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University of Michigan School of Information


Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation - SI 622

Usability Evaluation

Proposal open date: June 1
Proposal close date: November 2
Project timeline: January-April
Project duration: 15 weeks 
Number of projects needed: 70

SI 622: Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation Syllabus


In SI 622: Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation, master's-level graduate students work with clients to evaluate how well the user experience of their product or system meets the needs of its users using specific methods to identify areas where the product or system succeeds, and where it can be better at helping users achieve their goals.


Client Requirements 

  • Level of engagement for course/program 
    • 45-60 minute weekly or bi-weekly meetings with student team
    • Regular feedback and communication to student team based on the course schedule
    • Introduction to stakeholders and users for interviews and/or data gathering
    • Access to organizational data, systems and/or resources necessary to project completion
    • Attend final presentation
    • Complete project evaluation
  • Special requirements for the course/program 
    • Review client-facing syllabus which includes details about the timeline and client expectations for student interaction
    • Share a plan for user recruitment for user research methods in the proposal
      • Interviews should include the product manager or people who work on the product 
    • Review and provide feedback to students on assignments
    • Provide students access to a software system (e.g., a website, desktop software, mobile application, voice-activated peripheral, etc.) to evaluate
      • If a premium subscription or specific hardware or software is being evaluated, provide students with subscription, hardware or software

Past projects

  • Voice Activation. Students explored what new features could be used to differentiate a voice-activated app from other first-party experiences on the Alexa app.
  • Website Improvements. Students provided recommendations to website’s navigation and search options and identified solutions to site maintenance and editing challenges. They developed a deeper understanding of the website's audience and stakeholder needs.
  • Innovative Digital Content. Students used new technologies to offer recommendations to develop more innovative ways to offer learning content digitally and at scale.

Client Testimonials

Contact us

Engaged Learning Office | [email protected] | (734) 763-1251

Please complete this form to submit a project proposal for one of our client-based courses or other programs, or to receive information about these opportunities throughout the year.