Final Interactive Prototype

Design Critique Deadline: Thursday, December 4 (before classtime)
Final Deadline: Tuesday, December 16 (before final exam slot: 8AM)
Point Total: This assignment is worth approximately 20% of your project grade (8% overall).

Assignment Overview
You've nearly made it. As Paul Laseau (1980) notes, the design process is a symbiotic relationship between idea elaboration and idea reduction (Chapter 1 of this Greenberg et al. reading). From the course-long project perspective, we are at the end of the elaboration phase, so your ideas are to be reduced/manifested into a final interactive prototype (though, of course, even here there will be a micro-elaboration/reduction phase as you brainstorm how to go about your specific implementation). You have gone through multiple iterations of your designs across a range of mediums from paper to interactive prototyping tools and have received various forms of feedback from users to your fellow CMSC434 classmates.


The interactive prototype can be built in any programming language of your choice based on the needs of your application; however, it must designed for a mobile device. Your grade will be based on the following: (i) the way in which you apply IxD and visual design principles from class, (ii) how you've integrated findings from previous assignments, (iii) how well you support your three primary tasks, (iv) the technical implementation of your prototype (e.g., that it actually functions), (v) how well the prototype integrates the use of at least one sensor (the theme for this semester). Thus, the design choices you make for the interactive prototype must be well justified from the literature we've read, lecture content, and from user testing and design critiques of earlier prototype versions.

What To Do

  1. For TA06 (the Mid-Fi Prototype assignment), you were still working with two prototypes. It's time now to take the findings from your previous user studies and design critiques and settle on a final design. You should also apply IxD and visual design principles from lectures and the readings to create a usable, engaging, aesthetic, and enjoyable interface.

  2. Each team can decide on their own implementation strategy. As we are time constrained in this class, it might be best to settle on a programming language or framework that at least one teammate has experience using. You could develop the app in iOS7, Android, HTML5, and possibly even mobile frameworks like PhoneGap (as long as the framework gives you access to the sensor you need). As most of you are seniors, these sorts of decisions will be similar to what you face in the "real world" as developers or project managers (and you'll face time constraints there too!).

  3. Your entire focus should be on supporting the three primary tasks identified in earlier project assignments. You do not have to implement anything beyond that necessary to accomplish these tasks. As with the mid-fidelity prototypes, it's up to you how you want to constrain user interaction. For example, you could disable buttons, show a "not-implemented" page or dialog box with a back button, etc.

  4. On December 4th, we will have our final design critique. You must come to class with at least two of your three tasks implemented in an early interactive prototype.

  5. Once you have the three primary tasks implemented, you need to perform a usability test with external users. See TA09 Final Testing & Report for more details on this. You will also need to make a final video, which is described in TA08 Final Video.


The primary deliverable for this assignment is the interactive prototype itself. You must post your source code to a Github repository (preferred) or upload a zip to Canvas along with a README, which describes how to run the code. We will use the video of the interface from TA08 as our primary basis to evaluate your artifact but please also be prepared to demo on December 16th during our final exam slot.