COMS W4172: 3D User Interfaces—Spring 2014

Prof. Steven Feiner
Date out: April 8, 2014
Date due: April 24, 2014

Assignment 4: What's the point?

For this assignment, you will be evaluating some of the entries submitted in response to the IEEE 3DUI 2014 (Symposium on 3D User Interfaces) contest. The contest designers provided a description of a high-level task (annotating sets of points previously obtained from a 3D scanner) for which contestants needed to design, implement, and evaluate a solution. (Note: The links provided here work as of April 8. However, they do not follow the naming convention normally used on the 3DUI web site.  If they break over the coming weeks, please visit that site and search for the page for the 2014 conference, which will include the new links.)

Each of the five entries is represented by a video, accessible from the contestants page (a superset of these videos is also available on the 3DUI 2014 Contest youtube channel), and a two-page writeup, accessible from our CourseWorks directory site under "Files & Resources" →"3DUI_2014_Contest." You will pick just three of the team entries to compare and contrast. Note that you do not have to pick any of the winners as the entries that you evaluate.

Your analysis should be written from the perspective of a student of 3D user interfaces, reflecting what you have learned in this course. That is, you should demonstrate your knowledge of the techniques and approaches used in each one of the three entries you select, based on your careful review of each entry's video(s) and two-page written overview. You should describe why you think a technique was selected, whether that technique was a good choice, and, if you happen to think that a team should have selected a different technique for any of their tasks, then why you think so, taking into account the other techniques used in that team's solution.

You will need to consider your educated estimates of how efficient the chosen techniques are, how general they are for the tasks chosen, how easy they are to use, and how enjoyable they are to use. Your assignment should not just evaluate each of the three entries individually, but should compare the three entries.

Much like Assignment 2, you should also take into account the ten usability heuristics discussed in class (, and how well the entries you choose satisfy those heuristics. (You should also take into account the feedback that you received on your Assignment 2, especially if your feedback indicated that you weren't explaining your analysis well.)

Your analysis should read like that of someone (you) who has taken this course and is familiar with the theory and practice of 3D user interfaces. You should refer to relevant papers cited in class and in your book (and to other papers in the literature, should there not be appropriate references from the book or class for particular techniques that a team used). Simply put, if you make an assertion, please be sure to back it up using the language and concepts taught in the course. To say that differently, plain "common sense" answers of the sort that you could have given before taking this course will not be rewarded well. Another way to think of this individual assignment is as a "open-book, take-home midterm" with more time allowed to complete it than a typical midterm. When you are done, you should feel you know more about 3D UIs than you did before you started this assignment. And, you should have fun evaluating the work of others!

You will probably find it convenient to refer to relevant screen shots (grabbed from the videos) and timing to reference portions of the video.

What to Submit

You should submit your written evaluation as a PDF file, although Word files will also be accepted. It is your responsibility to make sure that any file you submit is virus-free. Note, again, that screen captures should be integrated into your document, and not included as separate images. Please be sure that your name and uni appear at the beginning of the submission.

How to Submit

Your assignment should consist of a single file (named {your UNI}_HW4.{pdf/doc}) that you will submit through CourseWorks. Here are the steps:

  1. Log into CourseWorks.
  2. Select Drop Box from the left hand navigation pane.
  3. Expand the COMSW4172_001_2014_1 Drop Box folder. You should see a folder with your own name (if you do not, please email the TA). Click that folder to go inside.
  4. Select Upload Files in the drop-down list to the right of your name.
  5. The Upload Files page will load. Choose your PDF (or Word) file, using the browse dialog window that appears after pressing "Choose File."
  6. Press "Upload Files Now."

Please try to submit well before the deadline, since CourseWorks can sometimes become busy and slow. Remember that this is the last opportunity to use any remaining late days.