ICS 4 • David G. Kay • UC Irvine

Second Homework

This assignment is due by 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 24.

For this assignment you must work in pairs, according to the guidelines on the assignment page. One member of each pair submits the assignment to Checkmate, taking care that both partners' names are included at the top of the document submitted. You may use Piazza to look for a partner, or you may make arrangements just before or just after class. But you won't get full credit if you don't do this with a partner; it won't be an excuse that you couldn't find one or didn't know anybody.

Part (a)

Read Bruce Tognazzini's article, "A Quiz Designed to Give You Fitts". There's nothing to turn in for this part, but these ideas may show up later. There's a lot of interesting material at his asktog.com site.

Look over the "Perception in Visualization" web page by Christopher G. Healy. You don't have to read the entire text, but you should scan the examples and spend a few minutes playing with each of the two interactive demonstrations on the page.

Part (b)

(optional) Do this on-line study illustrating Fitts' Law. It doesn't include much explanation, but the task should give you a tangible understanding of the principle behind Fitts' Law. There's nothing to turn in for this part.

Part (c)

How many different items have you recorded in your HCI notebook so far? (That is, each partner should supply his or her own number.) We'll give full credit for any truthful answer to this, even zero, but we'd like to know how much use the class is making of these notebooks.

Part (d)

In class recently we have discussed these topics, among others:

You and your partner together should pick three of these seven topics; for each of the three, choose an example from your HCI notebooks of a web site that illustrates the topic (if neither noteboook has an example, go look for one). Don't choose examples we discussed in class or that come directly from the readings. Your examples may show a misapplication or misunderstanding of the principles or may be a particularly good example; in either case, describe and analyze each example using the terms and guidelines that pertain to the topic it illustrates. If your example is a negative one, suggest an improvement and describe why your suggestion is better.

A dozen pithy lines of text should be sufficient for each of the three examples (where "pithy" means clean, clear, well-organized, terse, and not padded); half a page for each is an absolute maximum. (Again, this refers just to the text; you will probably use more than half a page each if you count illustrations.)

The point of doing this in pairs is for you to talk about it together. It is not okay just to split up the work, each person doing half independently and then combining the result.


Combine all your answers (from parts (c) and (d)) into one electronic document, which one partner should submit via Checkmate. Make sure the document includes the names of both partners.