Human-Computer Interaction

Spring 2016 :: ECE 69500 :: Purdue University

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You will work in pairs to design, implement, and evaluate an interactive system or or do a mini-research project.

Can I work alone?
Can I work with 3 people?
Maybe. Pairs tend to work best, but there may be room for one or two groups of three, if the magnitude of the project justifies it.


Projects should be relevant to something in the class. The final product should demonstrate that you learned something from one or more of the readings.

Can I choose a project related to my research?
You are encouraged to use this class as an opportunity to explore new directions. However, topics related to your existing research are possible with prior approval. In general, I would want to see enthusiastic support from your project partner and research supervisor. The project should be something standalone, such that you can clearly dilineate what is part of your existing research and what is for the course.

Human subjects research

If you think you may want to publish the results of the work you do for your project, then you must obtain approval from the Purdue IRB. This typically takes a few weeks. I will be happy to assist with this. Approval is not needed for a purely educational exercise.


2/8 Project: declare groups Send an email with group names
2/22 Project: pre-proposal Send an email with group names and a 300-500 word description of your project idea.
3/9 Project: proposal Create an HTML file with a 600- to 1200-word description of your project plan. For mini-research projects, this should include (a) title, (b) introduction, (c) ≈5-10 references, (d) research question, (e) what you might build as far as you know, (f) how you will test, and (g) how you will recruit participants. For system design projects, this should include (a) title, (b) introduction, (c) ≈5-10 references, (d) description of the target users and user goals this would serve, (e) how you will study the target users, (f) what you might build as far as you know, (g) how you will evaluate its success, and (h) how you will recruit participants. Submit a ZIP file containing an HTML file and any dependencies.
3/28 Project: v0.1 Email a progress report.
4/6 Project: video storyboard As mentioned in class, the video storyboard is just a sheet of paper divided into 6 or 9 segments. In each segment, hand sketch a key frame from your project video. Page 2 of this document gives an example. You don't need to get fancy. Just show that you've given some thought to what will be in your video. That is the sole purpose of this. You can turn it in on Wed in class.
4/13 Project: v0.5 Email a progress report.
4/22 Project: report
4/28 Project: video

Web server

A web server is available for hosting web-based projects. Users of this server will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of security best practices.

Involvement of users

System design projects

You should involve users throughout the process, in a manner appropriate for your particular project idea.

Mini-research projects

At a minimum, you should have some sort of study or evaluation with human participants. The best projects will have some sort of mini-pilot study early on.

Project page (final product)

For your final report, you will create a project page (≈1500-3000 words), including a video (≈3-5 minutes) demonstrating and explaining your system.

Content.  You should include all of the same information that would be found in an academic paper

Writing.  Write in the style and tone of an extended blog post. Start with a summary that explains at a high level what you did, in a way that flows smoothly into the rest of your article. Although this will include all of the same information that would be in an academic paper, it should be much easier to read. Your top priority should be to clearly understood and pique your readers' interest.

Formatting.  Everything should be neatly formatted. Templates are okay if they are clean and low-key (and acknowledged).

References.  Include at least 15 references to related work as hyperlinks within the text. For academic articles, use a DOI link (e.g., “”) and include the full citation inside the title attribute using a consistent reference format. For non-academic references, try to choose permalinks or main page URLs that are less likely to go away, and include the title and author (if applicable) in the title attribute.

Video.  Explain your project and give a demo of your system. A narrated screencast is fine. Aim for about 3-5 minutes.

Visibility.  Project pages and videos will be posted to the course web page unless any team members request that they be omitted or anonymized. I hope these project pages will be something you can refer to as you move along in your endeavors, as well as a resource for future students. However, that is entirely optional.


Projects will be graded based on the following criteria:

  1. Involvement of users
    1. System design projects: Users should be involved throughout your design process.
    2. Mini-research projects: At a minimum, you should have some sort of experiment or evaluation involving humans. The best projects will also have at least one mini-pilot study early on.
  2. Novelty and boldness (challenge) of your idea
  3. Your success at achieving what you set out to do
  4. Check-ins (pre-proposal, proposal, v0.1, video storyboard, v0.5)
  5. Quality of your final product (report, video)
    1. report web page
    2. video demo
    3. software artifact(s)
  6. Overall effort

Project grades will be the same for all groups members, unless there is very strong evidence and/or consensus that the contributions were grossly unbalanced.