Design project 2

VCR remote control

Aim and structure

This design project can be attempted midway through the course, after covering Chapters 7 and 8. It requires the student to design an interface for the remote control for a VCR. This involves

  1. determining the tasks that the remote control must support (these may be a subset of those that the VCR supports)

  2. determining an appropriate dialog design.

Students should be encouraged to work in groups and to utilize the modelling techniques for task analysis and dialog design that they have studied (see Chapters 7 and 8). By the end of the exercise they should be satisfied that their design supports the tasks identified. It is assumed that most students will be familiar with VCRs and the tasks that users wish to peform with them. It may be helpful to show them various examples of VCR remote controls to get them started.

Instructions for the students

You are asked to design a remote control for a VCR which will support effectively the most common tasks required by video users. Your first job is to identify these tasks and the subtasks that are required to perform them. Use a task analysis method (Chapter 7) to produce a detailed description of these tasks.

Having identified the key tasks, you now have to design an interface to support them. Use a dialog notation (Chapter 8) to describe the sequence of actions associated with each task and show how these relate to each other. When you are satisfied with your dialog, produce a mock-up of the interface, showing how the user will perform different tasks. Ensure that your design is consistent with your dialog description.

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