CS408 Assignment 2 Solution Spring 2018


The objective of this assignment is to understand mental models.

Assignment Brief

This assignment will involve understanding mental models when using the following software applications:

  • Microsoft PowerPoint – this software is part of the Office suite of applications and can be found at the following path:

Start > All Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office PowerPoint

  • Microsoft Paint – this software is part of the Windows operating system and can be found at the following path:

Start > All Programs > Accessories > Paint

Part 1

After launching the programs, study the interfaces of the software programs by carefully looking at them.   Do not use the software. Then, without using the software applications, answer the following questions:

  • What is the purpose of the software application?
  • Do you think you can draw a rectangle shape with this software? Explain why?
  • How would you draw a rectangle shape and fill it in with a color. Write down the step-by-step process for this activity.

Use annotated screenshots to explain your answer.

Part 2

Now, launch each software application and try and draw a rectangle shape.

For each application, answer the following questions:

Were you successful?

Is the functioning of each application different from your initial understanding before using the software?

If so, describe how.  What is the relationship of the mental model to the represented model to the mental model?

Your answer must contain annotated screenshots for each program.

Part 3

Describe how the two software applications (PowerPoint and Paint) differently implement the rectangle drawing shape.

Why do you think the drawing shape has been implemented in a particular way in each application?

Explain how a certain implementation in one tool can affect the formation of mental models when using the same feature in another application.  Assume the following usage sequence:

  1. PowerPoint
  2. Paint

Hint: there are two different ways of creating the shape in PowerPoint.