Information and Computer ScienceUC IrvineDavid G. KayInformatics 131


This assignment is a long one with many parts, some involving third parties and others involving unfamiliar software, so you'll need to start early and allow for the inevitable stumbling blocks. This assignment is worth about 50% of the overall assignment score in the class.

Summary: Evaluate the usability of a website or application chosen from the alternatives below and propose a validated redesign of the site or application. The alternatives are

If you have a fourth alternative you'd like to work on, check with us right away.

This assignment has three phases: Evaluate the existing site or application, redesign it to improve the shortcomings you identified (including user tests of the new design), and propose the new design to the individual or organization in charge. Be sure to read the entire assignment right away so you're aware of everything that's involved.

You will work on this assignment in groups of three or four. We estimate that the increase in coordination and communication necessary in a four-person group roughly equals the decrease in individual workload over a three-person group and we expect that the products of three-person groups will be at least as complete and thorough as the results of four-person groups. In forming your groups, it would be wise to compare schedules, other obligations, and level of commitment to the class; your work will go most easily if all group members are roughly compatible in these respects. All members of the group will receive the same score (unless there are circumstances more extraordinary than any I've run into in the past).

Each of the alternatives poses its own challenges, which your group needs to handle as best it can. WebReg, for example, is a "live" system; you can only test aspects of it that you're actually authorized to use. The checkout stations are also "live"; it would probably be wise to observe their operation only when the store isn't busy and only after getting permission from the store management (imagine how you'd feel if you were a customer with a bunch of people hanging around the checkout station watching you and taking notes).

As in past assignments, when we give page counts here we're referring to single-spaced text in 10- or 12-point type with one-inch margins. We encourage helpful illustrations, but illustrations do not count towards the page limits.

Part I: Evaluate the existing site

Part II: Redesign the site

Part III: Propose your new design

Part IV: Attribution

If you would like to ask the site management what their goals and requirements are, you may do that by sending Email to Don't pester the actual management of the site.

Written by David G. Kay, Winter 2004. Revised by David G. Kay, Summer 2007, Summer 2008, Summer 2010, Summer 2011, Summer 2012, Summer 2013.

David G. Kay,