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42070 Prototyping Physical Interaction

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Information Technology: Computer Science
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:

Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

Recommended studies:

Basic programming knowledge is helpful, but no particular language knowledge is assumed.

Description

This subject focuses on the design, assessment and implementation of effective and elegant interactive physical devices. Students use a human-centred design approach to create, iteratively evaluate, and refine a series of prototype devices which use a variety of sensors, actuators and display methods to facilitate rich and complex user interactions and experiences. Students learn how to obtain and process data from sensors, and design the auditory, visual and haptic feedback that the prototype provides. By conducting iterative cycles of user assessment and feedback on the evolving prototype interactive system, students iteratively refine and finalise their prototype design.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Use a human-centred design process to design and develop an interactive system.
2. Model an implementation of a physical interactive system.
3. Embed sensors and process sensor data efficiently and effectively to support the user experience of a physical interactive system.
4. Implement and assess sensory feedback from the interactive prototype.
5. Communicate the capabilities of your designs and implementations effectively.
6. Assess the usability and appropriateness of an interactive system through studying use in context.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the development of the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs):

  • Identify, interpret and analyse stakeholder needs (A.1)
  • Apply systems thinking to understand complex system behaviour, including interactions between components and with other systems (social, cultural, legislative, environmental, business, etc.) (A.5)
  • Identify and apply relevant problem-solving methodologies (B.1)
  • Design components, systems and/or processes to meet required specifications (B.2)
  • Synthesise alternative/innovative solutions, concepts and procedures (B.3)
  • Apply decision-making methodologies to evaluate solutions for efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability (B.4)
  • Implement and test solutions (B.5)
  • Demonstrate research skills (B.6)
  • Communicate effectively in ways appropriate to the discipline, audience and purpose (E.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject will take an authentic, project-based perspective on the development and user testing of prototype interactive systems. Class time will be devoted to the exploration of both technological methods for implementation as well as practical experience of methods for obtaining design feedback from users. Collaborative exercises, design exercises and technical experimentation will be undertaken within class to develop the design and implementation skills necessary, and will. In addition, groups will collaborate to complete the central project as a team, by completing each of the individual and group assessment tasks, and within-class interaction will be the basis on which feedback on the prototypes is obtained. In week 1 and 2 there will be feedback provided on your developing project implementation model.

From time to time this subject will require preparation before attending class, including watching video lectures, doing research, developing designs and completing quizzes, so that during class time the student can engage fully in collaborative group and class exercises and discussions. Requirements for this pre-work will be posted in the appropriate sections of UTSOnline and will also be referenced in the program section of this subject outline.

Content (topics)

This subject covers the following content:

  • Basic programming techniques for prototyping systems.
  • Basic fabrication design techniques for building enclosures.
  • Human-centred design and methods for evaluating prototypes.
  • Analysing evaluation results.
  • Analogue and digital sensors and sensor data analysis.
  • Displays and audio systems Networks of prototyping systems.
  • Software techniques for analysing sensor data and responding to sensor input.

Learning this content is undertaken in the context of a central prototyping project, which will involve the implementation of a prototype, a user evaluation of the prototyping, and then the refinement and completion of the prototype.

Assessment

Assessment task 1: Develop a technology tutorial

Intent:

To develop familiarity with implementing sensor and display technologies.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

A.5, B.1, B.2 and E.1

Type: Project
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 15%
Length:

1 proof of a working example (video and example code/implementation and diagrams)

1 tutorial (approx. 1 page) and description of design context.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Clarity of description of design context 40 2, 3 B.2, E.1
Uniqueness of interaction element described 30 2, 3 A.5, B.2
Effectiveness and elegance of software and hardware example and tutorial 30 1, 2, 3 B.1, B.2, E.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Model an Implementation

Intent:

To accurately model the sensor, display, hardware and software elements within the prototype.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

A.1, A.5, B.1, B.2 and E.1

Type: Report
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 20%
Length:

1 individual report per student with:

1 system diagram.

3 pages on software.

3 pages describing sensors and feedback hardware

1-2 pages on plan and backlog.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Thoroughness of description of hardware and software elements and tasks. 20 3, 4 B.1, B.2
Thoroughness and detail of model links and integration. 20 2 B.2
Elegance of design. 30 1 A.1, A.5
Presentation clarity and thoroughness. 30 5 E.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Study Prototype with Users

Intent:

To obtain user study feedback on your prototype system.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

A.1, B.1, B.3, B.4, B.5 and B.6

Type: Report
Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 35%
Length:

As a group:

a) 1 user study design and protocol (1500 words) and

b) User study feedback as appendix (raw transcripts/data)

As individuals:

1 analysis report (3000 words) covering

c) Description of perceived user needs based on user study analysis

d) Design alterations and refinements planned and their basis in user feedback

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Quality of the user study design. 25 6 B.5, B.6
Quality and thoroughness of the user study results. 25 6 B.6
Insightfulness of problems identified from user feedback 25 1, 6 A.1, B.1, B.5
Effectiveness and elegance of solutions proposed to user problems/feedback. 25 1 B.3, B.4
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 4: Final Prototype

Intent:

To re-design and refine the fully-realized prototype system.

Objective(s):

This assessment task addresses the following subject learning objectives (SLOs):

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

This assessment task contributes to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes (CILOs):

A.1, A.5, B.2, B.3, B.4 and B.5

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 30%
Length:

As a group:

1 3-10 min video presenting system, carefully and thoroughly explaining the prototype design, and the basis of the design features within user feedback.

1 2000-word group rationale and summary of implemented improvements based on user feedback.

As individuals:

1 1000-word Individual reflection on design process.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Resolution of design. 20 1, 5, 6 B.3
Functionality and robustness of sensors, system, and system feedback. 20 3, 4 B.2
Thoughtfulness and creativity of prototype design. 20 2 A.5, B.4, B.5
Effectiveness of incorporation of user feedback into design iteration and refinement. 20 1, 6 A.1, B.4, B.5
Proficiency of human-centred considerations in final outcome. 20 1, 6 A.1, B.5
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

In order to pass the subject, a student must achieve an overall mark of 50% or more.

Recommended texts

IDEO, 2015, The Field Guide to Human-centred Design, IDEO, Canada. (Free e-book)

References

Banzi, M. 2009, Getting Started with Arduino, O'Reilly Media, Sebastopol, CA, USA.

Monk, S. 2014, Raspberry Pi Cookbook, O'Reilly Media, Sebastopol, CA, USA.

Margolis, M. 2011. Arduino Cookbook, O'Reilly Media, Sebastopol, CA, USA.

Igoe, T., 2007. Making Things Talk: Practical Methods for Connecting Physical Objects. Make, Sebastopol, CA, USA.

Moggridge, B., 2007. Designing Interactions. MIT Press, Cambridge, USA.

Norman, D. A. 2003. Emotional Design – Why We Love Everyday Things. Basic Books, NY.

Norman, D. A. 1990. The Design of Everyday Things. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, NY.