Skills learned in CGT 512

Here is a list of skills I think you have at least experimented with and learned (even if not mastered yet) in CGT 512. Please choose from this list as you revise your portfolio. Don’t undersell your work and what you’ve learned! This is not the time to be modest.


  • How to go through the iterative UCD process
  • How to use research methods specific to UCD
  • How to use creativity methods specific to UCS
  • How to create a range of artifacts (sketches, wireframes) and documents (reports) specific to UCD


  • how to plan a user research study
  • how to collect data
  • how to analyze data
  • how to extract design requirements out of data
  • how to write personas, scenarios, and design requirements


  • how to apply usability principles to evaluate an interface
  • how to identify usability issues
  • how to rank the severity of usability issues
  • how to conduct heuristic evaluation


  • how to use methods to stimulate ideas
  • how to chose between competing ideas
  • how to translate an abstract idea into a tangible artifact
  • how to create UCD artifacts such as sketches, story boards, and wireframes
  • how to conduct a cognitive walkthrough
  • how to identify and prioritize usability issues through a cognitive walkthrough
  • how to communicate your ideas for user experience and explain them to others


  • how to plan a usability study: what metrics, data, procedures, instruments to use
  • how to collect data for a usability study
  • how to analyze qualitative and quantitative data for a usability study
  • how to identify usability issues from a usability study
  • how to prioritize usability issues
  • how to apply usability heuristics to suggest solutions for the usability issues you have identified
  • how to present the findings and write a usability report

End of semester clarifications

It’s been a while since we last met, so I think people have forgotten what’s due when. Let me clarify:

  1. Wed, Dec. 4 – your final presentations. Some groups will give one 20 minute presentation, if they have worked on the same project throughout the semester. Other people will split – they will give one presentation with the group they worked with on the first 3 reports, and a second one with the group they worked with on the 4th report. See detailed instructions here.
  2. Fri, Dec. 6 – Usability report 4 is due on Blackboard by midnight. Please read the instructions in this blog post, and the Q&A in the comments section.
  3. Wed, Dec. 11 – Final exam and final portfolio are due. Instructions are on Blackboard for both of them.

In addition to these, you will have to complete 2 surveys:

  1. peer evaluation of the students you worked with. This survey will be released after UR 4 is submitted on Friday. You will get an email about it. You need to fill it out in order to receive your own peer evaluation points. So check your email!
  2. course and instructor evaluations, as indicated in emails I have already sent. A 100% response rate means each student receives 3 extra credit points.

Please stop blogging on Dec. 6. I will evaluate the blogs soon after that. Please make sure you prepare your blog for grading by:

  1. Making sure each post is categorized correctly, and appears only in ONE category.
  2. Using a WordPress theme that displays the count of posts in each category.

We talked about all these in class when we last met, but here is a reminder just in case. Please ask questions about the individual assignments in their respective blog posts (subscribe to comments to see what gets posted) and ask general questions about administrative stuff in the comments to this blog post.

Good luck as you wrap up the semester!

Graphs and charts

Please see Shweta’s post on new ways of presenting data – besides the old fashioned graphs and charts.

Final presentation guidelines

Please ask questions in the comments below.

Usability reporting

Please find below the slides about usability reporting.

Please run your research plan by me and let me know if you would like to meet with me during class next week.

Interesting links

I’ve just caught up with my RSS feed reading and here are some interesting blog posts I would like to share with you:

This selection of links also gives you an idea about the UX blogs I follow. What UX blogs do you follow on a regular basis?

Plan for UR4

As I mentioned in class last week, you (individually and/or as a group) need to decide what you want to do for UR4. You need to conduct usability testing. Here are the options:

Option 1

Do open-ended, qualitative, formative evaluation on your existing prototypes.

Option 2

Do a more formal, quantitative, summative evaluation of an existing, finished product (e.g. CGT website, Insight Maker, etc.).

It really depends on what you want to learn more. The second option is more comprehensive, but both options are valuable.

So, think about what you as an individual would like to do and learn, and if we need to reorganize the groups based on these preferences, we can do so. Please indicate your thoughts and preferences in the comments below. Let’s plan to have this DONE by next class (syllabus lists this is due – that’s what I need to know, who will do what, and how.)


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