Design Project

Assistive Technology Spring 2005, Prof. Jen Mankoff

The “design” component of your project is due on Wednesday, March
2nd. You should come to class with a poster that you can use to tell
the class about your project, and a 3 page writeup, plus
references. You should follow these guidelines for
reporting and writing about people with disabilities
when writing
this (and future) reports.

Your design document should begin by giving a brief overview of
your project, documenting (in 1/2-1 page) what you know about related
work, and then describe your implementation/testing plans (at least 1
page). In this section you can also talk about anything you have
already implemented. You should tie the justification of your plans to
the related work to the extent possible. Remember, you have two months
to implement and test your project. Keep the scope feasible.

Normally at this stage of the project, I would also like to see a
pilot study (or pilot implementation), however for IRB reasons, most
of you will be unable to start that. So instead, it’s important that
you develop an understanding of the space you are working in
(including related literature), what you are trying to prove, and the
process by which you will prove it. This is an extension and expansion
of certain pieces of your proposal.

In particular, your design document should include a more extensive
literature survey than your proposal. If you have any questions about
how extensive this should be, please speak with me. Unless you are
re-designing a web site, your project will require you to understand
what has come before. Typically this means developing familiarity with
about 10-20 research papers, and/or products. If you are re-designing
a web site, you should refer to the material about testing covered in
lecture, and do additional reading as necessary to justify your
testing choices.

Additionally, your design document should be more specific about
your plans (if you are running a study, you will have to get specific
to submit to IRB anyway). You should clearly state the goals of your
project, and how you plan to evaluate whether you have succeeded. Your
implementation or study description should mention any
technology/algorithms/models you plan to build off of, or describe any
studies you plan to run. For example, if your goal is to make a web page
more accessible, how will you test it’s accessibility? You might
choose to test with users who are blind, or to test using a screen
reader, for example. Which will you do? How many users will you test
with? What tasks? And so on. If your goal is to create a better
scanning interface, how will you judge whether you have improved the
original? You might test whether the individual you are designing for
can complete the tasks she cares about faster than before. Again, how
many users, what tasks, etc? If your goal is to create a tool
that can render a graphical interface in audio, how will you show that
the tool is successful? You might show that it works with
a number of different representative interfaces. And so on.

If you are able to start any implementation, your design document
should also talk about what you accomplished