Assigned: February 4
Due: February 18, Before Class
In this assignment you will use the contextual inquiry methodology to learn more about the work practices of your target users. The interviews will help you perform a task analysis of your idea. Try to focus on as specific a group of users as you can. It will be easier and more effective to develop an application that helps a specific group of users such as backpackers visiting Berkeley from Japan who don't know any English, rather than all backpackers visiting the US.
Finally, you will design rough sketches of your proposed user interface. Be sure to start early on this assignment. It will take time to schedule users for interviews, and the bulk of the assignment is based on your interview data. Remember, extensions cannot be given for group assignments.
This assignment is 10% of your overall grade, which has been broken down into 60 points for grading. The breakdown of points is discussed below.
What to Do:
Here's a little more detail on the various elements of this assignment.
We will grade this based on the quality of your method in finding representative users and and how much you discover about any issues you might be able to resolve with an interactive system. For example, if you were designing a drag and drop scheduling application:
You should focus on a specific set of target users and then pick as varied a set of subjects within the user group as you can.
Analysis of Tasks
You should choose good representative tasks that span a variety of different scenarios, instead of just being variations on a theme. Your project should not try to solve a problem that is too simple or too complicated. Suppose you are designing an auction website (eBay):
This is the first real glimpse we've seen of your interface, so we care about the amount of thought you've put into coming up with an interface paradigm which can realistically evolve into a useful final product. Of course, we also want to see a good spread of activities in the tasks that you choose. Back to the eBay example:
Keep in mind that at least part of your mobile application should have a conventional UI, perhaps a home screen, a screen for entering user information, or a screen for setting configuration options. Some of these interfaces might appear on a desktop computer, however, instead of on the mobile device.
What to Turn In:
You will submit a writeup of roughly 7-12 pages of text and sketches through the wiki as described below. Your writeup should follow the outline below and will be graded using the writing guidelines described below.
Target Users (8 points)
Describe the rationale behind your choice of target users. For each of the three customers, give some details of their background, their likes/dislikes and priorities. Avoid information that may reveal their identity.
Problem and Solution Overview (2 pt)
This overview should be a concise statement of the problem you are tackling and a brief synopsis of your proposed solution.
Contextual Inquiry - Interview Descriptions (10
Describe the process you followed when conducting the interviews, and environment where you observed their work. Identify tasks and themes that the customers shared in common in their work practices. Then, note anything unique about each interview and comment on the rationale behind these events.
Task Analysis Questions (5 pts)
Answer the 11 task analysis questions. Use examples from your interviews when applicable.
Analysis of Tasks (10 pts)
Choose 6 tasks (2 easy, 2 moderate, 2 difficult tasks) and describe them. These should be detailed real world tasks.
Interface Design (20 pts)
Give a rationale for your design ideas. This section should clearly indicate the functionality of your artifact and what the user interface will be like (described and sketched — reference the figures in your text). You should then describe 3 scenarios of how someone would use it to accomplish 3 of the tasks above. Scenarios include the steps customers will go through to accomplish the task. You should include "storyboards" of the sequences described in your 3 scenarios. Make sure you consider the form of the UI that is most appropriate.
Analysis of Approach (5 pts)
Explain how your application takes advantage of the affordances of mobile devices. Discuss other potential solutions (e.g. non-mobile applications), and list the pros and cons of your approach.
How to Turn In:
From your group page, create a new page for your Contextual Inquiry assignment. You will probably want to call this page something like "<GroupName>ContextualInquiry" to ensure that the page is unique. Paste the text for your written report directly into your new page and embed any sketch images that you may have.
Finally, link this new page to the Contextual Inquiry page. After adding an entry to the bulleted list on that page, link that entry to the unique name that you picked for your assignment page in the step above.