Social Computing Final Project

To connect what you learn in this course to real-world experiences, the project of this course focuses on a practical application of what you are learning in working with real clients. You will be working with a few small businesses in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh to understand how social media can better support their businesses. The project will involve the following activities:

  1. Visiting and getting to know your client; i.e. business owners
  2. Conducting observation to understand the context of the businesses, their customers, and their environment
  3. Conducting interviews with business owner and/or customers to understand what social media they already use, how they use social media and what are their needs with respect to social media, particularly understanding how do they understand the social media engagement they have
  4. Designing a social media analytics page for businesses to increase their awareness of the engagement of their customers
  5. Designing a solution to a problem you have identified through your observations and interviews. This can stay as a prototype solution

Team formation

The project will require you to work on groups of three. There is a strong evidence that teams with diversity of experiences, demographics, and skills perform better. In forming your team, consider these factors. There will be support provided by the instructor to help you form your teams.


Each group should great a Google folder to include all project activities. Deadlines for part of the project is posted in the syllabus of the class

  1. Observation notes [5 points - due Sep 15]

    Each group is required to submit two-page notes from their observation session. All group members should contribute to the notes. This means, even if not all of you are able to attend the observation session, you should discuss together and write the notes together. This should be submitted as a Google document in your project folder. The submission will be done on Canvas. You will submit the link to the document.

  2. Interview questions [5 points - due Sep 22]

    Each group is required to submit a set of questions they will be using to understand their client's social media use.

  3. Initial project proposal [5 points - due Oct 6]

    Each team will propose their plan for social media analytic page and the problem they want to focus on. This should include what social media sites are involved, what information will be extracted and displayed, description of the major problem your team wants to address with respect to the needs of the client, how are all these informed by observation and interview. Each group will present in class and will receive feedback from the instructor and classmates

  4. Midterm design prototype [10 points - due Nov 3]

    Each team will submit a presentation of the initial design for analytic page and their design solution for feedback

  5. Final project poster, demo and report [10 points - due Dec 8]

    A poster describing the project, including different steps involved in the project, demo of analytic page, feedback from the client, and lessons learned from the project. The project report will include any details not covered in the poster, including details data collection and analysis.