General Information

Does your product need a free, professional-quality user experience report?

SI 622 is a Masters-level Human-Computer Interaction course taught in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Currently, the course is offered on a yearly basis during the Winter semester. The lead instructor in Winter 2017 will be Joyojeet Pal. Students learn and apply a number of methods for assessing the usability and usefulness of interactive systems such as websites or software applications. The course is based around a semester-long group project in which groups of 3-4 students select a system to study and then proceed to conduct a series of evaluations and other analyses, generating reports and recommendations along the way.

If you would like to obtain an assessment of your website or software product, you can submit a proposal for a course project. If a student group chooses your project, they will perform a series of evaluations of your product and give you detailed and actionable feedback on the usability problems they find.

Why should I suggest a project?

Getting a thorough evaluation of a digital product can be time-consuming and expensive. 

SI graduates are a formidable presence in the user experience professional community around the world. Almost all of our graduates have at some point conducted user experience reports through SI 622. In fact, for many students, the 622 project has led to longer-term relationships with satisfied clients.

Our students are talented and motivated, and rigorous course requirements ensure that the students work very hard at evaluating the product thoroughly. In the past, we have found that students produce information of high value to your organization (assuming you have the will and capacity to act on the information, of course). 

SI students make great employees! This is true whether you are interested in hiring part time help during the school year, interns over the summer, or full time employees after graduation. By having students do course projects with you, you are able to let SI students become aware of your organization and what you do while also getting a sneak peak at particular SI students you might want to recruit. There are also, of course, other ways to connect with SI.

What makes a good project?

Students in 622 need to have access to a system to evaluate. 

  • Any website that has been launched to the public or software that is freely downloadable almost certainly meets this criterion. 
  • Password-protected websites, pre-launch/alpha/beta products, and licensed software are also possible candidates, provided that adequate student access can be provided during for the duration of the course. 
  • Web sites that are undergoing active development, but have a stable release ready are also accepted, too, provided that the functionality is reasonably complete by the beginning of the semester. Only the stable release of a product will be evaluated.

What do we need to do besides give basic access to the product?

A key criterion for 622 projects to give you successful output is the ability of students to be able to recruit representative users for testing, surveys, and the like. Ideally, these would be your site's actual users. But in cases where that's impractical, it is at least necessary that students can find realistic proxies and/or prospective users. The organization proposing the project will be responsible for recruiting users, especially in cases where the potential users are from a unique demographic not easily accessible to our students.

If you have questions about whether your site is appropriate for 622, don't hesitate to ask! If you've got a product (or nearly do) and want feedback, we'll be happy to work with you to figure out how to craft a good (and attractive!) 622 project if at all possible.

Can this help hire talent?

There is no requirement that you hire our students, nor is it considered at the time of evaluating your project. However, SI students make great employees! This is true whether you are interested in hiring part time help during the school year, interns over the summer, or full time employees after graduation. By having students do course projects with you, you are able to let SI students become aware of your organization and what you do while also getting a sneak peak at particular SI students you might want to recruit. There are also, of course, other ways to connect with SI.

What should I expect?

We're glad you asked!

Sounds great! How do I submit?

Simply fill out our project proposal form by December 10, 2016, and we'll let you know if a student team selects your project as soon as possible.