previous studies in the field you are going to evaluate.
-Select one work situation, or an interactive system. It would be better if you can select one system that you know of but are not yet used to it, so you can have a very fresh feeling as a normal user.
-Find out what kind of tasks this system can do.
-Find out who can be the user, what the user's character is.
-What kind of knowledge is needed for being able to carry out the tasks for the user?
-Design a task scenario, test it among the three members of the group and see how it works.
-Find a set of users outside of your group (if short task: 12 users, if lengthy task/questionary: min 3 users) and run the same scenario again and see how it works.
-During the test, you shall define what you are going to measure so you can give a good evaluation of the system. Things tested for can be; error rate, time taken to finish the task, the effort the subject used and even the general feeling about it, etc. In the report you shall indicate why you select to measure those things, what is the theory behind it, how do you carry out these measurement, and how do you analysis the data.
-What kind of conclusion you can draw from your test results?
-How to improve the system you just tested to make it better?

» Writing guidelines and template
The writing guidelines inform on how to write a good paper; they should not be taken literally, but as qualified directions.
The template is a standardized layout for paper writing and should be followed to 100%. Both documents are based on conference material offered by the ACM SIG-CHI.
The word version of the template can be used to fill in your own text, thereby giving you the correct format in a more direct way.

Writing Guidelines, pdf format
Template, Word format
Template, pdf format

» Evaluation of draft version
The evaluation of the draft version will result in a checklist for formatting and content criteria (max 8 points for formatting, max 32 points for content). The checklist will inform whether the assignment draft fullfills each criteria and comments will be given at need. You may employ this checklist at any time by yourself, enabling you to know whether your draft is a good enough. Please remember: The better your draft is, the more constructive feedback will come back.

» Tutoring of assignment
Tutoring of the assignment will be offered close to the hand-in of the draft version and close to the hand-in of the final version. Tutoring will be given for a maximum 10 minutes per assignment at a first-come-first-served basis. We ask you to prepare questions within the assignment-group before tutoring. The following times and places are offered:

Tuesday 28th September 2004, 15:00 - 17:00, restaurant in Linsen.
Thursday 30th September 2004, 10:00 - 12:00, restaurant in Linsen.
Tuesday 12th October 2004, 15:00 - 17:00, restaurant in Linsen.
Thursday 14th October 2004, 10:00 - 12:00, restaurant in Linsen.