COM3375, Human Computer Interaction -- Spring 1999, Professor Futrelle

Details of Assignment #2, due at the beginning of class #2, April 6, 1999.

(Remember that assignments are numbered by the class number at which they're due. There is no assignment #1.)

A note on writing: A number of your assignments require writing, so a word on writing is in order. One of the most important aspects of writing is to decide in advance who your audience will be, who your reader will be, and what they will be looking for. In all the writing and documentation assignments I give you, I will ask you either to write "for me" or "for another student", a hypothetical graduate student who you should assume is not taking this course. When writing for me, remember that though I know the HCI material well, you should assume that I don't know anything about the particular system or capabilities that you are writing about, so you must explain them. That is, if you're writing about the X windows "Whiz-Draw" system (a made-up example), assume that I have never used the system in my life -- don't assume I know anything about it. The same goes for writing for a student audience. If I see misspellings, I will note them, so check your spelling!

Written assignment #2: Write for me. This will involve examining one or two interactive systems and writing comments on them. For parts A and B below, compare the system facilities you examine with some of the points discussed in Principle 2 and Principle 3 in Chapter 2 of your textbook. You only need to write about two paragraphs for each part, A and B, but make what you write concise and informative. You may pick any interactive system you please and at least one should involve mouse and menu interactions. They can be on any platform.

A. Write about some aspect of a system you are familiar with, comparing it to the Principles in the book.

B. Write about some aspect of a system that you have never used before. What did you discover when you tried to use it for the first time? Again, compare with the Principles in the book.


Visual Basic assignment #2: Write for another student. Get familiar with Visual Basic. Use the VB links or a VB book or any other informative source of information about how to develop systems in VB. Hand in a brief paragraph telling me which of the VB links, or other links within those, or other web pages that you know or discover, or book(s), turn out to be the most useful to you, and explain why they are useful. Do this part of the assignment whether you are new to VB or an expert.

Your future VB assignments will need to be done in VB5 that runs on the CCS PCs. You may do the assignments on any machine you choose and in any version of VB you choose, but they must be converted to VB5 and checked to make sure they run on the CCS machines before you hand them in on a floppy to me. You must also hand in hardcopy of your source.