COMS E6176: User Interfaces for Mobile and Wearable Computing

Prof. Steven Feiner
Date out: February 12, 2004
Date due: February 26, 2004
Date returned: March 4, 2004
Date revised proposal/presentation due: March 11, 2004

Project Proposal


Choose a project that involves the design (and possible implementation) of a user interface for mobile or wearable computing. (Your project does not need to be related to your paper presentation topic.)

The project proposal should include about two pages of text, exclusive of any pictures (see below), and provide enough detail for me to be able to give you feedback on its suitability and suggest to you related work with which you will want to familiarize yourself.  The proposal should be submitted by email as a PDF file.

With regard to "suitability," the questions that I will be asking when reading your proposal are whether it specifically addresses the user interface for a mobile or wearable application, and whether it appears to be sufficiently challenging to be worth 1.8 credits (60% of a 3-credit course, taking into account all documents, presentations, design and realization).


Your proposal should describe the following:

The task(s) being addressed. Explain why current solutions (mention the ones that you know of) don't do this well.

The target user population. Who will use your system?  What will they need to know to be able to use it that they don't know already?

The target platform.  You can choose essentially any language, programming environment, and platform, including authoring environments for building "mock ups," such as Macromedia Director or the use of videotaped "paper prototypes."  There is only one constraint on the technology used: I must be able to "run" your project myself to try it out.

If you choose to implement any or all of your project as running code, and if you will not be able to use the platform for which you're designing (e.g., if you don't have access to one, possibly because it doesn't exist yet), be sure to specify how you will emulate the platform. For example, you could work directly using the desktop/laptop environment of your PC, but constraining the size and aspect ratio of the portion of the screen that you'll use, and taking into account differences in the interaction devices from your target platform, or you could restrict yourself to audio plus limited graphics for an "audio mostly" platform. Alternatively, you could use the Palm OS Emulator, Pocket PC emulator, or similar software. (In any case, remember that you'll have to give a demonstration of what you've designed during the scheduled final exam slot.)

The "look and feel" of your user interface. Please include sketches (rough, hand-drawn ones are fine) of what you think your user interface might look like, in the form of a "storyboard" illustrating a sample proposed interaction. It's ok for you to be a bit fuzzy about the "look and feel" right now. However, you will need to solidify your ideas by the time you submit your revised proposal and do your in-class presentation on March 11.

Anticipated challenges and problem areas. Note places in which you feel problems might arise, and what you think you might do to address them.


Information about paper prototypes can be found at

Videotaping interaction with paper prototypes can be especially effective for giving a feel for how the user interface might actually work. For example, you can edit out pauses and modifications being performed by hand.