CSci 5110 Project Topics

brad hokanson (
Tue, 13 Jan 1998 16:06:43 -0600

Adding my own two cents, from the non-programmers perspective:

1. the idea of a interface that converts email archives to a web page is
interesting and probably useful for a limited number of people. Does it
need and interface? Would it run just as well if it just ran or plugged
into your email program. One could do about the same thing with a data base
program and a form on a Mac (so simple that I know of it's use) and I
assume there is something in the way FrontPage handles threaded discussion
groups as well. (Neutral, rhetorical question that we have to answer is:)
Why does this need a graphical interface, particularly for the target users?

2. Given the massive popularity of a)PowerPoint/Persuasion type files in
corporate America, and b) the ubiqutous nature of the internet/HTML, how
about an interface that lets you put a sequential slide show together on
the net to be seen by a basic browser. It's easy in HTML, but to take that
ease down to an very casual user would be worthwile. And for more advanced
users, just the idea of having something set up to put in some text points,
and click someplace to go to the next one might be interesting.

3. The idea of a game is very interesting as there are all sorts of levels
of interactivity and the entire method is pretty wide open. It blends
interface with the entire game design, but may lead to some massive amounts
of work we may not want to get into. You guys know the game writing

4. The idea of having something to draw with is also interesting. I had a
contact here at the University who wanted a multimedia program that would
let students practice writing their Russian characters. See the letter,
write (draw) the letter. Can this be done in the canvas window? We could
get the real live contact, and he's shaking some tree for money, so maybe
later...One of my interests is speach synthesis and this could be tied in,
but even recorded sounds would be neat. Maybe I'm thinking too much
multimedia and not enough interface.

5. Interface for interface sake. Design/create something that does nothing,
but just does it. It's like exploring someplace and it goes in a number of
different places. Is Myst an interface? Is there really any point to that
game? Entertainment is a good task. This would be like Seinfield; no big
drama, but interesting and amusing along the way. (How to you know if it
succeeds? If people do it until they are late for something else.)

Ok, that's it for now.


Brad Hokanson
UC Coordinator
Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel
University of MInnesota, St. Paul.
612.624.4918 voice
612.624.2750 fax