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Home Security System


Design Challenge

Iteratively design and prototype a real world device in Visual Basic.NET that contains at least 2000 lines of code. Conduct four rounds of user testing and iteratively modify the program code based on testing results.


When a user interacts with a Home Security System, the context is invariably stressful. They need to be accurate under limited time constraints while in the background there is the noise of a beeping alarm.

To help users deal with multiple processing, I implemented an interface with physical buttons that could be felt by location and confirmation that they were pressed. Since it is important for users to know that they entered the right set of numbers in the right sequence, I added redundant levels of feedback. Every time they press a button, they will hear a beep and see a display change based on the system response to user input.

Based on a comparison of other systems, I included three "panic" buttons that could be activated by a single touch and easily canceled in case the buttons were accidentally depressed. Also, on some devices, users enter numbers first, then the function, or vice versa. My interface supports both mental models.

To test the configuration of a security device, I created a mock test area where clicking on a part of the house floorplan represented a person in the room.

Research Methods

Evaluation Methods



  • Competitive Analysis
  • Think Aloud Usability Testing
  • Heuristic Evaluation
  • Visual Basic.NET
  • Photoshop

User Test Report | Security.exe (Do you have .NET?, also the passcode is 1234)

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