Short Assignment 2: Paper Prototype

ASSIGNED: Thursday, February 1, 2007
DUE: Thursday, February 15, 2007 in class


You are to design the user interface design for a new consumer product. The product is a combination digital video recorder (DVR) remote control, cordless telephone handset, and digital answering machine. It consists of three parts:

  1. A base for the telephone that plugs into the wall telephone jack. The handset can be "hung up" in a cradle on the base to recharge.
  2. A handset with rechargeable battery. This includes a wireless transmitter for sending remote control signals, mouthpiece (microphone) and earpiece (speaker) for talking on the phone, an antenna for the transmitter, and a control keypad for entering commands, placing and receiving calls, and managing phone messages.
  3. A USB receiver for connecting to a PC with digital video recorder software.

Market research suggests that the primary purchasers of this product are: young (aged 20-30), more likely male than female, and are enthusiastic consumers and users of home electronics. They spend a lot of time watching television and movies, but want to be available to their social circle at all times. They tend to be disorganized, and are quite likely to lose remote controls for their devices. They tend not to replace their cordless telephone when done talking, and often lose track of where it is. They are probably using Windows, but marketing would like to appeal to users of both Linux and MacOS operating systems as well.

Management would like this product to appeal to a wide market. They demand that it be "easy to use" and "not too complicated." Due to their concern over a competing product expected to enter the marketplace soon, they want a design that "supports as much functionality as possible."

At a minimum, the device should be able to:

Using this form factor diagram, you are to design a paper prototype for the interface of the handset of this product, including the button layout, any menus you need, and so on. You should have a complete design in mind, but you will not need to create a complete set of menus for every function. Instead choose one good representative task for two of the three function areas (telephone, answering machine, and DVR controller) and create a complete prototype for that task. You may also use the television/computer display for output, although you can only assume that it is present when using the DVR functions.

In addition, you should create a basic layout diagram that shows all of the buttons on the device and labels their function(s).

You may write up to 600 words to describe the two tasks you selected and explain the rationale behind your design. You do not need to provide an introduction or conclusion. Just write one section for each task and in that section state the task, why that task is a good one to test the overall design, and why your design solution for that task is a good one. You may also include another section to give general background on the design if you wish, but the total should still consist of 600 words +/- 10%.

Hand in:

Your mark will be based on:

Remember: you do not need to flesh out all the details of your design. You need to account for all the functionality you will support in the control set, and provide more details for the tasks you will prototype. It will increase the overall quality of your design, however, if you spend time thinking about how other tasks should be carried out as well.

Submission Procedure

This assignment will be handed in at the start of class. Be sure your document includes your NAME and STUDENT NUMBER.

IMPORTANT: You will need to have this assignment available later. Do not throw it away when it is returned.