Assignment 2
COMP 171

Assignment 2: Preliminary Design

For this assignment, we will begin the design of the system you started planning in the workshop on Planning Your Project. You will perform a user and task analysis to define usability goals of the system, like what you did in Assignment 1 but for your own new system. You will also construct a conceptual model of the system and describe its required functionality through three usage scenarios.


Present your preliminary analysis, including (1) user characteristics, (2) usability goals, and (3) some usage scenarios. Also provide (4) your conceptual model specification. For the conceptual model, you should give the specification using the methodology we have studied (see the templates and examples web page), specifically the conceptual level to specify the set of objects and actions the user needs to know about in order to use the system effectively.

Use tables or bulleted lists where appropriate for the deliverables. Think of your deliverable here and in Assignment 3 as a blueprint that other people would be able to follow in building your system.

Role questions

Engineering Question: In class, you learned about some of the major categories of software development life cycle models. Please do some research on the different types of prototyping models (Rapid, Evolutionary, Incremental, Extreme). Which model does your team's plan follow most closely? Which do you think would be most efficient in industry, and which would yield the best final product? (Quick reference)

Product Management Question: How will your product interact with your user in order to help them achieve their goals, and your goals as a developer? Think about another product you may use daily and evaluate the mechanisms to keep you engaged and or to guide you to your goal.

UX Research Question: Why have you chosen these three users for your analysis? What biases do you see and if you had to generalize to a population in developing countries (i.e. Facebook’s or Google’s Next Billion User project), how would the usability goals and usage scenarios change?

Product Design Question: How do you define usability? What might be some of your usability design goals moving forward? In other words, how will you know if your designs are user friendly and what abilities (e.g. motor control, visual acuity, mental capacity etc.) does your product cater towards?

As in the previous assignment, please follow the same procedure here.


  1. Project description: 5 points (a brief overview of what is the project)
  2. User analysis and usability goals: 10 points (see Assumptions)
  3. Task analysis: 10 points (see A1 description)
  4. Functionality and usage scenarios: 20 points (at least 3 high-level features well-defined, and 3 scenarios of how they would be used)
  5. Conceptual model: 15 points (see templates and examples, described above)
  6. Role Questions: 40 points