1. having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge, experience,etc., for some purpose; properly qualified: He is perfectly competent to manage the bank branch.
  2. adequate but not exceptional.
  3. Law: (of a witness, a party to a contract, etc.) having legal competence.
  4. Geology: (of a bed or stratum) able to undergo folding without flowage or change in thickness.
Why did I look this up? Sometimes a word is so often used out of its proper context, that it starts to lose meaning. For me, this happened with the word ‘competent’. At the TU/e, skills are ‘competencies’, learning is ‘competency development’. It is overused and overvalued, like it should be a goal to be a competent person. Actually, ‘competent’ means just enough, suitable, you’ll do. You’re OK but nothing more. Why should we strive for that?

Overview of Things Done and Things To Do

So let’s see what my progress has been like these last months, and what is still to do. For the full process you’ll have to read the whole blog though 🙂 , click for the archives of Feb, Mar, and Apr 2012.

Today >>

  • wk 9: Prototype building, GUI design
  • wk 10: Prototype building, GUI design, user evaluation
  • wk 11: Final report, final user evaluation
  • wk 12: Final exhibition, extra user evaluation

Arduino Code Setup

This is a first draft of the structure of the code for my project. ‘Void’ and ‘Loop’ are places in the code, so I know what to put them under once I start writing.

The blue bits are different interactions I could write. The first is that when the light sources move closer together, they take on light properties from each other. This would hopefully encourage users to move around more, thereby increasing the exercise effect. Also it makes the interaction more interesting the more players you play it with.

Other interactions could take place at the same time or instead of this one, perhaps I can come up with some more!

Freakduino and Eye-Fi

In the title: 2 things I had never heard of before this project. 🙂

The hardware for my project will be:

This should function as three smartphones: one assigned as photographer, two that act as light sources.

Thinking through my fingers

“Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.”

Isaac Asimov

Just found this quote on WordPress, and I am glad someone has been able to say this so elegantly. Wish I though of putting it this way, but it is *exactly* how I think.

Interaction Schematic

This is an app for smartphones that enables Light Scribing at entry-level. The app encourages sharing and working together with friends and could lead to a feeling of competence in users while using it. Here is how it works schematically:

By ‘Frankenstein’ prototype, I mean that I will assemble existing devices to mimic the functionality of my application. For example, instead of trying to hack a cellphone or tablet to be able to modify its camera, I use a normal digital camera with an Eye-Fi memory card, that sends the image instantly and wirelessly to an iPad.


The CAR-model is a model by Menno Deen, based on Ryan and Deci’s Self-Determination Theory. It describes the three factors a game must incorporate, to be an interesting game, namely:




Interestingly, these overlap nicely with my own vision for this project, and the 10 Crucial Factors of Experience Design (Sheldon). I think I need to find out more about this research!

Design and Research

Ever since I moved from product design to studying Master of Industrial Design, I have been in love with research. So I decided: I want to go into ‘Design Research’. But what is design research? Ever helpful Rob Tieben provided me with a clue, in the form of this little list of four ways to do design research:

  • design for research
  • research for design
  • design through research
  • research through design

Answer Your Research Question: a Hypothesis

Q: Why would teenagers want to do Light Scribing?

A: Light Scribing can make teenagers feel competent and connected to their friends.

After meeting with Rob Tieben today, I discovered there is still something missing here. Light Scribing does not in itself give the feeling of competency or connectedness. That this came out of my research is because from the start, I went with the assumption that the Light Scribing would be done within a social network setting. So the real answer could be:

A: Light Scribing within a social system can make teenagers feel competent and connected to their friends.


*off thinking about it some more*

Conclusion of Research: What, How, Why

What- I envision a social system where teenagers meet in person and work together to produce unique and beautiful artwork. They share this content with other friends, who in turn can react with their own content or use it as a conversation starter. This way, users can become closer to their friends by way of shared experiences.