About hannazoon

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Portals (and friends)

Portals (and friends) – YouTube.

Great art project and what an amazing programming job! There is also an instructable, full of great inspiring ideas for this sort of interactive projects. I can’t believe how many applications and software were used, it is really mind-blowing.

A while ago, one of my professors (Berry Eggen) did a lecture on Harry Potter. It sounds strange, but think of all the magical artifacts in that story, that are not really explained except through how the users use them. You don’t need to know how they work, to be able to experience and enjoy them. In fact, Berry posed the statement that by accepting future technology like it is magic, we are better able to focus on designing what really matters: how we will interact with it.

If that sounds far out there: look at this project. Isn’t it easy to believe that it works through some kind of magical force? It is such an inspiring way to envision the future, unencumbered by practical restraints.

Technological poetry. Enjoy!

User Experience Books for Beginners

User Experience Books for Beginners

A great blogpost giving you a list of must-read books if you are interested in designing products and systems that are great to interact with and easy to love. And who doesn’t? (By that I mean, which designer would not want to design like that, and which users would rather use something difficult and ugly that makes you feel stupid?)

Most of these books I have read, but there are also some new additions to my Amazon wish list!

World of WordPress

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I love the statistics with which WordPress so kindly provides me. I still can not believe how many people read this blog! It’s not like any numbers the average blogger would be content with, my most views in one day was 64. But since I am only writing about my university projects, I half expected no one to ever read it except my teachers, and them not out of free will.

But look at the graph above! People from all over the world have been here. How cool is that? So, thank you all Dear Readers and I hope you’ll keep coming back. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to read about, or if you (dis)agree with something.

QR-Code Icing on a GUI cake

Just as a nice extra, I made some QR codes to get to the LightScribe interactive GUI pdf:

qrcode

and to the LightScribe blog:

qrcode

Let’s test this…

Yes, they work! Tip for a handy free QR scanner: the aptly named Barcodes Scanner app. Have fun!

ChangeDetection

ChangeDetection – Know when any web page changes.

Looking for something else, I found this useful little website. I can’t use it for my automatic photo blog because the output is an email (and that takes too long for me), but it seems useful for monitoring websites that don’t have email subscription or RSS.

Schematic Overview of GUI

Continue reading

Interactive GUI

Download the interactive graphical user interface (GUI). Interactive PDF. *New and improved!*

Although it is nice to see how the app works visually, you can also check out this overview, where the interaction is drawn out in a schematic.

Home-cooked RGB-LED Shields

Here’s something I whipped up Friday: a tasty duo of home-cooked, hand soldered RGB-LED shields. They fit onto the Freakduino boards but also Arduino and can produce light in all colors. The shields will be covered by a semitransparent material so the light output will be even.

Not the most complicated circuit 🙂 but I needed them to replace state of the art LCD screen shields, that unfortunately used pins that the board also used. Fingers crossed it will work this time.

If you want to make this yourself, here is some info on the circuit.

Value Laddering

Last week I got this paper from dr. Tilde Bekker about Value Laddering. Value laddering is a technique to interview users about their experience with a product, based on following through on answers by asking ‘why’ several times. This site also has a pretty thorough description of the process.

Hopefully I can finish the GUI and prototype this week, so I’ll have time to evaluate my concept with users. It would be great to use the Value Laddering technique for this. I need to find out how to do it exactly and write a plan!

Freaklabs Service & Deadline Management

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Freakduino boards I had ordered for building my prototype. First I had some problems with combining the code for the LCD shields with the Zigbee radio function on the boards. It turned out they used some of the same pins, so now I’ve built my own RGB-Led shields. I’m getting quite good at soldering this way!

Only this week I found out that one of the Freakduino boards was faulty, when I tried to use both of them at the same time. But I have to say: WOW great customer service from Freaklabs! I emailed them about the issue, and they immediately concluded there must be something wrong with the board, and they are sending TWO new replacement boards! Very, very nice indeed.

Now I’m still biting my nails as the deadlines for this project are so close, but luckily I managed to push the first one back two weeks. So one week from now: exhibition; the week after: report. I just hope I will have time for one more user test before the exhibition. Wish me luck!