P03: UI Design


Using the methods you have practiced and learned in this course you will now work from primary research to development of a high-level fully featured prototype of an interactive system. For this project you are developing as system that is both relevant and meaningful for your audience, as well as useful for your portfolio.

The type of interactive system you are developing is flexible. It can be for desktop, mobile devices, televisions, or otherwise. The major requirement for the course is that there is still a significant interface design component required of the interactive system. If unsure, check-in with your instructors.

This project is to be completed in teams of 4-5.


Before your lab time on Apr 3.


40% of your final grade.


There are a number of weeks in which to complete this project, so please make sure to read the instructions below carefully.

Starting Feb 20

This week is your research week. Use it to develop a strong understanding of the domains you are intending to work in, as well as the individuals you are designing for. Please complete the following:

  1. Fill out a team contract. Remember that this document is meant to help ensure everyone is contributing to your team. Read it thoroughly so that you all understand the rules involved in notifying individual team members that they are not contributing.
  2. Select one domain to work with. Try to select a domain that may be of interest to you and where you believe there may be an opportunity for development of an interactive system.
  3. Research that domain. You want to ensure you have a clear understanding of (but not limited to): With your research you are trying to help yourself and others understand the entire context of the domain but do not come up with ideas at this point.
  4. Prepare a presentation that defines and explains the context in which you are intending to work. We should get a clear understanding of the context you will be designing in, as well as who you will be designing for. You will have 5 minutes after which you will get questions and feedback from your instructor(s).
Due in your Feb 27 lab:

Starting Feb 27

This week is your ideation week. Use it to develop a set of potential design directions you see as possible areas for an interactive system based on your research. Please complete the following:

  1. Develop three ideas for potential interactive systems. Use your ideation skills (affinity diagramming, brainstorming, sketching, etc.) to come up with systems that may address the challenges available in the domain. Most importantly, ensure your concepts are based in the research.
  2. For each of the three ideas, make a plan of how you would approach development. This plan should take into account:
  3. For each of the three ideas, prepare a 2-minute pitch, with a maximum of five slides per pitch. You will be presenting all three pitches in your next lab time for feedback (and questions) from your instructor(s). Please ensure each pitch presents: Two minutes is not a lot of time, so keep things concise and to the point.
Due in your Mar 6 lab:

1 set of presentation slides (maximum fifteen total) covering the three different ideas (as a PDF), brought to lab.

Starting Mar 6

This week is your idea refinement week. Use it to develop one final design direction, and argue for why it is a suitable direction. Please complete the following:

  1. Decide on one final design direction. Ensure you have research and process materials to support why this is a suitable direction.
  2. Develop a task flow or journey map to guide us through the user's use in-context. This should help us understand why and how they may use your interactive system and for what purpose?
  3. As part of developing the task flow or journey map create wireframes and/or visual mockups to help illustrate the user's movement through the interactive system. The level of fidelity is up to you, but it should be sufficiently clear that we can understand the intention and purpose of movement through the system.
  4. Create a proposal document. This document should reflect all your prior work for the project and act as an argument for why your work will matter. The exact formatting of the proposal document is up to you, but we expect the proposal to include the following: Please ensure that you write this document as if we knew nothing about what you are doing or working on. Use your research, ideation, personas, task flows, journey maps, etc., to help us understand why this interactive system should exist.
  5. Based on your final proposal prepare a 3-minute pitch, with a maximum of eight slides. Much like your proposal you are trying to help your audience understand the why of your project.
Due in your Mar 13 lab:

Please note that this week's project deliverables are worth 15 points (of the 40 assigned for this project).

Starting Mar 13

This week is your prototyping week. Use it to develop a fully interactive prototype of your system for testing. Please complete the following:

  1. Develop a high-fidelity interactive prototype of your application. Using the tool of your choosing (Axure, Balsamiq, HTML, etc.) your high-fidelity mockup should include every step and interaction that is part of the core path and idea of your interactive system at a minimum. You should aim to have as many additional features ready as possible, and include as many of the colors, images, symbols, and text that you intend to be there.
Due in your Mar 20 lab:

1 high-fidelity interactive prototype, brought to lab. Your instructor(s) will trial your interactive prototype in lab so be prepared to receive feedback on the prototype before taking it to your potential users.

Starting Mar 20

This week is your testing week. Use it to test your prototype. Please complete the following:

  1. Develop a plan for testing. Based on the different research and testing methods we have covered in the course, come up with a plan for how you will go about testing your interactive system. As much as possible, ensure you are testing with your prototype in use, and in-context as much as possible.
  2. Do the testing. Run your test with at least two participants. Make sure to capture sufficient materials that you have evidence to support your claims of where there were design issues.
  3. Prepare a presentation that reviews and reflects upon your testing results. You will have 5 minutes after which you will get questions and feedback from your instructor(s) and make sure to discuss:
Due in your Mar 27 lab:

1 set of presentation slides (maximum fifteen total) covering the test results. Remember to set up the plan, context, and how the test was run before discussing the results themselves.

Starting Mar 27

This week is your refinement week. Use it to refine your prototype and create the final document pitching your interactive system. Please complete the following:

  1. Create a video pitch or a product web-page.

    For a video pitch, you should establish what your interactive system is, it's purpose, how it works, and why we should care about it. A good way to approach this is as if you were preparing to fund your idea on Kickstarter and you need to explain to your audience what exactly they are funding and why.

    For a product web-page, you are creating a product landing page designed to inform a user of what your product is and to convince your user to sign-up, subscribe, purchase, or otherwise find out more information about your product. A good way to approach this is as if you were building a website for an app that leads individuals through the purpose and guides them to where they can acquire the application themselves.

  2. Refine your final prototype based on your testing as well as feedback you have received. Prepare it for submission along with the rest of your project materials.
  3. Individually — not as a team — write a personal reflection in response to the following questions: The reflection is not the space to air grievances about your team members but should instead be used as an opportunity to meaningfully consider the project and the process involved. Responses to the set of three questions should be kept to under 350 words total, and should be compiled into the submission package.

Final Delivery

Final deliverables are due to Canvas before your Apr 3 lab and double-check all your submitted files to ensure they can be opened. Final submission is 1 PDF including the following:

Remember that Interface Design is a design course, and as a result the submitted package of materials should be considered just as much as any other design you may work on.

Grading Rubric

Your project will be graded on the following criteria, a more detailed rubric is available on the course pages.

  1. Process — weekly deliverable checks, in-lab process presentations, quality and quantity of weekly materials (5pts)
  2. Initial Proposal (Due Mar 13) — use of research, explanation of context, problem identification (design opportunity), proposed solution, visual and textual support for proposed solution (15pts)
  3. Final Design (Due Apr 3) — use of research, fidelity of prototype, quality of solution, reflection on solution (20pts)