ASSIGNMENTS(Updated 4/11/01)

Professor Furness will grade the Group projects. The teaching assistant will grade the design problems and arcade game papers. The teaching assistant will also work the project groups to critique and provide feedback on the organization and development of the projects. The final grade will be determined based on your participation in class and the following:
Assignment Percentage
Design Problems 30%
Arcade Game Paper 20%
Group Project 50%



Grading Criteria:

Design problems are in-class or mini take home exercises to give you practice in applying HCI concepts to real design problems. The subjectivity of design makes design solutions difficult to grade. For this course, the criteria for design problems are not based on your ability to draw, rather, your ability to communicate verbally and visually. The criteria for the design problems are:

# 1 3/26

In-class exercise

Instructor's choice
# 2 3/28

Turn in at class


List and general critique of day to day interfaces.

As you go through the day note all of the possible interfaces you encounter. Take a critical look at the experience of the interface. Was it positive or were there barriers to getting what you want? Write a few lines critiquing the interface.

# 3 4/2 Critique the INDE 599 Website. As an  user of the site what could done to improve the site?
# 4 4/2

Bring to class, we will use them as points of discussion.

Volunteer your design. Expect to be called on!!


Choose one interface on your list and revise as necessary. Use your knowledge of human factors, common sense, and the DOET book to guide your design decisions. Prepare a short paragraph and bulleted list stating the major problems with the interface and your solutions. Use sketches, collages, and other visuals to represent your design.

# 5 4/4 Instructor  Problem
Group 1 4/9 From the book "SET PHASORS ON STUN" look at 4 aspects:
  1. Characterize Users
  2. Tasks
  3. Environment
  4. Technology
How did it happen?
How to solve?
# 6 4/25

Turn in at class.

On 4/16 We will talk about your metaphors in class. Volunteer your design. Expect to be called on!

  • Metaphor 
  • Analog
  • Icon
  • Personalization
  • Personification
# 7 4/25

Turn in at class.

On 5/15 we will talk about your 2D/3D interfaces in class. Volunteer your design. Expect to be called on!

2D and 3D Interfaces
QUESTION: If you were to drill a hole from St. Louis, MO into the earth and out the other side, where would the drill come out? (Coordinates) 
    PART 1 Represent this problem in 4 ways:
  • Symbolically (mathematical eq)
  • In 2D
  • In 2.5D
  • In 3D
    PART 2 
  • What is the shortest path from "here" to "there" for each of your2D, 2.5D, and 3D representations. Chose two places at least a distance of 3000 miles apart.
    PART 3
  • What is the shortest distance on the surface of the earth from "here" to "there" for each of your 2D, 2.5D, and 3D representations. Chose two places at least a distance of 3000 miles apart.

Arcade Game Paper Due April 11, 2001
For thisfive page paper, you are to briefly describe and then analyze an arcade video game. Include a bibliography and illustrative visuals (additional pages). Take a pocket of quarters to a video game center or local arcade, choose a game you are not familiar with and locate/read the instructions. Make an attempt to play the game based on the instructions and knowledge you have of how other electronic games are played. Then replay the game (several times, but do not get hooked!) using additional knowledge that you have obtained from your first experience. This must be an arcade game, not one on your computer of home system. Some suggestions for places to find games are; Wizards of the Coast (on "the ave"), Gameworks (downtown Seattle), HUB basement, Health Sciences Student Center, and many pizza shops.
Grading Criteria:
  • Quality of game characterization.
  • Quality and rigor of user interface critique and answer to posed questions.
  • Quality and explanation of proposed improvements.
  • General paper writing skills with appropriate citations.
  • References to suggested readings and outside resources.
  • Appropriate use of visuals.
  1. Crawford, C. (1990). "Lessons from Computer Game Design". In Laurel, B. (ed.) The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 103-111.
  2. Crawford, C. (1982). "The Art of Computer Game Design", Berkeley, CA: Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 77-92.
  3. Meretzky, S. (1997). "Humor in Game Design," In Proc. of Computer Game Developers Conference '97, April, 1997, Santa Clara, USA, 573-581. 
  4. Pausch, R. and Jon Snoddy. (1996) "Disney's Aladdin: First Steps Toward Storytelling in Virtual Reality". In Proc. of SIGGRAPH'96. August 4-9, 1996, New Orleans, LA, ACM. 193-203. 
  5. Standifer, C. (1997). "Apparent Intelligence or Inanimate Objects Make Good Friends," In Proc. of Computer Game Developers Conference '97, April, 1997, Santa Clara, CA, USA, 771-776. 
  6. Wickens, C. (1992). "Spatial Perception and Cognition and the Display of Spatial Information". Chapter 4 in Engineering Psychology and Human Performance. (2nd ed.)Harper Collins. New York: 116-166. 
  7. Issues to Address:
    1. Do the instructions provide a novice with all the information necessary to play the game successfully on the first try? Discuss the procedural knowledge necessary to understand the structure and function of the game. Is there a difference between the instructions and what you really need to know to play the game?
    2. Discuss the necessary perceptual-motor skills needed to play the game.
    3. How much help was your prior knowledge of how other arcade games work in learning to play the present one (i.e. consistent sounds, movement, and devices).
    4. Find an expert user of the game you selected (hint, they are probably much shorter than you!). Ask the expert how the game should be played. Compare these instructions to the written instructions. Which set of instructions would be more useful to the novice?
    5. Compare the game with the principles of design outlined by Crawford. Which of these principles does the game employ. How and to what extent? Which are the most successful in making the game fun?
    6. Include observations for improvement of the interface.


Group Interface Project

This is a quarter long group project starting the second week of class. The assignment of groups is based on an experience/interest questionnaire given on the first day of class. You will choose an interface problem and go through a design process to brainstorm, conceptualize, develop, test, develop, prototype, test, and report on your new or revised interface. You will learn about the design process and methods in lecture. The design problems and readings give background and practice in user interface design applicable to today's interfaces.

Final Report Grading Criteria:

Yes, there is a checklist and here it is.

What's due, when….

The following table lists the date and describes what to turn in during the quarter.
Group Project Due Date Description
  # 0 4/16 Concept Definition

A one page definition consisting of:

  • Problem Statement and brief discussion of concept 
  • Use scenario
  • Concept sketches 
  • Team Logistics
# 1 4/23

Each group will talk about their project in class for about 5 minutes.

Project Proposal
  • Revised concept definition with greater detail and discussion of issues to address.
  • initial performance requirements
# 2  4/30 Characterization


  • User
  • Task 
  • Environment
Use Field Studies
  • Literature review (users, task, environment, technology)
  • Observation of how it is done now
Refine Performance Requirements


  • Users
  • Technology
  • Environment
# 3a  5/7 Design I
  • Revised scenarios
  • Detail sketches and vignettes
  • Storyboard
# 3b  5/14  Design II
  • System map
  • User/Field Studies
  • Screen/ hardware designs
  • Flipbook

Wednesday 5pm 


 Final Report

15 page report focussing on the design process and solution. This paper will be used by the instructor as the primary tool for evaluating the design.

  • See grading criteria list
  • Statement of problem
  • Interface concept
  • Background
  • Methods used
  • Documentation of redesign and changes
  • Results from tests and evaluations
  • Concluding remarks
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix for storyboards, sketches, and other process materials not included in the written report.