Roland Hübscher

User Interface Design

Big Group Project for IDCC375

Problem Statement

The percentage of old people keeps increasing. Many of these people don't like the idea of growing old in some retirement or nursing home. They would rather grow older in their own place. This is often refered to as aging in place.

Your task is to come up with a design that supports that life style. Your solution needs to be feasible and can be anything including computation device, non-computational phsical thing, process, etc. You don't need to solve the whole aging-in-place issue, but address at least one aspect in an innovative way.

Your design solution will be sketches and/or descriptions and possibly a 3D models if you indeed design something that's beyond 2D. What is appropriate depends of course on the type of solution you will design.

You will not get any more constraints or guidelines to start with. These you will have to be developped over time. However, we will talk in class more about the project.


The project starts on Thursday, September 29. Conceptualize your initial focus. Make a plan for your research.

Initial Research: Thursday, October 6

Read up on the issues. Interview people.

Write up in detail what you have learned while doing your initial research as discussed in class. Organize the document well. Submit the document as attachment by email with an appropriate subject line.

Analysis and Criteria, point of view: Thursday, October 13

There are three things you have to do based on your initial research. You may realize that you have to do some additional research for this.

  1. Do a user, task, and context analysis. Present the characteristics of your users (not stakeholders), characteristics of the context and the tasks in a condensed form, e.g., a (hierarchical) list.
  2. Develop three scenarios of the interface's use. Select a wide sample of representative users, tasks, and contexts.
  3. List all evaluation criteria that are important. For each criteria make clear 1) why it is relevant, 2) how you intend to measure it, and 3) what appropriate values are (e.g., worst, acceptable, and others). Group the criteria if you have a few that fit into the same category.

Write down your current point of view in one sentence as discussed in class.

First Prototype: Thursday, October 27

Develop a conceptual model of your new design and come up with at least three rather different alternative solutions/designs. Sketch and annotate these designs and bring them with you. Maybe you also have some physical prototypes. If there is no visual component, just use text. As usual, we'll talk about the assignment in more detail in class.

Second Prototype: Thursday, November 10

Your latest and best sketched design on paper as discussed in class. Also bring a physical mockup if that makes sense for your solution. You should have narrowed it down to one prototype.

Last feedback: Thursday, December 1

This is the last chance you can get feedback for your design and prototype from me. Bring your questions, designs, prototypes, whatever so that after this session, you know what you will have to do to finish your project well.

Final presentation: Monday, December 8 & Monday, December 12
Report, prototype, & brochure: Thursday, December 12

Each group will have to hand in the following as PDF submitted by email.

  • Your final design marked as such and all intermediate sketches, doodles, notes, etc. that led to the final design. Order them according to creation date. Your sketches, etc. need to be hand drawn, not produced with some fancy software tool. The final design must be neat and clear. The others, well, they don't have to. But I want to see them anyway because the process matters!

  • Create a brochure that you could provide to angel investor or crowd funder to explain your solution and convince them to fund its development.

  • Write a report (this time with some software tool, please) including the following parts. Use the same order and same headings, please.

    Describe the need for your product and your target group. Make the case that there is a market for your product.

    Analyze the functionality (what tasks does your solution support), the users (your target population) and context in which they are going to use it. Be detailed but avoid being unnecessarily verbose. Focus on those characteristics that are relevant for your design problem.

    Spell out clearly and explicitly what criteria you are using to evaluate your intermediate and final designs. Saying "it must be easy to use" is useless. Be more specific. If the criteria are not measurable, they are useless. That is, you can't just say over and over in a loud voice "mine's better."

    Conceptual model
    What is the conceptual model of your design, i.e., how is the user intended to conceptualize the interface, interaction, etc.

    Design alternatives
    Briefly describe your designs (you had some alternatives in mind) and how they stack up given your criteria.

    Final design
    Describe and draw (2D solutions) or build a 3D model of your final design. Evaluate your final design. What has worked out well? Where are still some problems?

    Reflect on your design process. Where did you run into problems? What could be done better? How would you do it next time? What else should you have known before you started this project?


The teams are meant to have a good combination of skills and a diverse background. The idea is that you learn from each other as well. Do not just use a divided-and-conquer approach and not talk to each other. At the end of the project, all group members need to understand why and how you did it equally well.

The teams were computed by an AI program based on individual skills, student preferences, and other miscellaneous criteria. Group names are anagrams generated with the first names of the group members. Feel free to change them.

Make sure you have a leader in the group who is responsible that everything gets handed in, who sets up the meetings, who makes sure all the documents get prepared in time, etc. Also, find weekly time slots that work for all group members for the rest of the semester. Consider using some on-line collaboration software to store documents and communicate.

Problems within a group need to be addressed swiftly by the group, and if it cannot be resolved, the group members are required to see me right away. If I don't hear from you, I assume you don't have any serious, project-threatening problems.

Remember that your project evaluation is based on a group grade and a modifier based on the evaluation of the group members of each other.