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CMSI 370 Interaction Design, Fall 2018

Assignment 1206

This assignment makes you look both backward and forward on your front-end application as we close out the semester. On the one hand, we’d like to assess how successful your user interface design might be, using the discipline’s established objective usability metrics. On the other, this assignment releases you from coding-related constraints and lets you try your hand at being a full-on, no-holds-barred interaction designer of what the next version of your application’s user interface might be.

Background Reading

Textbook reading is comprehensive for this assignment: anything may be relevant from throughout the semester.

For Submission: Your Evaluation of and Vision for Your User Interface


In an ideal world (and perhaps in future projects that you will work on), we would like to perform a full suite of usability evaluation methods on our application, along the lines of Nielsen section 5.11 and chapters 6–7. We do not have the time and resources for this, so we will scope the work to an individualized heuristic evaluation of your user interface: look at your application in its final form, revisit the guidelines, principles, and theories from earlier in the course, and assess how well you think your design communicates your mental model and adheres to these guidelines and principles.

Also, we cannot perform a rigorous quantitative study, but you can conduct some informal measurements of some of the five usability metrics, and draw some conclusions on your front end’s usability based on what these measurements turn out to be.


After this evaluation, you may then cut loose—design your idea of a “dream” or ideal user interface for your application. Think outside of the box, be creative, mix and match interaction styles—it’s your call. Some (minimal, I hope) ground rules:

  • You may mix and match any existing shipping technology (e.g., multitouch, speech, audio/ video, gesture, 3D, accelerometers, gyroscopes, GPS) regardless of current platform.
  • Prototype or speculative technologies are off-limits (e.g., brain control, holograms, see-through displays, human-like vision or comprehension)—if something does exist but remains extremely bleeding-edge, provide one or more references to document its availability.

That’s pretty much it. All else is fair game.

Document Template

A template for the evaluation and vision document is included with this repository, specifying the content that you are expected to provide.

How to Turn It In

Commit your evaluation and vision document as a file called in this repository. As can be seen from the filename, Markdown format should be used.

Alternatively, you may also submit your document as one or more web pages, styled using your favorite library or framework. Of course, you should still follow the evaluation and vision document template for the content of these pages.

Specific Point Allocations

This assignment is scored according to outcomes 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, and 4c to 4f in the syllabus, as well as the degree to which the content delivered aligns with the content requested in the outline/template. For this particular assignment, graded categories are as follows:

Category Points Outcomes
Introduction 10 1a, 1b, 4d
Evaluation 40 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 4d
Design Vision 40 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 4d
References 10 4d
Writing deduction only 4c
Version Control deduction only 4e
Punctuality deduction only 4f
Total 100

As a writing assignment, outcome 4c is interpreted here as writing clarity and correctness instead of code readability. The last three graded categories are “deduction only,” meaning that you will only get points taken off if there are significant issues with those categories. Such issues include but are not limited to: unclear, unproofread, or erroneous writing (4c), insufficiently granular or unmessaged commits (4e), and late commits (4f).