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HW#17 (4/22/04)


  • Design of a User-Centered System for Tracking Vacation Time

Team Members


1. your major achievement(s) so far?

At this point we have completed the following:

  • Customer survey
  • Defined the feature set
  • Defined the system architecture
  • Distributed the tasks
  • Completed ~75% of the code development

2. most difficult (sub)problem you encountered (and solved) in your work?

The most difficult part so far was defining the feature set. This is an arbitrary problem and can snowball unless managed closely. We stuck to Norman's principle of creaping feature'ism and tried only to include what the customers indicated they wanted on their survey.

3. relate your project to 3-5 major themes/papers which we discussed in the class (and briefly articulate the relationship)?

  • Collaboration : This design is a method of collaboration through computer media. Employees can see the whereabouts of fellow employees in one location. They can also add information to one central spot.

  • Beyond Couch Potatoes : This is a system that is only useful if the all of the employess take an active role.

  • Importance of Representations : We found through our survey that users wanted a graphical display that looked like their calander on the wall. This is an example of representation. If the vacation time was organized into a list, people would take more time to interpret the information. Being in a familiar representation allows the quick retrieval of information.

4. describe the remaining work to be done before May 3

  • Complete Coding
  • Complete Presentation

5. articulate any questions which you might have at this point of time

We think we should set a hard timeline for the presentations. Everyone should be allowed EXACTLY 25 minutes to present and then have 10 minutes of discussion. The independant research projects were a prime example of having presentations that were too long for the allocated time. The best part of the independant research presentations are the discussions, however every minute that was used to discuss something was a minute of material that couldn't be covered. We think all four groups experienced this and all of the presentations suffered because we were rushing to fit everything in.
By setting a fixed time for presenting and discussing, each group will be able to put together presentations that will fit nicely in their alloted time.

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