CS 3500 Design Project

(60 points.)

To facilitate constructive group work, you should consult the "Successful strategies for teams: Team member handbook" by Kennedy and Nilson (3.2 MB). Will you be a contributor, a collaborator, a communicator or a challenger for your group?

This project will be completed in a group. The names of all group members should be on all project paperwork.

Your group has been hired to design a new web site for the citizens of Stanislaus county, a web site to help citizens in our region make plans for trips all over the world. (Counties that share a border with Stanislaus -- Merced, San Joaquin, Tuolumne, Calaveras, etc, may be included as well.)

Each group will be given a particular segment of the Stanislaus County population to focus their web site design for. (Seniors, teenagers, visually disabled people, people with less than a high school education, people whose first language is not English, etc.) Your particular user population will be selected in class.

Components your web site must include, and / or activities it must support:

(Many of the web site components come from in-class brainstorming on 4/29/2016.)

Part 1: Create Three Or More Personas: (some description courtesy Marti Hearst at UCBerkeley)

Because it is unrealistic to meet all requirements and address all users, it is important to focus on a few representative types of users and goals. Based on your common-sense notions of what will be required for your project, and based on general information about your user group, create personas (hypothetical archetypical users) to capture the most important user types and their goals. Assign personal details to the personas in order to make them more vibrant and memorable.

Each of your personas should be distinct from the others, encapsulating a different part of your potential user base.

Some general information about the way some groups use web sites is available on web sites listed below.

Remember that goals:

Remember that personas:

You may find that creating some scenarios, based on your personas, will help with your paper prototype. Drawing out a flowchart of how the web site components connect may also help organize your web site design.

Information about some types of web users:

Other potentially useful web site design insights:

Part 2: Create Paper Prototype(s): (some description courtesy Marti Hearst at UCBerkeley)

Design and construct one or more paper-based prototypes using the techniques outlined in the readings. The prototypes should bear the characteristics and needs of your user population in mind. Create paper prototypes for your whole web site, assuming the user is using a desktop or sizeable laptop.

Get feedback from another group in the class on your initial prototypes. (Take notes, for your design report.)

Redesign your prototypes, based upon the feedback from the other group and other insights.

Near or after the last day of class, but before the final quiz date, give a paper prototype demonstration of your web site to the professor (acting as a user).

Useful information, to help you understand paper prototyping:

The design project report will contain:

Spelling and grammar will count.

If you cite a resource not mentioned on this page, provide a full citation in a well-known citation style (MLA, APA, etc).

In your report, avoid making statements like: "The web site we designed is easy to use." You, as the designers, may have intended that the web site be easy to use. As we learned earlier in the semester, you, as designers, are not the best judges of ease of use. Testing with real users would be needed to test whether or not the web site actually is easy to use.

Turning in the assignment:

The design project report is to be submitted as a MS Word or Adobe PDF attachment to email by the due date for the report. The paper prototype copies must be delivered to the professor by the prototype due date (the last day of class).

Email, as an attachment, the report to the instructor (mthomas@cs.csustan.edu). CC yourself and all your project partners. Email "Subject" must be "CS3500: Design Project" with no quotes (capitalized and spaced exactly as shown).

After you have completed the final project and sent in your group report, please fill out this survey. The survey will allow you to provide feedback about what each partner contributed to the group work.

Last Updated on 4/29/2016
By Megan Thomas