Due date: ?
Requirements elicitation & user interface prototyping
Imagine that you are working for a firm that produces personal
electronics products, and you have been given the job of designing the
software for a new "sports performance monitor" device. (The
marketing department hasn't come up with a spiffy name for this thing
yet; if you have a good idea, feel free to use it.) The device is
intended for enthusiasts of running, cycling, and cross-country skiing,
and will measure various factors as they exercise. The basic
unit, designed to fit on the user's wrist, will include a
chronograph (measuring time), an LCD display with a backlight (for
viewing the display in the dark), and a tiny speaker. It would
also be possible to include an altimeter
(measuring altitude) and/or a GPS device (measuring location), but it
is not clear how useful these additional devices would be.
Initial estimates indicate that the basic unit will cost $30, adding
the altimeter will increase the cost by $20, and adding the GPS device
will also increase the cost by $50.
Your responsibility is to design a prototypical user interface for the
device, guided by the comments and stories of real potential users.
More specifically, you will elicit requirements through interviews,
develop a prototype based on these requirements, and document your
prototype. You will be assigned two "potential users" to interview.
It is up to you to schedule interviews as soon as possible; your
interviewees are under no responsibility to agree to last-minute meetings.
If you like, and if your interviewees agree, you may come back and
validate your prototype with them. This will make your report more
interesting, but it is not required; note that you will have to start
the project early in order to do this.
What to submit
Elicitation plan. Describe what information you hope to elicit
from the users, present your elicitation instruments, and explain why
you have chosen these instruments. You should use the notion of
scenarios (described at length in class) as part of your
elicitation plan, but this need not be the only type of tool that you
Elicitation results. Give the responses you elicited from your
interviewees, and describe and justify the conclusions you draw from
Motivated by the user information you have gathered, develop a
prototype of the user interface. You will need to "fill in
the blanks" in many places; this amounts to making preliminary design
decisions. In such cases, justify your design decisions in terms
of user requirements.
Create a Statechart representation of the prototype, and describe the
states and events of the Statechart diagram in some detail. You may
include other forms of documentation if they seem useful.
Each of the above will be weighted equally in the grading.
Attentiveness to problem. You will need to think at length
about the product from a user-centered perspective --- both when
developing the elicitation plan and the prototype. Your decisions
should be well justified and based on the user requirements you
Attentiveness to users. Your time spent eliciting requirements
is very important; be sure to use it as effectively as possible. The
quality and number of your questions and recorded answers are
important grading criteria for this project.
Quality of documentation. Your Statechart diagrams should be
clear and accurate, and the states should be annotated to represent
the appearance and behavior of the device in each state.
Critical analysis. As in the previous project, you'll be asking
a lot of questions and making a lot of decisions, particularly in the
development of the elicitation plan and the prototype. Be sure to
include your questions and decisions in your written document.