CSE 271: User Interface Design: Social and
Whether or not you have discussed your project with me in person,
you still must hand in a good "requirements statement" for what you actually
intend to do. By now you should be hard at work on your project.
Note: Homework grades will be strongly influenced by your ability to
make use of the concepts that you are (hopefully!) learning from the readings
and the class discussions. Homework should be provided in hardcopy form.
Do not place answers in a public place (such as your website) until
after the due date.
- Due 11 March:
- Pick 2 cartoons from the set handed out in class on 4 March and explain
for each how some conceptual space has been recontextualized by adding
new information, and show how the resulting new meaning is a blend (give and
fill in the blend diagram).
- Write about 1 page on Aramis addressing: (1) What did Latour
conclude about how the project died? (2) What do you think of of Latour's
- Write about 1 page explaining some point that could be discussed in class
on 11 March. Obviously it should relate to what we have been studying in
this course; but also it should have some educational value for other class
members. Explain not only your point, but also how it related to the course
and how it will benefit others (unless these are totally obvious).
- Write a paragraph or so explaining how Andersen's notion of
manifestation can be seen as a semiotic morphism; give a simple
example, and describe what should be preserved.
- Due 4 March:
- Pick 3 "oxymorons" from the list on the class
discussion page and explain their oxymoronic meaning as a blend of
semiotic morphisms for their two parts. Because these are jokes, they are
also supposed to have at least one non-oxymoronic blend, which should also be
explained as blends (if they exist).
- Early versions of the CSE 271 class pages used "<hr>"
to separate the various links at the bottom of pages, but now "<br>" is
used instead; see the first meeting notes. Use semiotic
morphisms to explain why that was a good idea - or why it wasn't, if you
think it wasn't.
- Write about 1 page applying Shneiderman's ideas on user interfaces for
search capabilities in chapter 15 to the yahoo websearch engine.
- Due 25 February:
- The first version of the popup explanation windows for the semiotic zoo
included all the same links as the exhibit pages themselves; however, I soon
deleted them. Explain why that was a good idea - or why it wasn't, if you
think it wasn't.
- Give a careful discussion of the list of problems with video on p.491,
paying careful attention to the fact that the list contains items of
completely different character, for example, that some items have a social
origin, whole others merely reflect short term limits of current technology.
Explain why each item might be a problem.
- Use semiotic morphisms to explain why it is usually better to
present a set of links to other webpages as a broad list rather than as tree,
with non-trivial layering of indices (see p.575 of Shneiderman).
- Due 18 February:
- Explain the n most important things you have learned so far in
class (n > 4); carefully consider how to organize this webpage
(or pages) and explain why you organized it as you did. Provide hardcopy
printout of the page(s).
- Write approximately one page comparing chapter 14 of Shneiderman with
the Ackerman piece.
- Write approximately one page on dates and times and how they are
- Due 11 February:
- Explain why Shneiderman's point 5 on p.209 doesn't belong on the same
list as the previous 4.
- Explain why exactly repeating movements of an instrument in surgery would
be undesirable (p.210 of Shneiderman).
- Recently I changed the ordering of items in the class "WHAT'S NEW" page from chronological to reverse
chronological. Explain why that was a good idea - or why it wasn't, if you
think it wasn't.
- Use CSCW to explain the phenomenon (described p.197 of Shneiderman) that
users of computer games prefer a display of highest scores over computer
generated feedback during play.
- Give me a proposal for your class project, including what percentage of
your grade you would like it to be (not more than 75% and not less than 20%).
You should start it as soon as I confirm your topic. The proposal should be
on a separate piece of paper and should include your email address, so that
we can discuss it together quickly and easily.
- Due 4 February:
- Answer the questions that appear in the notes for the
4th class on chapter 2 of Latour.
- Do a heuristic evaluation (p.126 of Shneiderman) using the "Eight Golden
Rules" (p.74-76) and the 5 display organization guidelines (p.80) for the
DTUI website; note that this will
include a consistency inspection (p.126).
- Pick one other (non-trivial) website and do the same thing.
- Due 28 January:
- Discuss the design of the book Aramis as if it were a user
- Write a social impact statement for Aramis, following the checklist
on pages 113-114 of Shneiderman.
- Write about one page on the second chapter of Aramis; include
something about how the technical and the social issues interact in the
- Due 21 January:
- Visit the "world-famous" UC San Diego
Semiotic Zoo and write the best intuitive explanation you can for
each of its exhibits. Note: This is just to set a baseline; you
will be asked to do this again after we have covered some of the theory
- Write about one page on the first chapter of Aramis; be sure
to indicate which passages (if any) you think are fictional.
- Due 14 January:
Note: Because I neglected to mention the first homework set in
class on 7 January, it is entirely acceptable for you to hand it in on 21
January instead of 14 January.
- Select some interesting website and criticize its design. For
example, you can find some very strange websites by first taking the
Timothy Leary homepage link on my "Cool" page, and then clicking on various
items on the house walls.
- Discuss Robert Morey's interactive applet proof of the Pythagorean Theorem.
In particular, explain why letting the user size the triangle is a good idea.
- Set up a homepage for your work on this course; then optionally you
may send me its URL by email, and I may link to it on the class
To CSE 271 homepage
To my homepage
5 March 1998