Skip to main content

Final Project

Project Proposals/Preference Form

The list of project proposals can be found here: CS1320 Spring 2021 Project Proposals.

Please fill out the Project Preference Form by Saturday, January 30 at 11:59pm.

Table of Contents

2/3/21 Initial Team Meeting
2/12/21 Initial Client Report Due - Requirements
Mentor TA Checkin #1
3/1/21 Specifications, Elevator Talks
3/8/21 User Feedback Report Due
3/15/21 Front-end Design Presentation Due
3/15/21 - 3/19/21 Virtual Poster Fair
3/26/21 Backend Design Due
4/2/21 Prototype Running (Mentor TA Checkin)
4/9/21 Client Feedback Report Due
4/11/21 Project Testing Report Due
4/12/21 - 4/16/21 Final Project Presentations
4/19/21 Final Demo (if desired)
4/21/21 Mentor TA Presentation and Final Handin

Initial Team Meeting

You should plan to meet with your client after which you should schedule a meeting with your mentor TAs to get checked off before Friday, February 19th. If there are time conflicts and you need more time to meet with your client and mentor TAs, please contact the HTAs at

During the client meeting, you should get to know your client and familiarize yourself with their proposed project and the expectations they have for the semester. Additionally, you may want to discuss the specifications of the project and identify primary goals that can be completed within the semester and stretch goals (if applicable) in preparation for the specifications report.

During the TA checkoff, you should go over what happened during your initial client meeting. You may additionally want to discuss your initial designs and plans for the project and what features you will be working on. If after your initial client meeting you are not sure if the amount of work seems reasonable to complete within the semester, feel free to ask your mentor TAs for advice.

You do not need to hand in anything for this checkoff.

Initial Client (Requirements) Report

The project requirements report should include details about what you plan to implement in your project (not how you plan to implement things). Remember that requirements look at things from a user’s perspective whereas specifications look at things from a programmer’s perspective. Therefore, your report should include:

  • Details of how the meeting with your client went as well as their general expectations for the project going forward (meeting notes will suffice for this portion)
  • A list of features that will be implemented
  • Notes on which features will be prioritized vs. what features are secondary
  • A list of what pages/screens your app will include and a brief description of the content that will go on each page/screen
  • Sketches of your pages/screens (they do not need to be final designs)
  • What information/data will be needed, where it will come from, and how it will be used
  • What accesibility requirements need to be accounted for
  • What security concerns need to be adressed
  • What privacy concerns need to be adressed
  • Scenarios/use cases for your project

You do not need to figure out how you will implement all of your features yet, just list what features you will be implementing.

There is no word or page requirement for this report, as long as you include all of the information listed above. To hand in your report, please include the name of your project on the report and submit it on Gradescope. Make sure to add your group members to your Gradescope submission.

Project Elevator Talks/Specifications Report

Your elevator pitch should be one minute in length. You should describe what your final project is about and what you expect to be working on throughout the semester. Use the elevator pitch to really sell your project to the class and get the audience excited to see your final project at the end of the semester. You can show 1 slide during class and you must email this Powerpoint file (pptx) to the professor by Sunday, 2/28 and presentations will be in-class on Monday, 3/1.

Elevator pitches will take place in class.

Your specifications report is also due on Monday, 3/1 at 11:59pm. See the lecture slides for more information about Specifications, but this report should be a more detailed report about your requirements, but from a programmer's perspective. It should detail not only what you are building, but how. You can hand your specifications report in on Gradescope. Only one group member needs to upload the report to Gradescope.

User Feedback Report

You should speak to at least three (potential) users about your project to bounce your ideas off of others outside the course. Some things you might want to ask a user are what sort of functionality they would expect from your project (without first telling them) to see if maybe you’re missing anything or what features they believe would be most important. You can also show them a mockup of your front-end design and ask them how easy it is for them to figure out how to navigate to a certain feature. You must ask each user at least three questions (but we encourage you to ask more!).

As discussed in class you should try to choose users that represent different identities than the ones that are held by your group. The more diverse the user feedback you get, the more applicable your product will be to the real world!

The user feedback report should be a write-up of what you asked these users and what you learned from them.

The report doesn’t need to be longer than a double-spaced page. To hand in your report, please include the name of your project on the report and submit it on Gradescope. Make sure to add your group members to your Gradescope submission.

Front-end Design Presentation

You should schedule a meeting to present your initial front-end design to your mentor TA.

In your presentation, you should include mockups and designs created for the front-end of your project. You can also include alternate designs for your project. What you present will vary by team/project and we only require that you at least have sketches/lo-fidelity mockups for the main pages of your application mocked up (though you are encouraged to have hi-fidelity/more finalized versions of your mockups if you can!).

You should be prepared to list what frontend technologies you plan to use and be able to walk your mentor TAs through the main interactions of your application using your mockups. You should also be prepared to discuss your design choices in relation to accessibility. Think about the different accessibilty requirements that you have met so far as well as any that you brought up in your requirements and specifications.

Virtual Poster Fair

We will be having our poster fair online in the form of Canvas discussions. You can find this discussion here. The deadline to post is March 15th, 11:59pm. Please create a post in the discussion page with your group name in it to with the following:

  • an upload of your poster
  • a short blurb about what your app is (1-2 sentences is enough)
  • a description of what you’ve included on your poster and why you’ve included it (e.g. maybe you included alternate designs for a page of your app and would like feedback on which one seems more usable)

Feel free to include anything else in your post (e.g. a link to your prototype if you have one and would like feedback on it, specific parts of your application that you would like feedback on, questions you would like answers to, etc.). Please only make one post per group.

What should be on the poster:
Your poster should display a hi-fidelity design of your application. Each page/screen that you have on your poster should be labelled with a title or description if it is not easy to tell the function of it by the design itself. There is no specific size that the poster needs to be, but it should be big enough to clearly see and read your application designs. Each poster will vary by what stage each group is at, but in general, we just want to see what your app will look like. You can choose to display alternate designs for your project, the designs for every page or only the most common ones, etc. The poster fair is mostly for you to get helpful feedback from your peers. Use the poster to show what your website might look like in order to get the appropriate feedback needed to get a better and more final design.

Here are some examples of previous posters:

In addition, each individual student is required to post feedback/questions/comments on at least five other groups’ posters (though you are highly encouraged to post more). This feedback is due by March 19th, 11:59pm. Your feedback should be meaningful, constructive, and specific to the project (i.e. don’t just say something like “This looks nice! I really like the colors!”, but instead “The use of color in this design is very effective and draws my eye to the important parts of the page. The color palette also fits very nicely with the concept of the app. However something that I think can be improved is the color contrast since it’s hard to read the gray text on the light background.” ).

Backend Design with Mentor TA

You should schedule a meeting to present your backend design to your mentor TA.

In this checkin, you should get your lab 8 checked off and present the design of your backend. For getting lab 8 checked off, you should have followed the instructions in Lab 8 to set up an EC2 instance with your server code (or, if your server is not in a state to be hosted yet, then a previous lab or assignment). You should start up your instance right before your checkin, upload the hosted link to your instance on Gradescope, and walk through what you have hosted.

For presenting your backend design, you should present to your mentor TA the following:

  • a schema of your database (what data and fields will be needed and how it will be stored/structured in the database)
  • what database you are using (ex: MongoDB, MySQL, PostgreSQL)
  • what backend technology you are using (ex: Node.js/Express)

You should also discuss the following:
  • how will you ensure that your data is stored securely? how will you handle authentication and ensure that a user's personal data cannot be accessed by other unauthorized users?
  • how will you ensure that your server is scalable and your queries are efficient?

Project Checkin with Mentor TA

You should schedule a meeting to present the current state of your final project to your mentor TA.

By the time of your checkin meeting, you should ideally have a functioning first (or further) iteration of your application with a mostly completed frontend and backend. This includes having styled and linked pages and a connected frontend and backend. Feel free to have lorem ipsum text and placeholder images for this checkin if needed. This meeting is intended to be a lookover of your implementation and a discussion of final changes that need to be made before you present your project to your client. Please be prepared to show a walkthrough of your application to your mentor TAs, answer any questions about your implementation, and discuss your next steps.

Client Feedback Report

You should plan to meet with your client to present the current progress of your project after your checkin meeting with your mentor TAs. In the client feedback report, you should include your client's feedback on the project and your own thoughts on working with the client.

The report doesn’t need to be longer than a double-spaced page. To hand in your report, please include the name of your project on the report and submit it on Gradescope. Make sure to add your group members to your Gradescope submission.

Project Testing Report

The Project Testing Report should (as a group) include a short summary of your testing plan and methodology (how you have tested various parts of your application, what software you are using for testing). It should also have an overview of what was discovered through testing. Additionally, you should outline INDIVIDUALLY (but in the same document):

  • What you personally did in terms of testing
  • What tests were run
  • What the tests showed
  • What you did to fix any bugs or issues
You should hand in one single document for your entire team via Gradescope and include your group members in your submission.

Final Project Presentations

You will have 20 minutes to present your final project to Professor Reiss and your classmates. Your presentation should be a walkthrough of your web app, showing off the pages that you created and the functions that you implemented. Be prepared to answer questions regarding technical challenges you encountered, the architecture of your code, design choices, and other aspects of your development process.

Final Project Demo (optional, but highly encouraged)

If you would like to re-demo your application to Professor Reiss with bug fixes and additional features, you may do so. Please see Piazza for signup instructions.

Mentor TA Presentation and Final Project Handin

Hurray, you made it to the end!

You will have a final meeting with your mentor TA to present your final demo. Hand in your final project code through Gradescope. Please have one group member submit the project and add your other group members to the submission. Please include a README with instructions for running your code, and a section outlining the individual contributions of each teammate to the final codebase.