Counter app – User Testing

Our next assignment was to user test with the app we made. I used the functional prototype I made from to do this.

I had a lot of fun doing this. One of the challenges was making the prototype functional enough. People with smart phones are inherently used to things working smoothly, so the prototype’s functionality had to be as accurate as possible.

It was also a humbling experience to find out what people did not like. After my first user testing, I went back and made some changes:

The Nature of Code – Physics / Animation final

We start with one star made in photoshop with the feather tool:

I wrote the sketch in processing. There is a class for the stars, which loads the star image above 500 times at random places on the canvas, of random sizes and random brightness’s for every draw loop. The stars are attracted to 500 invisible black holes. The attraction physics are based on the forces chapter in The Nature of Code. If you move the mouse to the left in the sketch, you can “disappear” the stars one at a time.

Huge thank you to fellow ITP student Aarón Montoya-Moraga for trying his best to teach me calculus for force vectors. Yikes!

We decided it would be fun to project the star field onto the ceiling in my apartment with two projectors.


Here is the projects code on github!


iPhone Counter App – working prototype

Our next assignment was to make our prototype for the counter app a little more functional. I decided to use to mock it up as a mobile app. It was a lot of fun to learn how powerful is in terms of making functional prototypes!

Here is a quick video of the counter app’s basic functionality:

Nature of Code – physics and animation project

for my final project I would like to go in an extraterrestrial direction . . . .

I will be using a particle system to create an interactive planetarium that I can project onto a ceiling. My basic idea is to have points on a night sky that:

  • move slowly in a relative plane
  • are grouped into organic clusters
  • are of multiple size
  • twinkle or some variety of brightness
  • have some fun user interaction that effects either a portion of the particles, or maybe all of them?

During a recent NYU dumpster diving trip, I came across two 6500lumen christie projectors. I think this will be a fun way to use them! I am lucky to have 14′ high ceilings in my apartment, so my ceiling will be a perfect place to project some star fields.

Someone crazy threw these massive projectors out!

For the user input, I would like to keep it simple. Something about a big trackball seems planetary 🙂

Some of the Nature of Code examples I would like to take advantage of are:

  • Attraction forces
  • Particle Systems
  • Motion acceleration forces
  • Fluid resistance?
  • Magnetism?

Counter Assignment – iPhone app

Our next iteration of the counter assignment was an app for a mobile phone.

The app allows a user to count up or count down, and to set a target to count towards.

I want my counter to “spin” to the current number when the app is opened. This should happen in three seconds regardless of the number. So if the counter is at 5, then it would take three seconds to arrive at 5. If the current number is 75, then it will take three seconds to arrive at 75.

I thought it would also be nice to give the option to add a background image to remind the user what they are counting for.


Designing Meaningful Interactions

IMG_5587IMG_5587This week we looked at some interactions that we enjoy and don’t enjoy.

In my personal work, I end up using a lot of different hand tools. Most of them have interactions that I love, as I’ve stuck with things I like and gotten rid of things I don’t.

One of my favorite interactions for a tool is one of my screwdrivers made by Wera:

One interaction I cant stand is the new unlock interface on the iphone

I really miss the sliding touch from the interface. Now there are too many controls from the one button. I find it very cluttered and hard to operate when Im walking or multitasking. The basic operation is lost because of this, which is to unlock the phone.

Why is this interface gone?

Tangible Interaction Workshop

This week we designed an interface for the flash game lunar lander:!/arcade/lunarlander/play

I decided to use a joystick I had found on a trashed analog video switcher (think star wipes and word art titles of the 90’s). The joystick has a shuttle wheel mounted on its stem, which seemed great for rotating the spaceship. It also has a little button on top of the shuttle wheel that I figured would be great for the escape key (spacebar).

The joystick is made by CH Products in America. It turns out they make some amazing joysticks! Construction / farm equipment and CCTV / video, and flight sims. seem to be the main uses.


LOTs of joysticks . . .

A quick scroll through their website and I found mine:

It has two 5K ohm potentiometers for x and y on the joystick, and a third for the shuttle wheel.

Lots of springs to bring everything back to center

Here is my code to get it to send keyboard keys via USB. (‘w’, ‘a’, ‘s’, ‘d’)

Here is the “finished” product!