Design Challenge Expectations

February 23, 2010

in Uncategorized

Some of you have asked about what are the “expectations” for what you will create for the design challenge.

I have one very elegant solution to the design problem, but implementing the
idea may take longer than 4th March deadline. What is your expectation
in this work?

Clearly, it is easy to come up with designs that are too hard to implement. Indeed, its probably possible to come up with designs that are too much effort to really be worthwhile for the problem.

If you have an idea, you should try to prototype it. Prototype can have a wide range of meanings. From very “low fidelity” prototypes, to detailed implementations. If you have an idea that would be really hard to implement, maybe you’ll want to prototype it first using some simple mockup – pencil and paper sketches, or a storyboard of pictures of what it would look like. For other ideas, it might be practical to get an implementation such that you can try it out on real data.

There is a tradeoff: on one hand, its nice to have more ideas than you can implement, or fancier ideas than you can implement. On the other hand, there’s a lot to be said for being able to try your ideas on real data. There’s also something to be said for ideas that are easy to implement: if you have an otherwise awesome design that would be too time consuming (costly) to implement, in practice, that might be less useful than something that is more practical.

For March 4th, your focus should be on having ideas your ideas in a form that you can convey to the domain experts for feedback. It is more compelling if they can see things on real data (and “real” simulated data). But it might be just as (or more) compelling if you have a totally amazing design that you explain with pictures and good arguments.

My hope is that each group will do a lot of thinking and designing, and at least a little bit of implementing.

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