Assignment 03 | making justifiable decisions about the design

Design and Implementation of an Interface Prototype

This series of assignments involves designing a prototype of an interface for an information system and developing a description of that interface.

The design process involves six components

  1. identifying and describing the intended users of the system | due on 29 Jan | worth 10%
  2. identifying and describing the essence of the task to be supported by the system | due on 26 Feb | worth 20%
  3. making justifiable decisions about the design | due on 24 Mar | worth 20%

As you develop your design, you will be making decisions about how the system will be implemented. Five or six of your major design decisions should be documented formally (though you may also document smaller decisions, if it is helpful to you).

For each decision, you should

  • specify the decision itself,
  • the alternatives considered,
  • and your rationale for selecting a particular alternative, including the evidence supporting your reasoning.

Evidence supporting your design decisions may be drawn from published usability guidelines, prior research studies that are relevant to your decision, or data you have gathered from your target audience.

You have four examples to look at.

  • The first example is simple and straightforward for a reasonably scoped proposal.
  • The second example goes a bit more into detail about design philosophy and lays out a few examples for a fairly complex proposal.
  • The third example seeks to display clearly what those design decisions may look like for a fairly complex proposal.
  • The fourth example is the most robust, but for a fairly simple proposal - a website for a small town government.

At least five or six decisions should be documented and are due on Monday, 24 Mar 2014

  1. graphical overview of the system and a prototype of the interface | due on 07 Apr | worth 20%
  2. usability inspection of a design developed by one of your classmates | due on 16 Apr | worth 10%
  3. a thoughtful response to that inspection | due on 02 May | worth 10%