4 Replies - 4883 Views - Last Post: 22 May 2012 - 08:55 PM

#1 Smurphy  Icon User is offline

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Good Topic for class?

Posted 22 May 2012 - 10:52 AM

I have to take a CS class that is based entirely around both presentations and papers. For our second presentation we could come up with our own topic. I just got done talking to my teacher about the topic that I chose. He is a little worried that students would not be interested or may get bored because it is not very technical. So I want to ask you guys, does the following discussion interest you at all? Do you think you could listen to a 10 min speech about the following?

My topic is based around dealing with aggravated users. The title is "Tips and tricks for dealing with users in the work place" I want to pass on little tricks that I have learned from working in IT for the past 2.5 years and from what I learned in an internship at a webhosting company. I would talk about personal experiences (some funny some serious) giving very clear examples and how the user was dealt with. I would also use studies and books on psychology (as an aid) Does this seem like it would keep anybody interested?

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Replies To: Good Topic for class?

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Good Topic for class?

Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:14 AM

Personally I can sit through hours and hours of inane and mind numbing meetings so ten minutes shouldn't be hard.

What's the actual class title/content?

Personally that comes off as a pretty juvenile topic. If it was about the UX/UI and how to best help the user accomplish their task and make it a pleasing interaction with your product then maybe.. but "my interaction with a user" can easily be summed up by pointing to http://thedailywtf.com/ and http://www.theregist...o.uk/odds/bofh/ . I'll make a large generalization and say - while your experiences were probably quirky and amusing to you at the time - basic customer service skills could be easily picked up on a in bound credit card fraud line... not quite 'computer class' worthy.
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#3 cfoley  Icon User is online

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Re: Good Topic for class?

Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:21 PM

Your teacher doesn't seem to keen on it but that's only one person, and it's someone of a different age and depth of knowledge to your peers. You are in a better position to judge what they will like.

What't the cost of making a mistake? If it means failing the class then it's obviously not worth taking a chance, but if the class is structured in a way that this is a learning experience, I'd say go for it. Even if the topic doesn't go down well, that's a valuable experience as long as you don't let it dishearten you.
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#4 Smurphy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Good Topic for class?

Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:17 PM

Sorry guys I typed a response before but it looks like it did not upload properly. Good news this will not impact my grade if they are bored.
Also the teacher allowed it because I was able to (off the cuff) give him a very brief summery and practice speech which he seemed to enjoy.


The purpose of this class is to give comp sci and IT students experience writing more and public speaking. (Even though I already passed a speech class.)
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#5 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Good Topic for class?

Posted 22 May 2012 - 08:55 PM

Since much of your public speaking as a programmer will be to non-technical people (they're the people who write the checks!) it seems worthwhile to be able to entertain an audience and make them think they're getting something technical in the process.

If you can use this as examples of things that could be improved, even better. Then the students maybe learn something about UI design. So look over your anecdotes, and ask yourself, which of them are just stupid users being stupid, and which are smart users doing the obviously right thing... which turns out to be wrong? And which are ordinary users baffled by a poorly-designed interface that makes them back and fill, gives them choices and no basis on which to make the choices, shows them the model that the computer is manipulating instead of the world that they're interested in affecting, and so forth?

There are lots of UI mistakes in the world - if you can make a funny speech that illustrates those and makes programmers laugh about Supid Bob the User and then at Dumb Dave the Programmer, then you've got something. You could take that on the road.

For a bit of inspiration, take a look at Joe Nuxoll's recent talk on UI design. I'm pretty sure he won't mind if you borrow some of his rules, since I know he borrowed all of them from other folks along the line. Just file off the serial numbers and give them a paint job and you're good.
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