final_project_FINAL: Save the NYUAD kid (Interactive Story)


“WILL THE NYUAD KID SURVIVE”, an interactive story where YOU decide!!

It’s complicated to be a university student, but even more to be in your twenties. But… when you’re both.. IT’S FIRE! Do I want to be this or that? Do I want to do this or that? Do I even have time to do that? TWENTIES CRISIS LADIES AND GENTLEMAN.

When finals week hits, I start wondering if I still exist. It just feels like everything is out of control. When I realized that my original idea for the final project can’t be further implemented and I was stuck with nothing, I felt that I lost control. Then, the concept for this project came last minute.  I thought of an experience where the users may relate and make their own choices: an interactive story that narrates a typical day in the life of a  student. A total of 10 scenes with different short scripts; each scene prompts the user to choose one choice out of two. Each choice leads to a different ending, so the story is not linear.


Few months ago, I became really fond of Interactive movies. Interactive movies prompt the viewer to choose the path of the movie and affect the ending. I love the fact that the viewer gets to be a part of the movie itself, especially because viewers base their choices on personal opinions/beliefs. What I admire more about interactive movies is the flexibility of the story. Just look at the story flowchart of “Bandersnatch” one of the interactive movies I watched and loved recently. 8 different endings!

Going back to my project, I thought of making a mini version of this, but the twist here is the physical computing part (+the NYUAD theme). The user keeps up with the story while making choices using a physical platform; constituted of 3 push buttons; a re/play button, a button to choose choice 1 and button to choose choice 2. Before I move to the implementation part, I will share the synopsis, flowchart and sample scenes from my story.

Synopsis: A day in the life of a sleep deprived university student in their finals week. The story unfolds at 6am when the alarm goes on. From waking up or snoozing the alarm to the last setting of the story, YOU have to make decisions that you think are the best for your character’s development. Keep in mind that some choices are fatal, you will cause the story to end!! Make sure to restart and try all different flows of the story and please, make good choices..


As you can see, the story is pretty short since it’s a mashup (but also because of time constraints!). I counted 10 scenes with 4 endings.

Sample scenes:

I tried to invest more time in the design aspect of this experience unlike my previous projects, because due to the nature of the project, I knew it would be a hassle for users to read a lot of distorted text, or keep up with dull graphics and color palettes. All 10 scenes have the same layout and elements: short descriptive, centered and readable text, graphics and of course sound for more immersion. Now let’s be more technical:



A simple circuit made of 2 arcade buttons + one regular switch allowing an easy and straightforward user interaction, here’s the schematic:

2. CODE:

Full commented p5js code + Arduino code commented out


I designed a not-so-fancy box out of cardboard with the two choices button as the pictures show. The circuit is under it and it also contains the third switch (small switch so way to add it on the box). I was planning to use 3 arcade buttons but ended up with only two available at the time of implementation, which was a bit inconvenient.

The writings on the box are inspired from Graffiti but also align with the vision I had in mind. Messy and blurred words just like my brain during this finals week, expressing a lot of thoughts. The headline is “WILL YOU SAVE THE NYUAD KID? – NO CHOICE? YES CHOICE! CHOOSE 1 -2”

UNDER THE BOX (regular switch showing):


I had a lot of challenges with this project. First of all, I lost my previous project few days before the showcase which means I only started this one a few days before the showcase. I unfortunately ended up not presenting it for other reasons as well. Hence, I would say my main issue in this project was time as I did not have time to do everything I had in mind. When looking at the outcome, I wished I chose this idea from the beginning and took time to implement it well with a better storyline, more interactivity and a more challenging physical computing. I would have also gotten great suggestions from my professor and peers on how to make this idea better. Yet, I’m glad for the lessons I learned along the implementation of this project, many of them are life lessons (ie. better time management!)


-A better storyline: If I had more time, I would have written a more eventful storyline, probably with more scenes, choices and endings. It would have made the story more engaging and longer (I calculated the time my users took trying this project and it was about >10mins, which is pretty quick for such an experience).

-More interactivity: I thought a lot about implementing few games between the scenes (find the place, puzzle games, quiz..) but I didn’t implement any because of rushing. Another better version of this project would have games and stuff to engage the users more.

-A better use of hardware: I went with buttons (which were straightforward to implement) again because of the time I had, but I know there are other ways that could have made my physical computing part more challenging and interesting (ie. I thought of using the potentiometer to turn the pages of the story or a similar effect, but I had no idea how to implement this..).


Thank you to Professor Shiloh for being the greatest support, to my friend Nourhane for testing all my projects, to my classmates for always suggesting great ideas for all my other projects. 


Checked this blog to figure out the arcade buttons;

Not very helpful but found this project interesting (also had arcade buttons):

All graphics used were made with Canva, and sound effects/music files are royalty-free except:

The Weeknd – Blinding Lights;

Tyla – Water;










3 examples assignment – Aya&Nourhane


In this exercise, we used a potentiometer to control the movement of a circle in p5.

Here’s the video:



The code allows to control circle on the screen using data received from the Arduino.


For this exercise, we are controlling the intensity of the LED using the UP, DOWN keyboard keys from a p5 sketch. We added cute clouds in the background and a sun. The LED is also yellow as if the sun is actually rising.



The brightness of a sun-like circle in the center is controlled using the arrow keys. The sketch also establishes serial communication with Arduino to control the brightness of the LED.


In this exercise, we have two parts:

-First one is the bouncing of the soccer ball in the p5 sketch controls the ON/OFF state of the LED

-Second one is the ultrasonic sensor controls the position of the soccer ball in the soccer field.





For part 1 => The ball’s position affects the behavior of the LED => ON/OFF

For part 2=> Arduino is used to read data from an ultrasonic sensor and control the movement of the ball in the sketch.


Final Project Progress + NEW PROPOSAL!!


Jump Jump Revolution game controlled by the DDR physical platform did not work unfortunately. Two pressure sensors were lost (& all the labs in the university decided to run out of them :(( ) resulting in the whole project being canceled, while both the game and the physical platform were ready. As a result, I had to do a last minute change of plans for my final project idea.

The new concept is the following: “WILL THE NYUAD KID SURVIVE”, an interactive story where YOU decide!!


I had the idea to make this interactive story in the middle of the pressure of finals week as a result of idea changing. Hence, my synopsis was very much influenced by what I wished I could do/have in this final week. What if I could snooze my alarm? skip that exam? go to a party?  WHAT IF I CAN JUST DITCH THE PRESSURE 🙁 I know many of my fellow peers feel the same, hence what if we could actually make crazy choices without worrying about the consequences? “WILL THE NYUAD SURVIVE?- short for WILL THE NYUAD SURVIVE THE FINALS WEEK?” is an interactive story where the user is presented with two choices in different scenarios. The user has to make a decision each time that will affect the ending of the story. N.B: The decision may be fatal => causing the story to end.

Of course, there are many outcomes and many endings to the story because each decision is followed by a different flow of events. I made a tree of events explaining the flow of events that I will share in the final project documentation with the full explanation (just in case I end up changing something in the story).

UI design:

=> Aesthetic graphics corresponding to each scenario.

=> Text to narrate the story

=> Sound to make the experience immersive.


I chose to make a DIY TV controller with buttons. The TV controller will have 3 buttons each controlling something in the sketch: a button for start/restart to not physically start the p5 sketch each time, a button for pausing the sketch, 2 buttons corresponding to each of the two choices.

The next post will be my final project documentation, documenting my final project from A to Z, with some user testing!

Final Project Proposal: JJR (Jump Jump Revolution)

JJR (Jump Jump Revolution) is a remake of the famous video games series DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) but with a twist. This time, the user won’t dance on the platform, but will play a game instead. They won’t control a character in the game, they will be the character!

I want to create an interactive game utilizing a physical platform reminiscent of Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) for user control.

This project integrates Arduino for the physical interface and P5JS for the game itself. The user will navigate through the game by stepping on different tiles of a wooden platform, triggering corresponding actions in the game.

Disability Meets Design

Reflecting on the insights I gained from this reading, it is evident that achieving the right balance in designing for individuals with disabilities is crucial. Leckey’s approach to creating visually appealing furniture for kids with disabilities, without making it overly conspicuous, resonates as a prime example. The cautionary note about radios incorporating screens, hindering accessibility for visually impaired individuals, serves as a reminder that simplicity often triumphs in making things universally functional. Exploring multimodal interfaces, such as beeping buttons and flashing lights, emerges as a potential game-changer for those with sensory issues, providing diverse interaction avenues. The reading emphasizes the diversity among individuals, illustrated by the varying preferences of two people with visual impairments in their devices, debunking the notion of a one-size-fits-all solution. It prompts questions about the delicate balance designers must strike in making things accessible without introducing unnecessary complexity. Additionally, it raises inquiries about the role of designers in the accessibility landscape and underscores the importance of prosthetics aligning with both functionality and personal style. The reading broadens the perspective on design and accessibility, challenging conventional checkboxes and encouraging a more profound examination.

Pullin’s “Design Meets Disability” offers a comprehensive exploration of the intersection between disability, fashion, and design. Pullin adeptly goes beyond mere usability, delving into core concepts of inclusion and empowerment, particularly when viewed through the lenses of inclusivity and disability. The book showcases how assistive technology, such as glasses, hearing aids, and prosthetic limbs, has evolved into fashion statements, transforming basic needs into unique expressions of identity and personal style. Pullin emphasizes the significance of designs being both functional and aesthetically pleasing, challenging the perception that functionality must compromise visual appeal. This alignment of good design and utility has the potential to alter public perceptions of disability aids, fostering social acceptance and appreciation. The discussion highlights the importance of maintaining functionality without sacrificing simplicity, benefiting individuals with disabilities and contributing to universally usable designs that enhance overall quality of life. The reading underscores the need to pay meticulous attention to the preferences and needs of individuals with disabilities during the design process, challenging assumptions and societal stigmas. Ultimately, it encourages the creation of interactive designs that are not just functional but also user-friendly, simple, and fashionable, promoting inclusivity and thoughtfulness in the world.

Physical Computing’s Greatest Hits (and misses)

Considering the position of interactive artwork, this reading has prompted me to contemplate my perspective on interactivity. Tigoe’s perspective resonates with me, viewing interactive artworks as akin to performances. The artist constructs a stage for interactors, transforming them into the performers within this theatrical space.  Andrew Schneider’s piece, while appearing as a fixed narrative from a distance, offers diverse interactions in group settings, providing a more rewarding experience than a singular interpretation of museum paintings. Exploring the greatest hits and misses further complicates this perspective. Even seemingly straightforward interactions, like an LED lighting up upon approach, possess untapped potential for development. The originality of an idea lies not in the interaction itself but in the contextualization and open interpretation it offers. This nuanced approach to context and interpretation is particularly appealing. It leads me to contemplate the possibility of creating a more contextualized theremin, building on the potential for exploration within a defined setting.

Emotion & Design: Attractive Things Work Better + Margaret Hamilton

Donald A. Norman’s “Emotions and Attractive” and “Her Code Got Humans on the Moon—And Invented Software Itself,” provided me with valuable insights that resonate deeply. One standout story is that of Margret Hamilton, serving as an inspiring example for young women aspiring to make their mark in a predominantly male-dominated field. Her journey, which started without a clear goal, ultimately led to the creation of software crucial to the Apollo missions at NASA, laying the foundation for modern computer software. It embodies the timeless principle of “just do it.”

The remarkable journey of Hamilton, from initiating something without a clear plan to creating an industry worth $400 billion, illustrates the incredible results that can emerge from hard work and dedication. This narrative connects with Norman’s readings by highlighting that Hamilton didn’t create something just for its own sake; her work was both functional and aesthetically appealing, leaving an indelible mark on history. It emphasizes the importance of striking a balance between usability, aesthetics, intention, and purpose.

Margret Hamilton didn’t chance upon the code we now recognize as software; she meticulously crafted it with usability and a form of beauty appreciated by programmers of her time. Her intentional approach propelled her to the position she holds today, serving as a genuine source of inspiration for my own career aspirations. Her story encourages me to pursue a path that combines functionality and artistry, mirroring her groundbreaking work.

Musical Instrument (Nourhane & AYA)


This assignment was complicated in terms of finding a concept for it. We had a couple of cool ideas to do at the beginning (ie. soda cans drums) but their implementation was a fail. We decided to use our favorite part of the kit: the ultrasonic sensor, and get a concept out of it.

Both our previous assignments used ultrasonic sensors as distance detectors. So we thought to base this assignment on the same concept.

This musical instrument is inspired by the Accordion instrument (with a twist):

Using a plastic spiral, we are mimicking the same movement of an accordion to produce different notes. The distance between the hand and the sensor is what is producing the different notes (each distance range was assigned a different note). The circuit has a switch to turn on/off the instrument.

Here is a video of what I’m talking about:

IMG_8161 2


Again assembling the circuit was a hard part but it worked! The code is pretty simple and consists of an ultrasonic sensor and a switch. The `loop` function repeatedly triggers the ultrasonic sensor, measures the distance to an object, converts it to centimeters based on the speed of sound. Depending on these values, it determines whether to play a musical note. If the distance is outside a defined range or the force is below a certain threshold, it stops playing the note. Otherwise, if sufficient force is applied, it maps the distance to an array of musical notes and plays the corresponding note using a piezo buzzer.

int trig = 10;
int echo = 11;
long duration;
long distance;
int force;

void setup() {
  pinMode(echo, INPUT);

  pinMode(trig, OUTPUT);


void loop() {
  digitalWrite(trig, LOW); //triggers on/off and then reads data
  digitalWrite(trig, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(trig, LOW);
  duration = pulseIn(echo, HIGH);
  distance = (duration / 2) * .0344;    //344 m/s = speed of sound. We're converting into cm

  int notes[7] = {261, 294, 329, 349, 392, 440, 494}; //Putting several notes in an array
  //          mid C  D   E   F   G   A   B

  force = analogRead(A0); //defining force as FSR data

  if (distance < 0 || distance > 50 || force < 100) { //if not presed and not in front

    noTone(12); //dont play music


  else if ((force > 100)) {  //if pressed

    int sound = map(distance, 0, 50, 0, 6);  //map distance to the array of notes
    tone(12, notes[sound]);  //call a certain note depending on distance



Though I found this assignment difficult, I enjoyed the process of implementation and finding a concept. If I could improve the instrument, I would work on the notes and their frequency to sound more natural. Now it sounds like an EKG machine with notes instead of an instrument, but I think it fulfills the requirement of fictional instrument.

The Future of Interaction Design and Responses: A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design

In this reading, Bret Victor’s critique of the mainstream vision for future technological advancements in interactive design sheds light on the limitations of current technologies in fostering genuine interaction. Victor challenges the prevailing emphasis on touch-screen efficiency and advocates for a more hands-on approach, rooted in his perspective shaped by a different technological era. He questions the seamless integration of physical and digital experiences, emphasizing the importance of tactile engagement. Victor also expresses concerns about children’s overreliance on digital devices, foreseeing potential risks to their healthy development. Together, these perspectives, juxtaposed in order, highlight the collective call for a more thoughtful and inclusive approach in shaping the future landscape of interaction design.

The author underscores the duty of interactive designers to prioritize accessibility, especially for those lacking specific capabilities. While admiring the remarkable potential of human abilities, the author confronts the difficulty of finding equilibrium between harnessing these capabilities and rectifying inherent inequalities. The imperative for continuous research, particularly in domains such as tangible interfaces, is highlighted.

Week 9: PAY HERE!


This week, I chose to work with an ultrasonic distance sensor to create a quirky barcode scanner. Since we still did not cover the sensor in class, I referred to SparkFun reference list and this video to know more about the sensor.

The LED lights light up and the piezo beeps once anything close (within a specific distance) is detected so that it mimicks the scanning of products’ barcodes. A switch button is also there in case the LEDs need to be switched manually (also to meet the requirements).  I handmade a funny setup of a cash register that you can check below.


I used the following elements: BreadBoard/LEDs/Ultrasonic Sensor/Piezo Buzzer/Switch Button/Resistors/Wires/Arduino Uno, to make the following circuit:

The result was this funny looking cash register:


Here is a video of how it works: cashier

//pins numbers
const int trigPin = 9;
const int echoPin = 10;
const int ledPin1 = 11;
const int buzzer = 3;
const int ledPin2 = 6;

long duration;
int distance;
bool buzzerOn = false;  

void setup() {
  pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);
  pinMode(buzzer, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(ledPin1, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(ledPin2, OUTPUT);

void loop() {
  //to clear trigpin
  digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);

  //set trigPin on HIGH state for 10 micro seconds
  digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);

  //read echoPin & return the sound wave 
  duration = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH);

  //calculating the distance
  distance = duration * 0.034 / 2;

  if (distance <= 50) {
    tone(buzzer, 2000); //frequency to make buzzer louder
    digitalWrite(ledPin1, HIGH);
    digitalWrite(ledPin2, HIGH);
    buzzerOn = true;  //buzzer is on
  } else {
    if (buzzerOn) {
      buzzerOn = false;  //buzzer off
    digitalWrite(ledPin1, LOW);
    digitalWrite(ledPin2, LOW);
//Prints the distance on the Serial Monitor
//Serial.print("Distance: ");

Basically, what’s happening here is that the code uses an ultrasonic sensor to measure distances based on the time it takes for a sound wave to bounce off an object and return. The trigger (trigPin) sends out a short ultrasonic pulse, and the echo (echoPin) detects the reflected pulse. The duration of the pulse’s travel time is then measured, and the distance is calculated based on the speed of sound. If the calculated distance is less than or equal to 50, the code activates the piezo buzzer at a frequency of 2000 and turns on two LEDs to indicate that an object is detected. The `buzzerOn` flag is used to prevent the buzzer from continuously sounding when an object remains within the detection range. When the distance exceeds 50 units, the code turns off the buzzer and the LEDs.


The code was the most challenging part in this assignment. I watched few tutorials (including the one referenced) to figure out how to work with the HC-SR04 and how to code the piezo buzzer part so that it is responsive to the distance. Also, I juggled many hardware issues including a short circuit costing me a sensor and almost my laptop plus a lot of damaged wires. Looking at the result now, I think it was worth taking the risk and working with something I never used before.


Sparkfun Kit:

UltraSonic Sensor: