Experience Prototyping Lecture

The user experience lecture was very brief with corresponding prototyping assignment which was in group. In my group, we will given the take to prototyping a smart earbud that was different features and functionalities.

The main focus of the task is to prototype different earboard that will work well when a user is engaged in any form of social interaction. Beside social interaction, user can be able to wear this device in their ear while on motion.

It was a fun and challenging project and I was struct at the beginning on how rotation gesture can be used to control a device while on motion or during social engage.

The choice of material for the prototyping is very important to the final product.

Within my group, we decided to try different designs and after then we will test each prototype to see the extend it has solved our focus problem.

I used form core to make a design after I have sketched it out and the final outcome is shown on the image below.

After each group finished with their prototyping, we have the opportunity to look at each change in a user perspective and analyze what is good and what need to be improved.

At the end it was a great exercise and amazing experience.

Arduino Navigation Panel

On the lecture and lab section on building a navigation panel using arduino, I was keen on building upon my limited knowledge of arduino and keep expanding it through learning and hands on practicals.

After a brief intro on what we needed to build, we were given the opportunity to explore connecting arduino to any javascript music library choice or the option to use arduino with scratch programming.

Since javascript is rooted and the core programming language I will use throughout my interaction design program, I decided with my team members to work with javascript music library.

Among the javascript music library we researched about, we decided to go with tone.js. The tone.js is a simple and small javascript library you can use to play tones.

The idea for the project is to build a music piano that will be play with legs. The control panel with be on a floor. One disadvantage of using leg to play a piano is that you will require more space we the control panel will be placed. With leg piano, it is not only about the music now but also a way to exercise while playing piano.

We build a simple piano interface with different button tone in html, css and javascript. The tone.js javascript library was link to the html file. The image below is how the interface looked like.

The second part of the project is to write arduino code that will connect the arduino with the web application.

This was achieved with the help of some inbuilt arduino method with Keyboard.pressed() and Keyboard.release().

Finally, we prototype the control with the help of a cardboard sheet and some copper lead which was wired to the arduino board.

I face some difficult with my arduino because I had an infinite problem that was as a result my previous that takeover the mouse function.

I was able to fix it with help from David.

This was the finally workshop I did with arduino in this course. With the previous workshops I felt like I have had a strong introduction to arduino and I look forward to learn more in other future courses

Arduino Mouse and Potentiometer

Learning how to using different input devices with arduino micro was a challenging experience and a good way to broaden my knowledge of arduino since this is the first time I am programming with arduino.

This workshop was basically for us to explore, create and design innovative way to use external devices or input to control computer mouse movement.

We explore some of the creative and innovative artifacts and products other designers have build.

The most scintillating part is seeing different way light and shadow have been used to create wonderful designs with the help of arduino.

I got to released how power arduino is and the unlimited possibilities to afford designers.

I choose to experience with control pad and a nob which uses a potentiometer under the hood to control the movement of the mouse.

This practical showed me how easy it is to read external data from external input devices to arduino.

I think I love about this project is that it helped me to understand how to calculate resistor value based on it band color and why we use resistors in electric circuit.

Although we have a limited time but I started thinking of so many thing one can do with arduino and different other input sensors

At the end of the workshop, I was able to design and prototype the system shown in the image below.

I still feel that I have some much to learn about arduino and basic electrons. I also think that it is important for the user to take a crash course on basic electronic and circuit in order to really understand how to wire circuit and what each electrical component does and when and why we need it.

Arduino Collaborative Game

The workshop for arduino collaborative game is a means of using rapid prototyping to deconstruct a web online game, connect and control play the game using arduino to create a game controller.

I was quite shocked as I was thrown into using arduino for the first time in my life. I was late to class and did not take part in the first section of the lecture where the introduction to arduino was given.

I have to struggle with everything. I decided to read up on arduino micro and how it works basically.

One of the first challenges I faced was getting to know that there are many other arduino boards that are different in design from arduino micro.

When you try to learn with a different arduino microcontroller you will find out that there are different pins in them.

Another challenging part is that my purchased arduino box was filled with different components at the time but I barely know 20 percent of the components.

I got help from David and to be honest he knows arduino in and out. It makes the whole learning process a bit easier.

I saw first hand how much beneficial working in a team can be when all the team members though new to arduino but were determine to use a creative means to solve the arduino task that was given.

Inspiration can come from what you see other people are doing. Working together and in proximity with other group breeds and increases creative awareness.

Fast and rapid prototyping is great. It let you try and test different concepts and understand which one solves the problem best.

Understanding material and when to use it during prototyping is still an area I will wish to improve on.

For my group project, we built a button system using cardboard to prototype buttons which are then connected to arduino.

The buttons send inputs to the arduino and the inputs are map to an ascii key code. The computer reads the char which is used as a control for the game.

This was tested out on a Tetris game and we were able to make it work.

During the workshop, I used the Keyboard press method without a conditional statement or event trigger. This led to spending so many hours trying to fix it until David came to my aid.

All in all it was a good experience working with arduino for the first time.

Arduino Programming Introduction

This was an introductory section on arduino as part of the physical prototyping course. I learned about the history of arduino and how far it has gone since it was first created.

I also saw how powerful arduino is when it come to rapid prototyping, innovative and creative design in physical computing.

Arduino board was introduced with its programming Integrated development environment (IDE).

I also get to learn about other programming language like Processing you can also use to programm arduino.

All in all, the whole concept of arduino is still very vague to me. I hope I will experience it first class and learn more about it when we start with the workshop.

I am looking forward on how arduino micro can be used as an input device to control computer and other external devices

At this point, I have not yet understood the difference between arduino and raspberry pi which is also popular like arduino.

Some of the question in my mind is the limit one can go with arduino? Like is it just for prototyping or can it be used in a production already products.

Self Research and Thought About 3D Printing

Yesterday, I was introduced to 3d printing and it was very exciting in the beginning because I have been looking forward to learning about 3d printing.

But after the first lecture yesterday, I kept wondering if it is something I will love to do in future but the questions that come to mind is economic and commercial side of it.

For study purposes it works great and you can use it to prototype rapidly and test out ideas but outside the research and development environment I wanted to know if it is a viable career choice one can consider.

I start researching online and reading about the future of 3d printing and what some professionals in the field of 3d printing thinks about it in the future.

On a personal note, I will said after reading through different blog post and I was kind of disappointed based on the following reasons I found out.

1. Both 3d printing hobbyist and core professional believe that it is hard to scale any 3d printing business.

2. Most experience 3d printing professional only make a small amount of money from models they sale online.

3. Another option is conducting training to people that are new to 3d printing but then it is not also in high demand.

I finally have this feeling that it will be great for learning and using it in prototyping but not what I might consider as a career choice or specialization.

3D Printing

Today was an exciting day because I was introduced to an entirely new technology called 3D printing. For a little while before now, I have been hearing about 3D printing but today I came face to face with it.

I was able to learn what it can be used for, the technology behind it and different types of 3d printing machines.

I felt that Johannes introduction to 3D printing was a maters piece and excellent.

The lecture was divided into 3 parts basic on how 3D printing works.

I got to understand that one need to understand this following steps in order to get a strong base on 3D printing.

1. Modeling

2. Slicing

3. Printing

The focus today was on the first part which is the modeling. I learnt about different softwares that can be used for 3D modeling but the focus on this course was

2. Sketchup

I have never work with any 3D software before and it was a bit of a challenge to me. The hands on practical was great because I had to import already made model from online websites and try to manipulate it.

Thereafter, I try using sketchup to build my own model from the ground up which did not go so well because of my limited knowledge of the software.

Beside modeling, Johannes took us through the area of 3d printing material. I learnt about Acrolonitrile butadiene styrene and polyactide acid.

Understanding the difference between these printing materials and when to use each was one part I did struggled to understand. May be as time goes on I will get to learn more and have a better understanding of these materials.

I was also opportune to learn from Johannes who pre-built model can be slice and send to printing.

Although the main discussion about slicing and printing will be covered in next coming lecture.

The questions that kept bubbling in my head is the cost implication for 3d modeling after getting to know that some models can take days to print.

What of the commercial implication and if the business of 3d printing can scale when you have to deal on large volumes of products.

Design Lab for Paper Prototyping

Prototyping with paper was explore today during the lecture. Paper prototyping has numerous advantages ranging from being cheap, easily accessible, rapid iteration, for learning purpose and team building.

I really agreed with the concept of paper prototyping especially where the core concern is fast and cost.

Already, there are some situations were paper prototyping is out of the question like when the strength of the material matters in the final product.

I was quite confused to understand the difference between paper prototyping, sketching, storyboard and how they are tired together.

We practice sketching and emphasized the importance of sketching and also why we need to draw everyday in other to improve our drawing skills which will enable us to pour down our thoughts in a communicative way through sketching.

We we given the task / challenge to connect two people’s individual smart phones with each other to enable information and media sharing.

This concept will be represent through sketches. We are given the liberty to explore 5 different ways we can solve this task.

By engaging and finding ways to solve a design problem it helps us to become better designers.

After the task, the design from each group was critic and through this process we learn and grow as designers.

What is Prototyping

The lecture today on what is prototyping dissect prototyping in a way you can easily have a better understand of what prototype is, when it is needed and its role in the entire design process.

Although it is not considered as a core part of design process but through history it has proven that it has a place in design.

The important fact I learned from the lecture is “What defines a prototype is not its form, but how a designer puts it to work within the design process”.

In my own understanding, prototyping can be used in different situation by different designers.

It is also important to learn that the core characteristics of a prototype is tenuous, material and experienceable.

When it comes to when to use prototyping, it was a bit challenging to understand. I do feel it is still not clear. Prototyping can appear or be used in different stages of design process.

I think when it comes to material, I can relate to this aspect of prototyping base on my project in first course on design methodology.

We tested different materials before we were able to choose the most suitable material for our course project.

I think there is a lot of things to learn from this lecture. Although it is hard to assimilate everything but hopefully it will make more sense as the course progresses.