Evaluation Assignment 1

Project Description

We will be developing an application to assist in soil erosion risk analysis. Our application will utilize a prexisting Disturbed WEPP Model, informed by users both manually and automatically, to evaluate risk.

Stakeholder Analysis

Onion model of stakeholder roles laid out as a table.

Stakeholders' goal-influence table

Roles Goals Influence
Citizen scientists Learn about soil erosion and/or make DIY decisions. Motivate designing for simplicity and as a learning tool.
Professional users Accurately and efficiently make decisons in the field. Motivate designing for accurate and efficient usage.
Trainers Share useful tools with their students. "Market" the app. Trainers likely fill other roles too.
Application developers Gain experience and get a good grade. Design and write the app.
Project scientists Disseminate knowledge about soil erosion. Share domain knowledge and make design decisions.
Course instructor Create UX experts, give good grades and produce useful apps. Share UX expertise, make technology decisions and guide progress.


Name Alice Bob Cathy Daniel
User type Primary Primary Secondary Secondary
Age 20 40 30 50
Job title Forestry student Forestry expert Scientist Forestry instructor
Tech literacy 3/5 2/5 3/5 4/5
Description Alice is a forestry major at Michigan Tech. She has the technological ability expected of a Millenial, but is not particularly "techie". She has taken a class in GIS and is learning the software and tools of her trade. Bob has worked in the forest service since his early 20s and is familiar with the effects of soil erosion. Some of his team members have had used the database in the past, but he would like a way to more efficiently make decisions in the field. Cathy is a environmental scientist. She has not been involved in the development of the database, but is interested in studying the data collected from users in her home state of California. Daniel has been teaching in the forestry program since his time in industry. He introduces students, like Alice, to industry tools and holds summer training sessions for forest service members. As an instructor, he learns his tools thoroughly and has some influence over the tools used in the forestry service.

Task Analysis Simplified HTA

Requirements to present the resulting model to the user. This HTA ignores stretch goals such as offline usage and uploading user-reviewed models.

The HTA is a graph of tasks and their prerequisites, here organized as a simple tree. The task list primarily consists of learning the tech. This list should be treated as a living HTA, tasks should be added as decisions are made and stretch goals are pursued. Our project has a pretty straight-forward baseline, so we should be able to consider some additional features.

Research requirements (extra)

Interview Notes

Notes collected during the interview with Mary Miller on January 26th, 2017.


Two databases: one associates soil textures with UTM coordinates, the other is a bit unclear, but it will be used alongside the soil information to run a sample through the WEPP model. She mentioned that accuracy is a concern and we should allow users to modify the data. Note: User mutability of either database is unclear. Mary mentioned that uploading the user generated model would be infeasible. Would there be some subset of the model that would be of interest and feasible?

Disturbed WEPP Model 2.0

The hydrology model-based process requires 500 inputs. Our application provides an online interface to Mary's WEPP model. Need to simplify interface for forestry experts who may use the information for threat analysis of wild fires. Remote sensing data can be used to autofill some of the inputs.


Users may be out in the field and therefore have limited connectivity. We asked about offline usage, and being able to submit data at a later time. Mary liked the idea a lot but thought that it may prove too difficult to address in the course project.


Mary liked the idea to collect data from users and emailing a scientist to review problematic or unusual results.

She expressed concern that a login system may handicap accessibility. The database is free and open to the public.


Mary is unfamiliar with software licensing. She has indicated interest in developing as an open-source application. We asked about commercial usage, she was unsure but said that we could worry about that later; she will check with her lead programmer. Note: Since we are hosting our code publically on GitHub, licensing should be handled early.

Source access

Mary confirmed that she has been added to GitHub but is unfamiliar with Git. She plans to run through some tutorials later.