CSE 595 -- Lab #1
Due: Jan 17, 2002
Find and describe an example of poorly designed human-machine interaction.
From your direct observation of someone else having difficulty using a
machine, computer application, or any designed artifact or situation,
prepare a short description (including both text and diagrams as needed),
sketching the situaton and explaining the difficulty. Additionally, think
about and note the various perspectives of those who may have created the
situation (ie. Why would someone choose to design it this way?).
Please read the Don Norman chapter (one of the readings for Week 1) before
doing this assignment.
- Start by thinking about problems that you've had
(easy). Challenge yourself by trying to notice the problems that
others have (harder). How do you watch? How do you uncover their
- critical search:
- Having read some of Design of Everyday Things, by D. Norman,
pick up some of his spirit in the search for problems in design --
poorly designed everyday things may be the hardest to notice.
- multiple descriptions:
- A very important design skill is the ability
to be fluent in the language(s) of design -- various representations
for describing, analyzing, and synthesizing experience and
interaction. Try to invent some new representations or discover
combinations that work well.
- multiple perspectives:
- Any design is the result of compromises --
there is seldom a right answer. Think about the historical, economic,
aesthetic, political, physical, and personal factors that played (or
may have played) a part in influencing your target design.
Look for something that others might not think of -- the more diverse
the examples we share in class, the better. I'd definitely like to see a
fair number of non-computer ones!
Try out a variety of representations for your diagram (photo, sketch,
flowchart, cartoon, outline, story, table). Use a combination if time
and space permit.
A polished essay is not expected. We want a quick way to capture and
communicate design problems and possible solutions. This should be a
sketch, not a work of art.
We'll have a mini-poster session at the beginning of class on Jan 17, and
continuing during the break, to
discuss the summaries - so please prepare your assignments in a form
suitable for posting on the wall, 2 pages or less if possible. For
students who would like to contribute their assignments to the class web
page, please also send Ken (firstname.lastname@example.org)
a set of files to include in the web, or a URL.
(Files are preferable to a URL, since URL's tend to disappear after a while.)
Labs submitted for web publication
The web pages from previous CSE HCI classes have examples of variations of
this assignment. However, you don't need to spend a lot of time polishing
a web page for this assignment - some of the pages from previous quarters
are more polished than I'm expecting this time!