Final Project

Written proposal: Oct 26
Meet with instructors: Nov 3 - 18
Final project presentation: Dec 7
Written paper: Dec 10

Written proposal instructions:

Write a proposal (about 1000 words) describing your project plan (see descriptions of project types and scope below). Please include a description of what you will be doing, how you will work on it, how it relates to prior work/literature (you may incorporate your literature review), and a timeline of relevant milestones for the remainder of the semester (make sure to include the deadlines above). To submit, please write a short abstract (~200 words) in the blog system and include a link to a PDF file of your proposal.

Meet with instructors:

During November, find a time to meet with us to discuss your project.

Final project instructions:

Your final project has two parts: a project and a reflective essay on that project.

Part 1:

For a project, you can choose between multiple options. For example, you can investigate the wider implications of an existing project or design something new. We encourage to make this “useful” to you, such as potentially submitting a paper for CHI extended abstracts (alt-CHI / CHI WIP) or writing a proposal for a foundation like the Knight Foundation. Here are some concrete examples of types of projects that you can work on:

  • a study that you'll turn into a paper for CHI extended abstracts
  • a program that you can write up as a proposal for grant-funding organization
  • a pilot study and a proposed research design
  • activity design such as a workshop guide or curriculum
  • prototype of a tool or toolkit and walkthrough
  • a video

Part 2:

Write a reflection (about 1000 words) on the impact of your project. Consider the readings in the course and the following questions:

  • What are its intended goals?
  • Who is its intended audience?
  • What tradeoffs are you making?
  • Do you foresee unintended consequences?
  • Why does this project matter to you?
Sharing your project: You will do a 7 minute presentation with 3 minutes of Q/A on Dec 7 to summarize your final project. Submit your reflective essay as an abstract on the blog system with a link to a PDF file of your essay by the end of the day Dec 10.


As with the literature review, pay special attention to scope. You have about a month to get stuff done — if you are planning an ethnographic study, you may not have time to conduct, code, and write about anything beyond one or two interviews. If you are planning on building a tool or a toolkit, you may not have the time for developing beyond a very rough prototype. Take advantage of the project proposal, the literature review and incorporate them into your work as much as possible. The more of a culmination of what you did and learnt in class the final project is, the better.

Relationship with other projects

The work you submit can be a part of a larger project — however, make sure you talk to us about it before getting started on it. For example, if you have a larger project in your research group, or if you have worked on something in the past, or if you are working on something for another class, you can present a written piece examining the relationship between the design-decisions behind the project, and it’s impact. If it is a class project, make sure that the instructor of the other class is also aware of your project for this class, and is okay with it.