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Course Project

Students will complete a major project that studies a particular instance of domestic practice or involves the design and evaluation of a domestic technology. Students will document this project by writing a conference-style publication and presenting the work through a conference-style presentation in front of the class.

Sample project ideas include:

  1. Study the use of existing mobile video chat systems by families: interview 8-10 people about how they use Face Time? as a part of their normal routines for video calling.
  2. Design a new system to better support family messaging (e.g., a futuristic text messaging service).
  3. ...

If you are conducting a study that involves people, normally we would need to get approval to run the study from the Office of Research Ethics at SFU. However, as part of a course, you can conduct a study with people you know (e.g., family, friends) without having to get ethics approval.

Length and Format: The final paper should be between 7 and 10 pages long in ACM CHI Conference format. You will present the work to the class as part of a 20-25 minute presentation followed by questions. For those who create systems for their projects, you can optionally submit a paper that is 4 pages long if you also submit an accompanying video demonstrating your system. The video should be between 2 and 4 minutes in length and adhere to these guidelines.

Submission deadline: Due in the final lecture of the term. Please submit your final papers in a Word document format to me, in addition to a PDF, both sent via email. I want to embed some comments within the Word doc that will help you revise the paper for submission to a conference venue.

Evaluation: You will be evaluated on your ability to concisely document your project, method, and results. You will also be graded on your writing ability. Your presentation will be graded on your ability to present the project in an engaging and entertaining fashion. You will be critiqued on both the content of the presentation and your delivery.

1. Study Project:

If you did a study for your project, your final paper should include the following sections (and your presentation should similarly mirror them):

Introduction:

Summarize the research space that you are looking at and illustrate why it is important. Describe the goal of the work. You can and should take the introduction from your Literature Review paper and rework it for this paper.

Related Work:

Describe the related work in the area of your project. You should take your literature review and condense it down to approximately one page in length.

Method:

Describe the method you used as part of your project. Include: descriptions of participants, study stages and method details, sample questions, and analysis method.

Results:

Document the results of your project. Detail your main findings.

Discussion:

Discuss your work. Include between a half-page and one page of thoughts about your work now that it is complete. Answer the question: "so what?" Now that your work is done, what does it mean? Why is it important? What is still left to be done? Discuss how your work generalizes to other demographics, settings, or design areas.

Conclusion:

Summarize your project and your overall findings.

Reference List:

Include a list of the papers you read for your related work. These should be cited in the document according to their number in the list. The list should be organized alphabetically by the last name of the first author on each paper. The format of the references should follow the samples in the ACM CHI Conference format document.

For projects that are systems, take a look at these short papers (that were submitted along with videos to a conference): LINC Video, LINC Demo, Peek-A-Boo Video. Notice how the systems are described using images, usage scenarios, etc and how the rationale is shown for the design. This is what I'd expect to see for your papers, but only in a longer format with even more detail. Note that these papers also don't really have a related work section, but yours should.

2. Design Project:

If you did a design for your project (e.g., you built a system), your final paper should include the following sections (and your presentation should similarly mirror them):

Introduction:

Summarize the research space that you are looking at and illustrate why it is important. Describe the goal of the work. You can and should take the introduction from your Literature Review paper and rework it for this paper.

Related Work:

Describe the related work in the area of your project. You should take your literature review and condense it down to approximately one page in length.

Design Principles:

Describe what principles your design is based on. What did you know you needed to include and why? (e.g., it needed to be flexible to use, it needed to support feature X). Use related literature to back up your principles as needed.

Design Evolution:

Document the design and its evolution. Use text and visuals. Explain why you designed it as you did (e.g., motivation, rationale). Show how the design started, what stages it evolved through, and what the final design looks like. Also describe how the design would be used by someone (e.g., provide a usage scenario: Sally walks up and touches the tablet to begin the application. She selects...)

Discussion:

Discuss your work. Include between a half-page and one page of thoughts about your work now that it is complete. Critique the design: do you think it is good/bad? Does it match your original design principles? Answer the question: "so what?" Now that your work is done, what does it mean? Why is it important? What is still left to be done?

Conclusion:

Summarize your project and your overall findings.

Reference List:

Include a list of the papers you read for your related work. These should be cited in the document according to their number in the list. The list should be organized alphabetically by the last name of the first author on each paper. The format of the references should follow the samples in the ACM CHI Conference format document.

For projects that are studies, take a look at this paper. Note the structure, style, and use of raw data (quotes) to illustrate the findings. The methodology of the study is also well documented. For the results, each section heading is one of the main themes that we found when doing our coding.