UC Berkeley
Fall 2017



  • 25% Individual and Small Group Programming & Design Assignments
  • 20% Midterm
  • 40% Final Group Project
  • 15% Class Participation (Attendance, Reading Responses, Class Participation, bCourses interaction)

There will be required reading responses, individual programming and design assignments and a midterm, but much of the grade comes from the final design project. This is a design class with an emphasis on identifying and satisfying users’ needs. Unlike most CS classes there is not a single “correct” solution, and you will have to make trade-offs. In this class you will learn to both design new interfaces and evaluate the pros and cons of the interfaces you design. As you complete the assignments for this class you should try to point out both the pros and the cons of the interfaces and applications you design and the choices you made.

Design is typically evaluated in a qualitative manner. As a result a significant portion of the grading in this class will be qualitative, including assessments of the end user experience of the system and the quality of your designs, evaluations, and prototypes. Evaluation feedback will be given by course staff, outside experts, and your peers. It will be important for you to communicate your goals and choices effectively in written and oral presentation within the page limits and time allowed.

Each group is responsible for making sure that all members are participating. As part of the project reports, you are required to describe the effort put in by each member, both on specific tasks and as a fraction of the group’s effort. Make sure you discuss this regularly, to make sure your group is in agreement about the work breakdown. Effective group work (which entails some amount of conflict resolution) is a key skill for success in industry. We would like you to work through conflicts if at all possible, and we will devote some class time to this topic. Your project assignments include self-reports of effort by all team members. It’s very important that team members contribute equally. If issues arise around group work, please contact the staff promptly.

late policy

Group project assignments may not be turned in late, as we want to give quick and timely feedback, and you should be able to work together as a group to turn in assignments on time. Individual project and design assignments will lose points as follows:

  • 1 min — 24 hours: -10% (weekends count)
  • 24 hours — 48 hours: -20%
  • 48 hours — 72 hours: -40%

Assignments submitted more than 72 hours late will not be accepted. This does not apply to reading responses; there is a zero-tolerance for late reading responses.

regrading policy

As mentioned earlier, grading design projects is largely qualitative, and may give rise to disagreements. We encourage you to discuss grading concerns directly with your TA. If that cannot be resolved, you may invoke a regrade process by emailing a copy of your assignment and a written description of why you believe the grade was unsatisfactory no sooner than two days but within two weeks after receiving the grade. Submit the regrade request to John Tang’s email. An independent TA will regrade the entire assignment; this means that your grade could go up or down. Entering the regrade process means that you agree to that process.