CS 5/7312 (Spring 2024): Course Project

Prof. Jeff Tian (tian@smu.edu)


Your project is an integral and the most important part of your learning experience in CS 5/7312. It must include both the critical elements of UI design and evaluation (UX), with possibly other elements in the UI/UX process as well. Project related activities will consist of three stages: It can be either an individual project or a comprehensive group project.

The details are given below.

Acceptable project types

The project should be an application of some specific UI design AND evaluation (UX) techniques/models for a new or existing program/product/application/service/etc. Your project should include several of the following important elements: The most important elements are the design AND evaluation activities performed by you. An acceptable project must include BOTH these elements and related activities, although you may choose to focus on one while only performing limited amount/scope of activities on the other. For example: For a group project, typically consisting of two team members, both the design and evaluation aspects must be extensively covered. In addition, more elements among the above (and/or with more in-depth treatment of these elements), a larger system, and more detailed/elaborated design/(possible implementation)/evaluation/repeating-the-cycle activities should be included, appropriate for the group. The group size of 3 or more needs special approval from the instructor.

Several other considerations are also listed below:

Difference in 7312 and 5312 projects:

Project proposals

Your project proposal should be around 3-4 double spaced pages in length, and should include the following information: In case of a group project, please also pay attention to the following:

Please keep in mind that by the time you submit your project proposal, we have only covered less than half of the class material, although an overview of the whole course is given at the beginning of the semester. Therefore, you may make certain modifications to what you proposed later on, but the basic framework, scope, and direction should remain fairly stable.

I'll provide written feedback to your submitted proposals. You need to address the issues I raised in your final project report. However, in most of the cases, you do NOT need to submit a revised proposal, unless I specifically ask you to do so. (I.e., in the rare case that your proposal is "unacceptable", I'll explicitly ask you to re-do/re-submit a revised proposal.)

Progress report

All the students are required to submit a progress report, if you are not doing a full presentation (see below) in class or on recording. Your progress report should focus on project progress you made so far, i.e., the main activities and results from your project after the proposal submission/review/feedback cycle. Here are some specifics about the progress report: I'll give you written feedback for all the progress reports submitted, which should be incorporated into your final project report.

Optional project presentation

You are highly encouraged to do a (full) project presentation. In that case, you don't need to submit the progress report described above. Each presentation should last about 15 minutes, with appropriate numbers of slides. The presentation slides need to be submitted the day before your presentation. You need to highlight the problem/solution-strategy/results/analysis for us to get the basic picture, but not necessarily all the details, which would require much more than 15 minutes. One common mistake in the past is too much background information but not enough UI design/evaluation technical information.

The primary purpose of the presentation is to share the results, findings, lessons learned with the rest of the class. I'll also provide some brief feedback to your project verbally live feedback), and may followup with some additional written feedback, so that you can make some adjustments to your project before submission of the final report.

Project report

The project report should be around 15 double-spaced pages in length, but no longer than 20 pages for an individual project or 25 pages for a group project. The report should clearly and comprehensively states the background, problem, strategy, activities, results, result analysis, lessons learned, followup actions, and a high level summary (and an abstract at the beginning). Each section should be clearly marked, preferably using numbered section headings (see, for example, the papers P1-P3 from our research group at SMU available on Canvas/"Files"). Additional material, such as graphs, models, etc. produced, information sources and raw data, customer surveys, etc., can be included in the appendix and clearly marked as such (so it will not be counted towards your 20 or 25 page quota).

Several common mistakes to avoid:

Most importantly, it's a report about what you did in UI design and evaluation (and other activities) yourself. Therefore, a general discussion of or even a comprehensive survey about UID and related topics/activities will not be suitable. (An unacceptable project. See "acceptable project types" earlier.)

Prepared by Jeff Tian (tian@smu.edu).
Posted: Jan. 31, 2024. Last update: Feb. 6, 2024.

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