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Your goal in this project is to create a prototype of your product, as if you were really going to test it with customers. Step 1: Identify a proble


Your goal in this project is to create a prototype of your product, as if you were really going to test it with customers.  Step 1: Identify a proble

Your goal in this project is to create a prototype of your product, as if you were really going to test it with customers. 

Step 1: Identify a problem

Step 2: Choose a solution

Step 3: Choose seven features

Step 4: Build your app in Google Slides

What is it that you’re actually building?

Step 5: Write a short guide to your app

Project 3: App MVP

In this project, you will use Google Slides and your knowledge of the agile process to rapidly prototype an app or website.

your “product” will be an app or a website. Your goal in this project is to create a prototype of your product, as if you were really going to test it with customers.

You may want to review the Agile and MVP lectures again. You will not need to do a pivot for this project.

Step 1: Identify a problem

Think about a problem you or your friends face, or identify one in your target industry (where you want to work after graduation), that can be solved or addressed with technology. Keep your problem small and realistic—building houses on Mars, for example, is not something that is easily solved with IS.

Once you’ve identified a problem, think about why it’s an important problem to solve. Who is most affected by this problem? What results do you expect after this problem is solved? What role does technology play in solving or addressing this problem?

Some good problem ideas from past quarters include immigration assistance (translating forms, etc.), campus safety, finding similarly skilled people for pickup sports games, and organizing schedules and routines for drag queens. You can be as creative as you’d like, but please keep it appropriate for school.

There are two problem ideas that are not allowed: campus parking (or any kind of parking), and the general concept of student loans (why should students get loans for college; why interest rates are so high; why can’t debt be erased; etc.).

Campus parking is an issue that almost all commuters to UCR face, and sometimes even faculty run out of spots. There are real solutions being proposed and in place. Back when I allowed campus parking as a project idea, most students submitted similar ideas: parking space counter, rideshare, and so on.

Action item: Create a new Google Doc. After typing your name and class information, make a new section titled “Problem Statement.” Clearly state your problem in one or two sentences. In a new paragraph, write a short summary of why you believe this is an important problem to address, who this problem affects, and what benefits you expect from solving or addressing this problem.

Step 2: Choose a solution

Thinking about your problem statement, come up with some ideas to address this problem. Remember to keep your ideas focused around, but not necessarily 100% related to, IS. We’re roleplaying a scenario here but we’re limited by time and class constraints.

Choose one idea as the basis of your MVP. It’s ok if your MVP addresses only part of the problem. Keep in mind that in a real world situation, you would use an MVP to see if your idea gets traction and also see if you’ve identified a problem worth solving in the first place. You don’t have to solve everything about the problem right now.

Your MVP will be in the form of an app or website / dashboard. Users should be able to use your MVP and get a sense for what the real product will look like.

Don’t just copy or build upon an existing app.

Action item: In the same Doc as above, create a new section titled “MVP Idea.” Briefly describe your solution. What specifically about the problem are you addressing with this solution?

Step 3: Choose seven features

Now that you have your solution in mind, it’s time to prioritize and choose your initial features. First, make a list of potential features. What do you want users to be able to do in your app? What features do users need to solve their problem (that you identified)?

Once you have a list of features, prioritize them in order of importance. Recall from the MVP lecture that the most boring feature is often the most important. From this prioritized list, choose the top six.

Action item: Notice that you’re choosing six features above. The seventh feature must be related to data analysis or make use of data. This could be a map, some sort of stats tracking, a global leaderboard, etc.

Optional: If you are not concentrating in IS but your problem statement is related to your target industry, feel free to make one or more of your features related to that industry. Sometimes this happens naturally. For example, if you choose the finance industry, likely at least one of your features will be related to finance. You must still have a data analysis feature.

Optional: If you are concentrating in IS, feel free to make one of your features related to a trending technology like blockchain or AI. You must still have a data analysis feature.

Assumption: For any of your features, you can assume that the technology is already in place and will work. For example, let’s say that one of your features is the ability to message other users. You can assume that some computer science team will design this and make it work later. Right now, you are just prototyping an MVP and you don’t have to worry about the deep technical details.

Assumption: You can assume that basic functions such as login and registration already exist. These basic functions do not count toward your seven features. A user profile, as long as it requires more than just contact and demographic information (e.g., a pet profile like breed and allergies), does count as a feature. If you are unsure whether a feature will count as one of your seven, please ask publicly (and anonymously if you wish) on Campuswire or at office hours.

Action item: In the same Doc as above, create a new section titled “Features.” List each of your seven features as bullet points. Clearly mark which one is the data analysis feature.

Sample output for Step 3

Let’s say that I want to create an app to find similarly skilled players for pickup sports games. I might have as my features:

1 – Player profile (sports I want to play and my skill level in them)

2 – Make a “player wanted” post for teams looking for a player

3 – Search for pickup games based on skill level, location, etc.

4 – Show a map of where pickup games often happen locally—this is my data analysis feature

So that nobody just copies this idea, I’m stopping here at four features. 😜 But, I hope this gives you an idea of how you should be moving forward. You might even think about drilling down into a specific problem. For example, people who want to play in a recreational golf league might face different problems than people looking to play pickup basketball or coed softball.

Step 3 is the tough part about this project so please ask for clarification on Campuswire or at office hours.

Step 4: Build your app in Google Slides

We covered this in class on Wednesday of Week 9. Please watch the recording from that day if you missed it.

Action item: Create a new Google Slides presentation. Build your prototype there.

Important points:

If an object is clickable on a screen, make the object a standout color like orange. Your TA should be able to look at a screen and clearly identify what’s clickable.

You are not making a 100% perfect and pretty app right now. It’s ok if your color scheme is black and white. However, you can use images you find on Google to help make your prototype look more real. For example, if one of your features is to show a map, you can look on Google for a picture of a mobile app map and use it in your prototype.

You can build a “home screen” that links to your seven features. This is for accessibility; a home screen does not count as one of your seven features.

What is it that you’re actually building?

You are building an entire prototype of your app. When your TA grades your submission, they should be able to click each action area to jump to different functions (features), as if your app was real and functional. Of course, since we are prototyping, your app will not actually work.

Let’s say that you are building a task management app and you want to create the “add a task” feature. You would have a screen where the user would enter their task, then maybe a confirmation screen after the task is added, then a screen showing the list of tasks with that new task added.

Notice that this one feature requires two or three screens to “work.” Just because your app only has seven features does not mean it will only have seven screens. In fact, you will — and should — have many more screens than that.

However, you don’t need to build complete functionality. For example, your prototype does not need to allow users to add multiple tasks. You can show the user the default list of tasks whenever they click into the tasks feature.

Step 5: Write a short guide to your app

Action item: In the same Doc as above, create a new section titled “Guide.” Write the actions that the user should take to get through your app, starting from the home / first screen and going through your seven features. This is to help your TA in case it’s not clear what should be done on a certain screen. (And if you feel like you have to clarify a majority of your screens, that’s a sign that you might need to redesign your screens or app flow.)

Step 7: Choose one of the questions below to answer

There are two questions. Question 2 is on the next page. Please choose one to answer. Your answer should be half a page long, single spaced. These are opinion questions so you do not need references, but you are welcome to include them.

Action item: In the same Doc as above, create a new section titled “Short Answer.” Type your response into that section. Choose one stance and explain your reasoning.

—– Question 1

Throughout history, people from all cultures have fought for some sort of independence. Decentralization of financial services, namely with cryptocurrencies, is a move toward giving financial users freedom. Your funds are always available, unlike when banks close on Sundays and holidays. There are no fees or transaction limits. The ledger is publicly available and you can verify the entire history. Seemingly, decentralization of financial services is a good thing. Do you think we will ever reach full decentralization of financial services, as in there are no banks or other third party entities? Why or why not? Choose your position and explain your reasoning.

—– Question 2

You have written Python code to accept input from the user, perform a set of actions, and show the user the result. At a very basic level, this is how artificial intelligence is designed. A self-driving car accepts input (e.g., computer vision to see the road and traffic signals), performs a set of actions (e.g., turning, braking), and delivers a result (e.g. getting you to your destination).

Pretend that there is a major accident with a self-driving car, like it runs into a building and puts people in danger.

Which stance below do you agree with the most?

a. The specific people who worked on the self-driving car, and / or the company that built it, should be held responsible for damages.

b. The accident cannot be blamed on any specific entity except for the car itself. Once the developers made it artificially intelligent, the car started thinking on its own and the developers no longer had any responsibility.

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