Over the course of the semester, student groups of 3-5 will conduct a series of studies to understand user needs for and evaluate the effectiveness and quality of a client's interactive system such as a website, device, or installed software application. Students learn and apply common user experience research methods such as interviews, surveys, comparative analysis, usability audits, and usability testing. The results of applying each method are analyzed with an eye to producing actionable recommendations that the client can apply readily.
The main reason to suggest a 622 project, of course, is to get objective, thorough, and detailed feedback on the usability and usefulness of your product. SI students are extremely talented, motivated, and hardworking, and will generally produce information of high value to your organization (assuming you have the will and capacity to act on the information, of course).
Students in 622 need to have access to a system to evaluate. Any website that has been launched to the public or software that is freely downloadable almost certainly meets this criterion. Password-protected websites, pre-launch/alpha/beta products, and licensed software are also possible candidates, provided that adequate student access can be provided during for the duration of the course. Websites that are undergoing active development during the student project can be okay, too, provided that the functionality is reasonably complete by the beginning of the semester and you are willing to work with the students to ensure access to relatively stable versions of the site during key time periods so that students can carry out their work.
Another key criterion for 622 projects is the ability of students to be able to recruit representative users for testing, surveys, and the like. Ideally these would be your site's actual users, but in cases where that's impractical it is at least necessary that students can find realistic proxies and/or prospective users. As a final criterion, a client representative should be available to meet with the students (in person or by phone) at least once near the beginning of the semester. In addition, the client representative should be responsive to occasional email requests regarding issues such as access to users or protected parts of the system.
The client will receive several reports detailing issues found with the system being evaluated and recommendations for improvement.
Last day to accept proposals: December 31