Third project milestone: Ideate

This deliverable asked you to consider, what are people going to do with your design, and how to use this information to refine your design direction, generate requirements for the proposed system, and begin to sketch out how it will look and function.

Part 1: Tasks

  • Create three key representative task examples. They should be directly related to the human activity you are trying to support. Use the format that was discussed in class, namely a scenario (informal narrative description). Remember that task examples are interface/design independent; or as independent as you can make them. That is, a task example should not include details about a particular interface design, technology, or interaction methods, but should be defined such that more than one interface design could potentially be used to execute the given task.
  • Make your task examples as succinct as possible, while conveying the essential details. Each task example should be labelled as one of: frequent, infrequent but important, infrequent and incidental.
  • Length:Each task example should be about one medium-length paragraph or several short paragraphs; include supporting images and figures can be added, as appropriate.

Part 2: Task analysis

  • Analyze/reflect on each task example and determine to what extent they are supported in current practice (perhaps through existing technology, or through non-technological means).
  • Identify both the positive and negative aspects of this practice. This helps to further clarify the problem.
  • Length: Document your analysis in one paragraph for each task (supporting images and figures can be added, as appropriate).

Part 3: Prioritized list of Requirements

It may be unrealistic to fulfill your full system concept for all possible target users, so you must prioritize the aspects of the system that you will develop based on: (1) the data you gathered during your field work (Empathize), (2) the personas you developed (Define), and (3) your literature search (Define).  The primary output of this stage is a specification of the aspects that your system must deliver/accommodate in the form of functional and non-functional requirements. It does not specify how – i.e., this stage is design-independent and usually it will be possible to implement requirements in a variety of ways.

  • Decide upon the major requirements for your system and prioritize them into: absolutely must include; should include; could include; and could exclude.
  • List the major requirements, categorized by priority. If there are requirements that are likely to be difficult to develop (infeasible), they should be flagged as such.
  • Each category (absolutely must include; should include and so on) should be accompanied by a brief discussion as to why the items were placed in that category. You may find it useful to refer to your personas (and possibly other stakeholders) in your discussion.
  • Length:1 to 1.5 pages to capture the list and the brief discussion.

Part 4. Refined Design Direction

Based on the feedback you received from the Define milestone #2, the task analysis, and the prioritized list of requirements, revisit your design direction.

  • If you are happy with your design direction exactly as is, you can indicate that there are no changes.
  • If you want to refine your design direction, describe the revisions / new design direction.
  • Length:One half page of text, and up to one page if images are included.

Part 5. Conceptual design / Design Alternatives

This component of the milestone includes several steps:

  1. Individual preliminary conceptual model + sketch. 
    • Individually, each student will come up with a conceptual model independently, based on what was taught in lecture. The goal is to do this entirely on your own in order to come up with as diverse a set of conceptual models as possible.
    • Describe the conceptual model in one sentence or a short paragraph.
    • Think about the following items as appropriate for your conceptual model: metaphor, concepts, relationships, mapping, terminology, interaction types, and interface types.
    • Create a rough sketch of your model, using one or more panels.
  1. Group assessment of the preliminary conceptual models and sketches.
    • Come together as a group to walk through each conceptual model + sketch and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
    • Produce two bullet point lists — one for the strengths and one for the weaknesses — for each conceptual model + sketch.
  1. Final conceptual model + storyboard. 
    • Create a final conceptual model by either refining one or a combination of the individual ones. Identify which individual conceptual model(s) you are drawing on.
    • Describe the conceptual model in one sentence or a short paragraph.
    • Identify each of the following items as appropriate for your conceptual model: metaphor, concepts, relationships, mapping, terminology, interaction types, and interface types.
    • Create a storyboard for your conceptual model. You can use whichever storyboarding technique you want. Your storyboard must be a minimum of 12 panels.
    • Identify its strengths and weaknesses in two bulleted lists. The finalconceptual model + storyboard and the strengths/weaknesses bullet lists will be in the main body of your report.
    • Place the individualconceptual models + sketches as well as the bullet-point strength and weaknesses in an Appendix – one for each team member.
    • Length:1- 2 pages for everything except storyboard, unlimited for storyboard (+ appendix)



  • 5 minutes per team + 5 minutes for feedback
  • Reminder: at least 2 team members must present and team members are expected to rotate across the project milestone presentations throughout the term. Thus,any team member who did not present during the last presentation needs to present for this one.
  • You need to touch on each of the elements above, so will necessarily need to be very selective in what you cover. Submit a pdf of the presentation, filename: “Ideate-presentation-<team name>.pdf”


  • The report must include all of the components outlined in the “Length” bullet in the descriptions of the tasks, task descriptions, requirements, and conceptual design. Include an Appendix that identifies each team member’s contributions. You many include additional appendices for content that does not fit into the main sections of the report.
  • There should be strong coherence between the different sections of your report. For example, there should not be key functionality that shows up in the conceptual model+storyboard that was not a requirement.
  • Submit a pdf of their report, filename: “Ideate-report-<team name>.pdf”