Assignment #13: Final Presentations (5/1/14)
Please try to include the following in your final presentations (total of 10 minutes):
  • Pitch highlights: What is it, who it’s for, what problem it’s solving & how it’s different from the competition (~ 1-2 slides)
  • Process highlights: Elements you may want to include for this part: early sketches, app map, mood board, usability study findings (~ 3 slides)
  • Final design: New user experience and key task flows (can be demo or ~6 slides)
  • Future directions: Potential feature or product directions (~ 1 slide)
Assignment #12: Usability Study Findings (4/24/14)
Your usability findings should include at minimum the items below:
  • Updated test plan & script
  • Brief user profiles (age, gender, relevant background info)
  • Top 10 findings and design recommendations

Assignment #11: Prototype Walkthrough (4/17/14)

Please prepare an informal walkthrough of your prototype to date, ideally including the new user experience and 2-3 key flows.  Each team will share their prototypes and their classmates will suggest ways to further improve the design.

Assignment #10: Start Recruiting & Prototype Development (4/3/14)

In preparation for your usability tests, which will take place between 4/10 and 4/24, please begin work on the following.  (Note: The actual deliverable for this assignment—the top findings summary—isn’t due until 4/24.  Additional details on that document will be posted next week.)

  • Recruiting: Start recruiting 5-8 participants who meet the criteria outlined in your usability test plan.
  • Prototype Development: Please start creating an interactive prototype for the usability test.  You can use any tool you like as long as the resulting prototype is interactive.  At minimum, the prototype should include the new user experience and two key flows.  You do not have to code every possible path the user may take, just the “happy paths.”  Be sure to include real content, e.g., do not have lorem ipsum text or blank pages.
Assignment #9: Apply Visual Direction to Key Flows (4/3/14)

You’re probably all on spring break by now — basking in the sun, skiing, touring foreign lands. But, when you’re back from your adventures, please start applying your visual direction, based on your mood board, to your key flows. You’ll be creating light weight prototypes the week of the 31st so it will be important to get started on these. At minimum, please post one key flow with your visual direction to your group page before class on Thursday, April 3rd.

Assignment #8: Mood Board (3/20/14)

For next week, please create a mood board and a UI style board.

Mood Board

  • Come up with three brand attributes, keywords that describe characteristics of your app.
  • Choose a font-face that illustrate the brand attributes.
  • Collect images from the internet which represents the brand attributes well.
  • Select two different color pallets.


Review examples in 21 page of Patrick’s slide.

Assignment #7: Motion & Sound, Usability Plan, Visual Guest Prep (3/13/14)

We have a few small assignments due next week:
  1. Add motion and sound annotations to the key flows submitted last week.
  2. Develop a recruiting plan & high-level script for the usability tests we’ll run in April.  Please review Chapter 8 from my book to make sure we’re aligned with regard to the recruiting and script approach.
  3. Bring legible printouts of at least one key flow for Patrick to review next week.  Time permitting, think about what kind of visual direction might be appropriate for your app.  These thoughts may be helpful when sharing your work with Patrick.

Assignment #6: Key Flows (3/6/14)

For next week, choose your best “It” screen and use it as a jumping off point for sketching your app’s key task flows. Post these flows to your group page before class on 3/6.  Also, bring a printout of at least one flow to class since we’ll use it for a design exercise. Some notes on what to do and not to do:
  • Sketch a minimum of three task flows; at least one flow should include the new user experience.
  • Don’t get into error handling and edge cases; try to keep the flows on the “happy path.”
  • Black and white sketches are fine.  We’ll get into visual design when Patrick comes on the 13th.
  • Make sure the overall interaction strategy (e.g., navigation, layering, touch affordances) is unified and consistent with your “It” screen.
Assignment #5: App Map & It Screens (2/27/14)
For class on 2/27, please create the following and post them to your group page:App Map: This is essentially a birds-eye view of your app’s functionality.  You do not need to get into detailed flows, edge cases or error handling.  At this stage you also don’t need detailed sketches for each screen; annotated boxes and arrows are sufficient. Here are examples of App Maps from last year (your App Maps will reach this level of fidelity towards the end of the term): Graffiti team & InStore team.It Screens: Once you’ve finished your App Map, identify your “It” screen (or screens).  This is the screen that really defines the user experience of your app.  For example, Facebook’s feed is what really defines that app whereas the initial map screen is what defines Uber.  If one screen is insufficient to communicate the essence of your app, you may focus on 2-3 screens at most.  Next, I’d like you consider 3 distinct directions for the “It” screen (or screens).  The distinctness should come at a conceptual level, not simply moving navigation around or changing the look & feel. Page 124 in my book includes a nice example for the app.

Assignment #4: Personas, Scenarios, Storyboards (2/20/14)

For 2/20, please develop personas, scenarios and storyboards for your app.  Hopefully the blog posting issues will be resolved and everyone can post these to their group project page.  Contact Chan if you’re still having trouble on Monday (Gary working on it today.)

Here’s a great example of an A assignment from last year (you don’t need to do the app map until next week so ignore that for now):

Personas: Aim to create at least 3 personas for your app.  It’s OK to divvy up the work for these among team members but please try to have a consistent writing style. Remember, typical persona contents include: name, profession, age, location, attitudes, activities, influencers, work flows, pain points, frustrations, goals.  You don’t have to include all of these if they’re not relevant.  Please feel free to add information that would be valuable for your specific app.  To create these personas, I recommend using the collaborative persona building tool introduced in class (include a photo of your board when you post your assignment). For a detailed persona example, please see page 81 in my book.  Yours can be much more concise – one short paragraph is fine.

Scenarios: Aim to create 3-5 scenarios for your app; the precise number of scenarios will vary depending on the app.  Typical scenario contents often include motivation, context, distractions, and the user’s goal.  For reference, scenarios are discussed on pages 82-84 in my book.  As above, it’s OK to divvy up the work for these among team members but please try to have a consistent writing style.

Storyboards: For each scenario above, create a corresponding storyboard. Hand drawn illustrations are ideal but photographs with device sketches and annotations can work if none of the team members can sketch well (but please try!).  Strategies you may want to include: zooming in/out of device, show context, arrows to indicate movement, annotations, thought bubbles.

Assignment #3: Design Goals (2/13/14)

For 2/13, please develop design goals for your app.

Goal: Ensure that users can easily identify dangerous parts of bike routes.
Research finding: New bikers indicated that this information would encourage them to get on the road; experienced bikers stated that this information would help them adjust existing routes.

Goal: Provide anonymity yet still support community.
Research finding: Individuals who collect items off the street want to give thanks but donors would rather remain anonymous.

Goal: Let the bakers’ creations shine.
Research finding: Visuals were the first thing users wanted to see before deciding whether to trade their creations with another baker. If these weren’t up to snuff, they were not inclined to learn more.

I recommend informal interviews: ~3-5 total with at least two primary users and one secondary user. Given that we have limited time, you may want to tap into your personal networks when recruiting. For example, Jenton may want to ask his girlfriend to introduce him to other bakers who might be interested in BakeTrade. Also, to save time, teams can split up the user interviews. Meaning, the entire team doesn’t have to attend each and every interview, though you’ll want to connect to create the shared goals.

As far as the deliverable is concerned, it’s sufficient to submit a one-pager with your design goals and supporting findings in PDF or HTML format. We’ll be creating group pages and you can link to the assignment from there. If for some reason you have issues posting to the blog, please let Chan or I know. This assignment has been simplified from last year but it may still be valuable to see some example scripts and findings. If you need additional coaching on preparing or conducting interviews, please contact me. I’ll also post links to relevant readings.

Assignment #2: Form a project team & Refined App Idea (2/6/2014)

Connect with your classmates and form project teams of 3-4.  You’ll present your revised pitch to Richard who may offer advice on further fine-tuning your direction.
Assignment #1: App Idea Pitch (1/30/2014)
Everyone will pitch their app ideas within 3 minutes.  Be sure to state at minimum 1) who the app is for and 2) the problem it solves. Remember that the app should be distinctly mobile and improve people’s lives.  If you have thoughts on the platform and device, you may share them, though it’s not required.  Finally, you may want to state your strengths (e.g., visual design) if you think it would be helpful when forming teams.