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

Details of Assignment #4, due at the beginning of class #4, April 20, 1999.


A. Work with a user to assess the usability of an interactive application

This ties into Sec. 4.3 of our text: "Usability Testing and Laboratories". An extensive project on usability testing is given on the website for our text as Project 19 at It includes more than you should do for this simple assignment, #4A, but you may find the ideas useful, especially because Sec. 4.3 of our text is brief and not too specific. The Guidelines for User Observations for Project 19 is quite useful material. I think you'll find it helpful as supplement to some of my brief guidelines below.

Here are the guidelines as I discussed in class #3 for Assignment #4A:


B. Literature search and project ideas:

Your first task is to familiarize yourself with the HCI literature. You must use a (real!)library in this work, not just the Web. Many of the items mentioned below are simply not available on the Web. Your other goal is to look for ideas for your course project, which should involve both system design and VB programming.

Your primary product for #4Bwill be a two or three report describing some of the articles that you find that are interesting. You MUST look at a few JOURNALS (technical periodicals) and PROCEEDINGS. A good list of these can be found in our text on pages 35 and 36. You should also include a section, at least half a page, on what you found that you think might be a good project idea(s).

As you look at the various articles you find, be looking for ideas for your project. Remember, your project will be far simpler than virtually anything you read about in the literature. Do not get overly ambitious. You should know already from your first VB assignment how much work it takes to do even simple things.

In your report, include full and properly formatted references to any articles you discuss -- use can use the format that our text uses in its Reference sections at the end of each chapter.

You should also try to investigate the on-line full articles and article abstracts that are available through the Snell Library Web site, specifically: The most valuable resources are only available to you from a browser on campus -- they are resources purchased by NU and availble only through on-campus connections.

All the above should keep you busy!

As always, As always, email if you have questions: