& Class Notes
3724 - Human Computer Interaction - Summer 2005 -- Pardha S. Pyla
Due as per
In this project
assignment you perform your upfront systems analysis, starting with an
ethnographic field visit and including identifying client business objectives,
client business processes, target user classes, usability goals, user
tasks, and system constraints. For this phase you can visit one of the
following locations to do an ethnographic study based on your choice of
kiosk: bus station, train station or an entertainment location.
What To Do
- Prepare for an ethnographic
field visit for client and user interviews. See other items in the
list below to be sure you know what information you need to acquire.
- Meet your client contacts
and conduct an ethnographic field visit to interview the appropriate
people in your client organization, plus potential and representative
users of your system. Get everything you need to prepare for your
systems analysis to understand and characterize the following:
client's business objectives
client's overall business process and work flow
How To Do
As with Project
1, the product of this stage is a much broader description of the system
than you will actually develop in subsequent stages of the project. To
get started, in Project 2 we want you to take a broad view of the system
and in later stages you will select a few key parts (subset) of the overall
for client/user interviews (I will be your client for this phase)
- Find out as much as possible
beforehand about your client (because the client is imaginary, try
to find out information about any company that fits the description
of this type of client)
- Understand organization's
policies and culture
- Know current system and
- Decide what questions
to ask - in particular, plan to get the information you will need
to describe items 3-8 in the list above
- Prepare script of questions
2. Meet with
your client contact and interview the client and representative users
- Document work processes,
business process, work flow, what gets done and how, and how it all
interrelates. Gather insight into behavior and organizational context.
- Establish rapport with
managers and clients
- Collect artifacts (e.g.,
paper forms) as available
- Follow leads
- Be a detective! Dig out
what you need. You will probably need more than one meeting
with your client to do all this.
3-8. See the
class notes and class discussion for items 3-8. For item 5, download the
file called User Class Characterization Matrix
as a starting point and change/add/delete characteristics as appropriate
for your own project topic. Then fill it out for three user classes as
a working document during your interviews, in preparation for deliverables
item 5. If you have only two legitimate user classes, fill out the matrix
form for only those two and explain the situation (why you have only two
user classes) in item 5 of the deliverables. You must have at least two
clearly distinguishable user classes.
binder, create a "tabbed" section labeled "Project 2". Add this section
to the front of your team binder. This way, your binder becomes
a cumulative record of your whole project, with the most recent parts
first. This section should start with its own separate cover page with
(mostly the same as on the front of the binder):
Contents of Project
- "Project 2: Systems Analysis"
- Team number
- Project name
- Name of client organization
- One-line description
- Team member names
- "CS 3724– <current
documents your systems analysis process for your proposed application
and should include the following. Number and label your items per this
- Begin after the tab for
this section, with a blank printed grading
form for this deliverable.
- Then include a Table of
Contents for this particular deliverable (not the whole folder).
- Then follow with these
items, numbered as they are here:
- To make this report a
stand-alone document, repeat the latest version of your product concept
statement, as a synopsis of your project.
- Describe the process
of preparation to interview your client. Describe how you decided
how many client representatives and/or users you should interview?
Include a copy here of the questions you prepared for the interviews.
- a) Describe the process
(not the results yet - those are reported in items 3-8) of interviewing
your client and potential and representative users.
b) How many client representatives and/or users did you interview
in total? List their names, job titles, responsibilities, and anything
else that would help describe their role in the enterprise.
- Describe 3 (or more) business
objectives, each no more than 50 words (these are not system or usability
objectives). Business objectives might include things like better
organization of inventory information because controlling inventory
is a way of controlling costs. Other examples might include increased
revenue or increased customer satisfaction.
- Give a narrative description
of your client's overall business process and work flow (what gets
done and how). Include any artifacts (e.g., paper forms) you may have
gathered from the client. Draw a diagram as appropriate. Label the
arrows and lines indicating information flow with what information
flows and what channel is used (e.g., phone, through the system).
Label all boxes with the roles of each person or 'agent' involved
and what is done in the box (e.g., storage in a database). This refers
to the flow of the work that the target system is designed to support.
It almost certainly includes the work flow for the users. If
you are also considering backend processing for the client's side
of the transaction, that end of the work flow (the client's internal
process) should be also be included. In what ways, if any, does the
management or business organization of the client business, company,
or group impact your approach to requirements and design?
- Define/describe all your
target user classes (up to two or three sentences per class). Identify
user classes by their work context roles (e.g., manager, sales clerk
- not "frequent user," "new user," etc.). As part of each user
class definition, give a brief "bottom line" statement, such as "Users
are walk-up-and-use users from the general public, with a broad range
of computer skills and background" or "These are highly trained and
experienced power users". Include your customized user class matrix
(that you made in items 3-8 above), filled out for your user classes,
in this part of the report. If you truly do not have three user classes,
explain and justify here.
In the user class characterization matrix, "culture" is the overall
flavor, philosophy, ambiance and environment of the users' work context.
It's about their thought processes, policies, terminology and the way
they do things. The culture of a steel mill floor is all about noise,
dust, hot temperatures, safety concerns, and making iron and steel.
The culture of a doctor's office is very different. It's about making
appointments, being examined, and having health insurance. For the workers,
though, it's also about keeping track of appointments and driving the
business process with appointments. It's about keeping records of each
visit in the patient's folder, etc.
- Describe 3 (or more)
usability goals. These need to be things for which you can set measurable
quantitative values later in usability specifications, as a way of
establishing criteria to determine if you have met the goals.
- a) Draw a hierarchical
task analysis diagram, including as many user tasks as you can identify,
at least 6 and up to 10 tasks at 2-3 levels for the overall system
(from which you will choose a subset to focus on later).
b) From your hierarchical task diagram, select at least five of the
most interesting tasks (e.g., most likely to be performed, needed
by most user classes, most critical to system mission, etc.) as key
user tasks. Choose your key user tasks to include all of your
user classes in at least one of the tasks. Briefly describe each with
a single sentence description, using words to the effect: "The user
will do such and such" and not "The system will do such and such".
These key user tasks are the subset you will focus on as you develop
your application in subsequent stages of the project. Each of these
tasks should end up involving several screens in the interaction design.
- Describe two (or more)
system constraints, each with no more than 50 words. These constraints
are constraints on you and your development project, not constraints
on the user. An example of a hardware/software constraint is the need
for a server, if your project is to provide a service via a Web site,
plus you probably have to ensure security and privacy for your users.
Generic constraints that all the teams will have include small budgets
and short time schedules.