Assignment #4: Project idea pitch
You've been brainstorming. You've received some feedback. You have hopefully iterated on various ideas. It's time to propose your best idea and convey your concept as best as you can in two pages or less.
If your idea presented at the 1-minute MADness got a positive response and has received a positive response from Prof. Intille, you might continue with it (but you don't have to). If your idea has received a lukewarm response, you should come up with a new idea or a radically improved idea.
Your assignment should include the following information for your proposed app:
- Class project category (see the list from the slides the first class)
- App name (Max 30 characters, including spaces)
- App description exactly as it would appear on the Play Store (Max 4000 characters, including spaces, usually much less). This description should be something that is appropriate for the app store. It should describe the app succinctly and catch someone's attention. It should clearly get across what is interesting/novel about the app. It should not state that the app is "easy" or "fun" but instead describe behavior that sounds easy or fun. Describe, don't tell. There should be no typos or awkward language in this description because this reduces your credibility dramatically.
- A slogan or promotional saying that would appear on the Play Store (Max 80 characters, including spaces)
- Who are your target users of the application? (Be specific. For example, "kids" isn't precise enough. A kid aged 4 is very different than a kid aged 6 or 8.)
- Succinctly answer the following questions:
- What problem/task(s) does the application help the users/stakeholders using it solve? Break this down into your two users:
- The users of the app (i.e., those labeling data)
- The users of the data generated by the app (i.e., the data scientists)
- What 3-5 current apps on the Play Store (or other app stores, such as iTunes) would be your closest competitors? (you will need to search around and try out apps to figure this out)
- Why will your app be better than the competitors?
- What is innovative about your app idea? What will be particularly surprising or elegant about the concept?
- What about your app will keep people engaged using it for a long time, even once the novelty wears off? Why will it be addictive? (Please describe this in English in a bullet list, and tag each bullet with one or more of the concepts labeled in the readings from Class 4, as you did in Assignment 2)
- What are the top potential weaknesses of your application idea and how will you address them?
- Would you be able to design, build, and test this app before the final project is due for the class?
Next include scans of sketches or storyboards showing your concept in as much detail as you can. Your goal is to succinctly but thoroughly convey how it might work. You should also convey that you have thoughtfully considered the details about how (and why) someone would use it.
- Make sure you understand, and address, the problems laid out by the project categories and discussed in class.
- Aim for innovation but exploiting/addressing the qualities that make an app addictive and usable (see readings from Class 4)
- Exploit the unique functionality and usage patterns of mobile devices
- Keep in mind the design principles we've discussed in class and that have been in the readings
- Think through the details of ALL of the screens someone would encounter
- Iterate a few times with friends to try and improve the idea before you turn it in
- Remember that you are proposing to implement what you propose -- keep it ambitious but manageable
- Don't forget that you can use wireless sensors/devices if you wish, even Android Wear or Google Glass if you are feeling ambitious
- If registered for 5520: Propose an idea that uses sensors in an novel and significant way to enhance the interactive experience
- Make some of the mistakes made by students in the past (reread my prior notes carefully and ask yourself, "does my idea suffer from that problem?")
- Use a computer to draw designs ... sketch screens by hand (but do make sure they are neat)
- Propose to reimplement an app that is already on the Play Store (instead propose something new that has a "wow" factor)
- Assume unrealistic, oversimplied behavior of your users
- Assume that your users will do things that are not fun or immediately useful for long periods of time
- Assume that users are going to be receptive to your app repeatedly telling them what they should be doing
- Assume that your users have a lot of free time and that they will make major changes to their lifestyle just to use your app
- Propose ideas that require a large amount of high-quality content to be generated in order to be interesting (unless you will be able to generate example content to be used to evaluate your project)
- Propose ideas that require access to databases of content that you will not be able to obtain access to
Email your assignment with subject line "Assignment 4: [YourFirstName] [YourLastName]" to the TA and ...@neu.edu as a PDF file named [YourFirstName][YourLastName].assign4.pdf by the deadline.
This assignment will be graded based on how well you follow the instructions above and how well you communicate your idea, what (real-world) problem it solves, and why it is novel and important. We are not looking for pages and pages of material: you have no more than two pages. Figures should be sketched. Text should be typed in no smaller than 11 point font. Again, we are looking for clear descriptions and innovative ideas that will be genuinely useful to people. Your assignment should reflect that you have spent some time thinking, in detail, about ideas, and that you have read all the class material and applied the ideas discussed in class.
Although it is subject to tweaking, this table will give you a sense of how this assignment will be assessed.