The description of the project below is provisional and is intended to provide students with a broad overview of the goals for Project 2.


This is an opportunity for students to design and implement an interactive system system based on spatial user data. By spatial data we mean information about the pose of pedestrians on Prospect St (outside of the CEID) in New Haven. The data will be captured by a depth camera and complemented with additional features for the individuals (e.g., predictions of conversational groups).

The interactive system should be designed from a user-centered perspective, aiming to provide value to users based on findings from design research. The project focuses on systems that highlight moral principles, help users understand real-time or historic spatial data, or provide novel opportunities to relate nearby pedestrians. Example systems that fit the theme for this project are visualizations that help combat the spread of COVID (e.g., see this paper by Andy Wilson at Microsoft) and interactive systems that support proxemic interactions (e.g., Proxemic Toolkit).

As part of the project, students need to identify the activities that their proposed design will support and the type of questions that the system would allow users to answer. If there are existing solutions for the chosen activites/questions, it is important to identify what does not work for them and how the proposed design provides better support.

Project Components

NOTE: For all assignments, a collaboration record must be submitted along with the rest of the assignment by its due date/time. The purpose of the record is to document what each member of the team worked on for each deliverable, as in this template. The absence of this record in Canvas will result in a deduction of 10% of the assignment grade. This record does not count for assignment page limits.

Assignment 2a: Initial Research & Design (5%)

The goal of the first assignment is for students to narrow down the design of their system. The group should choose two different research methods to better understand the problem space from a user centered perspective (e.g., ethnography, interviews, contextual inquiry, etc). Then, based on the insights gained from the research, the students propose an initial design for their system.

The submission for this assignment is a pdf document (with the students’ name and netid at the top). The pdf should include:

  1. A description of each of the research methods used to explore the problem space and why they are suitable options. The description of each method should be 1 paragraph long.
  2. Evidence of the data collected through each research methods (e.g., photos of notes taken, list of materials gathered as a result of the method, etc.)
  3. A summary of the insights gained from each of the methods. What was learned through the endeavor?
  4. A description of two tasks that should be supported by the system that the group will develop.
  5. A description of an initial design idea and how it supports the proposed two tasks.

In addition, if there are existing, similar solutions to the proposed design, the submission should clearly describe their issues and highlight any positive aspect worth retaining in the future. When appropriate, examples of existing systems and practices can be used to support claims.

Assignment 2b: Milestone Report (5%)

The goal of the second assignment is for the students to prototype an initial implementation. Prototyping should focus on designing and implementing key system components to support the chosen tasks from Assignment 2a.

The submission for this assignment is a pdf document (with the students’ name and netid at the top) and a zip file with the code for the initial implementation. The pdf should include:

  1. A description of how the group agreed on which key components to implement and how they were designed.
  2. Any materials that showcase the design process (e.g., photos of sketches, affinity diagrams from brainstorming sessions, etc.)
  3. A short discussion of the aspects of the system that were successfully implemented as planned and any challenges that were encountered during the implementation of the prototype components.

The zip file should be self-contained and include any dependencies needed to run the initial implementation. The zip file should also include a README.txt file with an explanation of how to run the project.

Assignment 2c: Video Presentation (5%)

Between the second assignment for Project 2 and this third assignment, the group should finalize the design and implementation of their system. At least one key component should be iterated upon using an iterative design method (e.g., heuristic evaluation, usability testing, interview, video survey, etc).

The submission for this assignment is a 3 minute video. The video should concisely describe:

  1. The goal of the project. What does the design aim to achieve?
  2. A short demo (approximately 1 min long) of the resulting system. Consider using short clips to demonstrate various aspects of the system if necessary.
  3. The research process undertaken to achieve the design

Students have flexibility in terms of how they make their video as long as the final submission is in an mp4 container with H.264 format, which is portable and easily playable. For example, the video can be made in Zoom using presentation slides (e.g., PowerPoint or Keynote), or using any other video editing software that the students are familiar with.

All video presentations will be showcased in class at the end of the semester. The video should be submitted to Canvas in addition to showing it in class. The video submission should not exceed 80MB in size. Tip: HandBrake can be used for free to encode video.

Assignment 2d: Poster and Supplementary Material (15%)

The goal of this assignment is for students to communicate their design and document their final system.

The submission is a poster and zip file with final implementation. The poster should be in pdf format, have dimensions 40”x30” (horizontal poster) and a minimum font size of 24 pt. The poster should communicate the design process to a general audience. The goal is to present the work in a visual form to interested parties from across campus and/or industry. The poster should quickly convey the most important aspects of the work. More specifically, the poster should include:

  1. Project Title
  2. The name of the members of the team
  3. A brief description of the problem
  4. Value proposition & key functionality of the solution
  5. Brief description of the design process and iteration

The zip file should have a README.txt file with instructions on how to run the system and include any dependencies.