Evaluation Assignment 4 – Design Support Documents

In this assignment, you will write design support documents and post them on your consultant website.

Reading List

To prepare for this assignment, read:

Assignment Description

Meeting with Sponsoring Scientists

The design supporting documents that produce for the app development teams require that you understand the app and the context of the app. You will need to attend meetings with the scientist sponsoring the app when the team meets with the scientist. It is not sufficient that you learn about scientists requirements and app context from the team. They may not remember all the details of the meeting or misunderstand.

You should not run the meeting with the scientist. Let the team run the meeting. This is an opportunity for the undergraduate students to learn to gather requirements from a client.  You may ask the scientist questions.

Design Support Documents

The goals of this assignment are to assure that your undergraduate group clearly understands the stakeholders, their goals and the tasks to achieve these goals. The document should contain:

  1. Stakeholder Analysis
    1. Onion model of stakeholder
    2. Description of each stakeholder
    3. Stakeholders’ goal-influence table
  2. Personas for the primary stakeholder (primary and secondary users)
    1. Two primary users
    2. Two secondary user
  3. Hierarchical Task Analysis
  4. Your notes from the interview with the scientist

You will attend your development/undergraduate team’s interviews with the scientist/client and keep your own notes. You can ask questions during the interview but let the undergraduate group conduct the interview.

Stakeholder Analysis

Onion Model for Stakeholders

Read Understanding Projects Sociology by Modeling Stakeholders for a brief description of the onion model of stakeholders. The onion model only need delineate four levels: system, primary, secondary, and tertiary stakeholders. Primary stakeholders are eventual end users of your system. Secondary stakeholders directly support the primary users or use the results of the application. Tertiary stakeholders are from the greater society and have influence on the project or are affected by the project. Developers of the projects are example of tertiary stakeholders, but developers have different roles.

Stakeholders’ Goal-Influence Table

The Stakeholders’ Goal-Influence Table clarifies the role of each stakeholder by delineating their goal and potential influence on the project. Stakeholder goal represent what the stakeholder hopes to get out of the project (which can be a personal goal). Stakeholder influences are contributions or constraints that the stakeholder makes to or on the project.  Stakeholders may have more than one goal or influence. Generally, stakeholder goals have corresponding influence associated with them and visa-versa.  Stakeholder goals and influences can be represented in a table. Each row represents a stakeholder, and three columns represent: the stakeholder’s generic name (role in the onion diagram), stakeholder’s goals and any associated influences. The association of goals with influences may not always be obvious, but try to find them.


Personas help to make the potential application users come to life by describing a hypothetical user in detail. The designers can use the personas to test the application on paper by imagining how a specific user would perform. Your document should include four personas: two for both primary and two for secondary users. I suggest that one persona be designed to represent user that will have nominal interactions with the application and the other that will introduce errors using the application.

Persona Documentation

Documenting the person should include:

  1. Name, a hypothetical name that you make up.
  2. List of important attribute, for example age and residence
  3. Description, a verbal description which should include the persona’s
    1. Goals
    2. Behavior
    3. Relationship to other people

Hierarchical Task Analysis

Your hierarchical task analysis (HTA) diagram should show the different uses of the application in multiple trees, where the highest level of the tree is associated with the goal, intermediate levels represent the tasks and sub-task to achieve the goal, and the lower levels represent actions to perform the tasks. Links in the tree associate tasks with goals, and actions with tasks. If you prefer your can use table and list to structure your HTA instead of a tree.

You will probably need to make several diagrams or tables for the different uses of the app. I suggest using a top-down approach to develop the HTA. First determine the goal then list the tasks to achieve the goal, and the sub-tasks to achieve the tasks, finally add the actions to achieve the sub-tasks. Try to name the tasks and sub-tasks with words that might be used in the application.

Document Outline and Format

Post your assignment document on your website. Do not email them to me. I will view your website after the assignment due in order review your assignments. The document will contain tables and bullet lists, but they should be supported by full sentence description. The document is not an outline or a note. I will evaluate the correctness of the document and also how well it communicates. An example outline:

  1. Cover page identifying the document, you, and the development/undergraduate team
  2. A very short description of the system (one paragraph)
  3. Stakeholder Onion diagram
  4. Stakeholders’ short descriptions (one or two sentences for each stakeholder)
  5. Stakeholder Goal Influence Table
  6. Summary of the Stakeholder Goal Influence Table (several paragraphs describing the important goals and influences)
  7. Personas
  8. HTA
  9. Summary of the HTA, perhaps describing the user goals and how they are achieved.
  10. Appendix: Your notes from the interview with the scientist.

Submit on Canvas

Post your document on your website and submit the URL of your website. Do NOT submit the documents. Rather, I will read them on your website.

Also email your team that you have posted the assignment to the website.

Grading Rubric

The Design Support Document will be evaluated on timeliness and completeness. Specifically:

  • Can I find and access the document or documents?
  • Are all the required document completed?
  • Are the document easy to read, written in full sentences, using proper grammar and well organized? Note your documents can use some bullet or numbered list, but the document should not be one continuous list.
  • Are the all the stakeholders listed and explained?
  • Are the stakeholders influences correct?
  • Are the personas portrayed appropriate for the app and are they convincing representative individual?
  • Is the Hierarchical Task Analysis complete and understandable.

Prepare for Next Assignment

In your next assignments you will prepare for your Cognitive Walkthrough and give feedback on other projects. Prepare for the assignments by reading: