Reading Reflection – Week 10

Among the various ideas explored in the blogs by Tom Igoe about physical computing, two projects particularly caught my attention: Floor Pads & Scooby-Doo Paintings. Using floor pads seems like a fun & creative way to create interactive experiences that suggest actions without telling users how to feel about those actions; it’s more like a performance, as described in the other reading. I’m curious to learn more about integrating floor pads into future projects, as well as gloves. The second concept, the Scooby-Doo paintings, reminded me of the Mona Lisa’s mysterious gaze, which some claim to be a myth. I wonder how much of a difference it makes to use a camera instead of a distance sensor to detect a face and eyes, and if anyone has attempted to recreate that with a reproduction of the Mona Lisa or another famous ancient painting.

Furthermore, the second essay about “Making Interactive Art” (enjoyed the catchy title) made several solid claims that I completely agree with. What makes art memorable is your experience with it, how it made you feel, which is unique to everyone…I appreciate the author’s emphasis on creating space for users to interpret things freely. Additionally, the idea of actively listening to audience responses & reactions reminded me of “user-testing.” So, I wonder if the author considers this before presenting the artwork and during as well. Is it about always leaving room for improvement and learning through the process? I never considered user-testing at any other stage besides before presenting, but consistently improving seems ideal. Overall, this encouraged me to experiment during the creative process and also while engaging with an audience because that’s when we learn most!

Week 9 – Sara Al Mehairi

CONCEPT

Ghost Detector Real Life Radar - Apps on Google PlayJahyShow 5 LED EMF Meter Magnetic Field Detector Ghost Hunting Paranormal Equipment Tester Counter - Walmart.com

Inspired by the LED EMF Meter Magnetic Field Detector (which helps to measure electromagnetic fields to identify equipment that generates high radiation) used for “ghost hunting,” my goal was to create a device similar to a “ghost detector.” Well, at least that’s the idea! Right now, it’s really good at detecting shadows, brightness, and darkness. Originally, I prototyped it as a device to light up cabinets, drawers, and more. But with some tinkering, it might just find something spooky—spirits! (p.s. this is for last week’s assignment)

OVERVIEW

The prototype is designed to detect changes in light levels using a photoresistor. It consists of a photoresistor connected to analog pin A0 on the Arduino board. The prototype includes four LEDs connected to digital pins 2, 3, 4, and 5, which illuminate in response to different brightness levels read by the photoresistor. Further, based on the brightness level detected, the Arduino activates specific combinations of LEDs to indicate the brightness level or as i would like to say “ghosts”

const int thresholds[] = {600, 500, 400, 300};
  1. If the brightness level exceeds the highest threshold, all four LEDs are illuminated, indicating maximum brightness.
  2. If the brightness level exceeds the second highest threshold, the first three LEDs are illuminated, while the fourth LED remains off.
  3. If the brightness level exceeds the third highest threshold, only the first two LEDs are illuminated, while the remaining LEDs are turned off.
  4. If the brightness level exceeds the lowest threshold, only the first LED is illuminated, while the remaining LEDs are turned off.
  5. If the brightness level falls below all thresholds, all LEDs are turned off.

IMPLEMENTATION

Prototype 1

As explained above, the photoresistor is able to detect the brightness level, to which range it belongs, and then the lights react accordingly. Do ghosts have shadows? Not necessarily… but anything is possible, so “use your imagination”. Perhaps it could even detect people or other moving objects.

Prototype 2

I know. We agreed not to use our hands, but no one mentioned anything about shadows. Here, I’m simply demonstrating the main concept of how it works. You could use your legs, face, or any other object. However, for the sake of a clear demonstration and a decent angle, I chose to use my hand’s shadow…not my hand.

Prototype 3

To further test its practicality, I decided to place it in my drawer. As you can see, it could prove quite useful with improved light adjustments.

CONCLUSION

It was certainly challenging to manage the numerous if-else cases and determine the appropriate ranges for the photoresistor. I invested a considerable amount of time debugging why certain LED lights functioned while others didn’t, only to realize that my else-if statements were not properly ordered, leading to skipped conditions. However, despite the constraint of not using our hands, I discovered a loophole, which allowed me to experiment with several of my ideas. (p.s. this is for last week’s assignment)

Week 10 – Sara Al Mehairi

Concept

Credit: iStock

For this assignment, my goal was to create a miniature car sensor system using Arduino. The system uses ultrasonic sensors to detect objects/vehicles and provide feedback to the user using RGB LED, similar to the sensors used in modern cars for reversing or parking assistance. Components used include: Arduino Board, Breadboard, Ultrasonic Sensors, RGB LED, 330Ω Resistors, and Jumper Wires.

Overview

Ultrasonic sensors for linear position and distance measuring
Credit: Texas Instruments
if (distance <= 10) {
    //red
    analogWrite(redPin, 255);
    analogWrite(greenPin, 0);
    analogWrite(bluePin, 0);
  } else if (10 < distance && distance < 20) {
    //orange
    analogWrite(redPin, 255);
    analogWrite(greenPin, 50);
    analogWrite(bluePin, 0);
  } else {
    //green
    analogWrite(redPin, 0);
    analogWrite(greenPin, 255);
    analogWrite(bluePin, 0);
  }
  • Distance Measurement: With some googling, I learned that ultrasonic sensors emit high-frequency sound waves and measure the time it takes for the waves to bounce back after hitting an object. Based on this time measurement, the system calculates the distance to the obstacle.
  • Visual Feedback: The RGB LED is used to provide visual feedback to the user based on the distance readings from the sensors. The LED changes color to indicate the proximity.
  • Consistency: the Arduino continuously monitors the distance readings from the sensors & updates the LED color accordingly. In reality or with the vision I had in mind, this real-time feedback would help the driver to move the vehicle carefully, especially in tight spaces.

IMPLEMENTATION

As the vehicle/object moves, the ultrasonic sensors detect obstacles in the path and passes on distance measurements to the Arduino. The Arduino then processes the distance readings and controls the RGB LED to provide real-time visual feedback to the driver. This is possible thanks to the loop that continuously retrieves distance measurements & adjusts the LED colors accordingly. I also came across echoTime which represents the duration for which the ultrasonic sensor receives an echo signal after emitting a sound wave, pretty cool!
– Red: Stop the vehicle immediately.
– Orange: Proceed with caution, slowing down if necessary.
– Green: Continue driving as the path is clear.

Conclusion

Tiny but mighty, it was quite enjoyable to create this miniature system. Although I may have accidentally followed the description of next week’s assignment and realized it a few minutes ago, I learned a lot. As a driver, I understand the importance sensors play in parallel parking and avoiding hitting a curb. Therefore, I wanted to contribute to improving this aspect in terms of accuracy. After encountering some obstacles, I resorted to Core Electronics on YouTube as a guide for this assignment. Overall, I had hoped to attach the sensors to the front or rear bumper of an actual vehicle and test the accuracy, but step by step, I’ll hopefully create something greater!

Reading Reflection – Week 8a

Design matters, but which design is preferable depends upon the occasion, the context, and above all, upon my mood” (page 2). We can see that Norman starts off by giving us a warning that design is subjective especially when relying on mood. With that, I believe that mood is such an important component in design…is it designed for an emergency situation where everyone is panicking (push/pull door example) or is designed to impress your guests in a calm environment (teapot example)? Designers must consider such aspects when considering usability because “the principles of good human-centered design are especially important in stressful situations” (page 6). The author further discusses color and how color was fulfilling some need, but one we could not measure…he further adds, “Although my reasoning told me that color was unimportant, my emotional reaction told me otherwise” (page 3). This proves that when it comes to design, there shouldn’t be solid reasoning like you would see in Mathematics or the Sciences. The essence of design is intuition, emotions, and ultimately pleasure in completing tasks or perhaps user-feedback. 

At some point during the reading, I believed that attractive things don’t work better; I disagreed with the author if attractive meant minimal, an example would be the Tesla vehicles. When Tesla made their cars too simple (almost no user feedback), it caused confusion & accidents, which shows how minimalism can sometimes make things chaotic. That’s what I initially believed, but upon page 7, I came to terms with the author where he says “to be truly beautiful, wondrous, and pleasurable, the product has to fulfill a useful function, work well, and be usable and understandable.” The author follows and says that good design means that beauty and usability are in balance. That’s where I came to agreement that attractive things work better if and only if beauty does not surpass usability. Unfortunately, not every designer believes that, such that they minimize too much in attempts to make things more modern/appealing, but doing this can make the things harder to use (usability) and understand (intuitive design).

Finally, this brings me to Margaret Hamilton. While reading about her experiences, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to modern design practices and the ongoing designs inspired by minimalism. Hamilton’s role in developing the Apollo computer system proves the importance of prioritizing functionality & reliability over aesthetics, especially in high-stakes environments. In this case, I might agree that beauty and usability mustn’t always be in balance; sometimes, usability can surpass beauty for the sake of safety. In today’s world, minimalist designs often dominate, and Hamilton’s story reminded me of the potential consequences of overlooking usability and prioritizing “the balance” as Norman defined it. With that, I wonder, would Norman still believe that we must balance beauty and usability, or would he make an exception, considering high-stakes environments like the Apollo program?

Midterm – Sara Al Mehairi

Concept oVERVIEW

Amazon
Face in a Book
Teacher Superstore

 

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t recall the exact moment of picking up a copy of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” but it has simply always been a part of my childhood. First and foremost, allow me to introduce the author of this masterpiece, Jeff Kinney. Kinney’s unique style breaks the norms of traditional literature/books. Unlike typical novels, his books use a diary format with personal writing and illustrations. The use of lined paper, childlike font, and unconventional chapter structure sets his work apart and thats what makes it so memorable. (source)

That being said, Inspired by the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books, I wanted my project to bring back those nostalgic feelings, with simple drawings and everything in black & white. My goal was to involve the user in the diary and make the project interactive, allowing them to feel like they were part of the story. So, I titled it “Diary of an NYUAD Kid” to grasp that mix of memories & relatable experiences. In creating my project, I initially planned to develop four games inspired by various elements of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series, with an NYUAD twist. However, I narrowed down my focus to three main games: “Elevator Rush,” “Cheese Touch,” and “My Diary.”

Game Details

1. Menu

Despite my initial attempts, I encountered challenges in embedding the menu screen above. At some point, I managed to make it work with a few bugs, but ultimately, it didn’t function as intended (discussed in detail in another section below). Further, the design of the main menu page draws inspiration from the cover page of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books. Clicking the “i” button reveals instructions for each game.

2. Elevator Rush

Elevator Rush” is a game born from the frustration of waiting for elevators, especially during busy times like the 10-minute rush between classes in the C2 Building. You know, maybe the delays are intentional to nudge students towards taking the stairs, was this their plan all along? In the game, you control the elevator using the UP & DOWN keys, hurrying to pick up students so they’re not late for class. Every time a passenger gets picked up, a sound plays to signify success. The background music is the classic “elevator music” sourced from YouTube. With every student you pick up, you earn one point, but if you miss a student, you lose a point. To add difficulty, students appear and disappear quickly, and they are NOT patient. The game ends when the time runs out or if your score drops to -3. Upon game over, a screen pops up with the option to click to restart.

3. Cheese Touch

In the “Cheese Touch” game, inspired by the popular game played at Westmore Middle School in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” players aim to gather as many candies as possible while avoiding the dreaded Cheese Touch. In the original story, having the Cheese Touch makes someone a social outcast until they pass it on to someone else by touching them (source). Using the LEFT and RIGHT keys, the player must navigate the area while trying to gather candies and avoid the Cheese Touch. Additionally, when a player successfully collects candy, a cheerful audio plays to signify their success (+1 point). Conversely, if a player encounters the Cheese Touch, a sticky audio plays to indicate their loss (-1 point). The game continues until the time runs out or if a player’s score drops to -3, indicating they’ve had too many encounters with the Cheese Touch. Upon game over, a screen pops up with the option to click to restart.

4. My Diary

In the final somewhat game, titled “My Diary,” I wanted to capture the idea of doodling and scribbling found in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” This option allows users to paint on a canvas using colors inspired by the books. They can also change the brush size, erase the canvas, and save their artwork as a PNG file. To enhance the experience, each button plays a sound when clicked. Moreover, the save button triggers a different audio to signify that the image has been saved successfully. To further simulate the feel of real paper, I incorporated the sound of scribbles each time the user draws on the canvas. The main idea behind this “game” was to use audio cues to create a realistic experience for the users. Below are some of the images I have saved during the debugging process:

Visuals, Audios, & Resources

1. Menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Background: by me using Procreate
Penguin Logo source

2. Elevator Rush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Background music source
Remaining audio source
Background: by me using Procreate, inspired by NYUAD
Characters: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Chatgpt debugging: draw function (passenger spawn interval, passenger spawn, time) & Passenger class

3. Cheese Touch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio source
Cheese image source
Candy image source
Face image source
Game over image:
by me using Procreate

Chatgpt debugging: obstacle & candy detection, draw function, audio errors (replay/pause)

4. My Diary

 

 

 

 

 

 

All audio source
Background: by me using Procreate
Colors: inspired by the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books

Chatgpt debugging: button effect & draw function

Challenges & Areas of improvement

One of my biggest challenges was attempting to merge all three games into a single JavaScript file, given that I have worked on them separately.  Despite my best attempts, the complexities of combining multiple game modes within one file led to organizational/functional issues that remained unresolved. At some point it functioned with some issues, but my attempts to fix these problems led to further complications.

function draw() {
  if (scene == "main") {
    drawMenu();
  } else if (scene == "game 1") {
    drawGame1();
  } else if (scene == "game 2") {
    drawGame2();
  } else if (scene == "game 3") {
    drawGame3();
  }
}

For “Elevator Rush,” I encountered several challenges, particularly in managing the spawning of passengers at specific intervals and ensuring they appeared on random floors, excluding the floor where the elevator was located (it did not look visually appealing, as if the passenger was already in the elevator, caused some quick flashes). Implementing this required generating random floor numbers while avoiding duplication with the elevator’s current floor. Additionally, I had to adjust the spawn intervals to  balance between keeping the game challenging and preventing overwhelming/underwhelming spawns.

//spawn passengers
  if (millis() - lastSpawnTime > spawnInterval) {
    let floorToSpawn = floor(random(4));
    if (floorToSpawn !== currentFloor) {
      passengers.push(new Passenger(floorToSpawn));
      lastSpawnTime = millis();
    }
  }

Another challenge came about when measuring the game screen and drawing assets in Procreate. Despite using Procreate’s grid assist feature, ensuring the correct proportions for each floor was pretty tricky. Moreover, this caused the elevator to appear either too small or too large on certain floors, hence I adjusted the elevator’s dimensions until it fit within each floor’s layout.

//draw elevator
    let elevatorWidth = 55; 
    let elevatorHeight = floorHeight - 2; 
    let elevatorX = width / 2; 
    image(elevatorImage, elevatorX - elevatorWidth / 2, elevatorY - elevatorHeight / 2, elevatorWidth, elevatorHeight);

As for “Cheese Touch,” one of the challenges was precisely detecting the cheese touch and candy, which relied heavily on precise x and y coordinate calculations, leading to many trials & errors to create accurate collision detection.

collects(candy) {
  return (
    this.x < candy.x + candy.w &&
    this.x + this.w > candy.x &&
    this.y < candy.y + candy.h &&
    this.y + this.h > candy.y
  );
}

hits(obstacle) {
  return (
    this.x < obstacle.x + obstacle.w &&
    this.x + this.w > obstacle.x &&
    this.y < obstacle.y + obstacle.h &&
    this.y + this.h > obstacle.y
  );
}

Additionally, initial attempts to use a notepad background encountered a persistent issue where the screen froze upon game restart attempts, despite multiple efforts to solve the problem through redraws. This issue likely stemmed from an error in managing the background image or memory management concerns. Consequently, I resorted to using a white background instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, I faced many challenges and made some mistakes along the way. Looking back, I realize there are ways I could have done better. For example, I worked on each game mode separately, but when I tried to put them all together, they didn’t work well. Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to start working in separate JavaScript files. In terms of the games, I also could have added extra obstacles to make each game more challenging (due to the simplicity, I resorted to creating more than one game.). For instance, in the “Cheese Touch” game, I could have added bonus elements that had power-ups. And in all the games, I could have included a leaderboard, using CSV files, to track score.

Conclusion

All in all, developing this project based on “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” presented a lot of challenges…integrating the menu screen with other screens was difficult, and attempts to merge all games into one JavaScript file were unfortunately unsuccessful. However, I managed to incorporate at least one shape, one image, one sound, on-screen text, and Object-Oriented Programming into the project. The menu screen initially provided instructions when the “i” button was clicked, but there were issues directing to the games (yet, each game did have a start & restart option). After completing each game experience, a restart option was available by clicking the screen without restarting the sketch, except for the last game, where users needed to click “erase.” Safe to say that I’m proud of my project, the visuals, and the menu design for being accurate & fulfilling my vision, especially in the elevator game, which initially seemed ambitious.

Reading Reflection – Week 5

The reading on “Computer Vision for Artists and Designers” discusses how computer vision is becoming more accessible to students/artists due to easier-to-use software and open-source communities. Out of the many projects showcased, I was really impressed (and slightly creeped out) by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s installation Standards and Double Standards (2004), where belts were controlled by a computer vision-based tracking system, causing the buckles to rotate automatically to follow the public. It was really interesting to see this type of interaction that, in a way, isn’t intentional, direct, or digital. However, when it came to the project Suicide Box by the Bureau of Inverse Technology (1996), where a motion-detection video system was utilized to record real data of suicides, I found that ethically concerning. You don’t need to record such events to store data; yet, on the other side, it might serve as a security measure for people who have presumably been missing. It is a pretty controversial project, to say the least.

Field of view comparison of a conventional and Telecentric Lens. Note the conventional lens’s angular field of view and the Telecentric Lens’s zero angle field of view.

Furthermore, the reading discussed the different kinds of problems that vision algorithms have been developed to address, and their basic mechanisms of operation, such as detecting motion, detecting presence, object tracking, and basic interactions. All of which the designers of C2’s doors should have taken into account. Moreover, something new I have come across is the term “Telecentric lenses,” which are lenses used to improve object recognition by maintaining constant magnification regardless of distance. Yet, I came to find out that it is high in cost, large in size, and heavy in weight, in addition to causing some distortion issues. So, I wonder when it is appropriate to use it or if it is smart to do so to begin with. All in all, this was a very interesting read that showed me that interaction can be more than just key or computer-based; rather, it’s more about innovative ways to bridge the two different worlds we live in! Last but not least, I wonder where the line is drawn when it comes to privacy and motion/facial detection. Have we as a society come to accept that we are being watched & listened to all the time, whether it’s your phone’s facial recognition or the immediate response after “Hey Siri!” ?

Midterm Progress – Sara Al Mehairi

Concept

The game I am planning to create will take inspiration from “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” but with a twist of our university’s culture. That said, I titled it “Diary of an NYUAD Kid,” with each game representing a struggle or something we, students, relate to. At first, the player will be introduced to a menu screen with options to play. To avoid simplicity, I decided to gather a group of games, 4 to be specific (or 3.5, as one of them is a doodling notepad), and implement them to provide users with a variety of choices. All games will be single-player.

Design & Implementation

  1. The first game is a simple game of trying to avoid “the cheese touch,” referenced from the movie. If you failed to avoid the cheese touch, you lose points, but if you succeed, you gain points. The goal here is to gather as many falcon points as possible.
  2. The second game is a memory game titled “Have We Met?” It aims to depict the struggle of being new to campus and meeting so many people, with each card representing a character.
  3. The third game is an elevator game, which I’m planning to title “Rush Hour” or “Elevator Rush.” The goal is to get as many students in the elevator as possible to prevent them from being late to class, inspired by the slow elevators on our campus, specifically C2.
  4. Finally, the fourth semi-game is a student’s notebook where you can sketch or take notes, and then save your sketch as a PNG to your laptop. With the vision set & the base code established, my next step is to digitally design the game aesthetics.

CHALLENGES

Although I have the base code designed for most of the games (with many bugs), I believe it will be a challenge to implement them all perfectly without errors. My goal is to complete all four games, which I know is ambitious, yet I have faith. Another challenge I expect is trying consistency while trying to recreate the same aesthetic as the sketches in the original “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” but with time and effort, I believe it is possible.

Reading Reflection – Week 4

The following will be an overview of the points I have gathered throughout the reading, and with these points, I have come to criticize our campus design—or more specifically, campus doors.

Chapter 1 begins by reflecting on how a simple concept or thing like a door could be so confusing. We know that the design of a door should indicate how to operate it without any need for signs, certainly without any need for trial and error (Page 7). Norman emphasizes on page 3 that the two most important characteristics of good design are discoverability and understanding, something the C2 building doors don’t seem to have. Although equipped with sensors, these so-called ‘automatic’ doors require more strength and patience than any regular door. There have been many instances where people have gotten ‘squished’ or ‘trapped’ trying to walk through them. Additionally, the sensors installed above the doors are not precise at all; they are intended to sense motion straightforwardly facing the palms, yet people tend to approach from either the left or right, rarely from the center, so that’s another issue. That being said, and in Norman’s definitions, I would say that NYUAD doors have failed in industrial design, interaction design, and experience design (Page 5). Hence, we say that when designs are done badly, it leads to frustration and irritation (Page 5), and the reason behind that, I believe, is that engineers are trained to think logically (Page 6). They don’t really take into account the possibilities of how people other than themselves would interact with a product, in other words, user testing. Because at the end of the day, design presents an interplay of technology and psychology, and designers must understand both (Page 7).

Further, Norman introduces HCD or human-centered design, which is an approach that puts human needs and capabilities first, then designs to accommodate those needs (Page 8); something I stand by, especially in terms of accommodating people of determination in their day-to-day activities like battling D2 doors. So, in line with HCD’s philosophy, it is important to start with a good understanding of people and the needs that the design is intended to meet (Page 9). Moreover, the chapter “The Psychopathology of Everyday Emotions” highlights the importance of affordance (Page 11), defining what actions are possible, and signifiers, specifying how people discover the made possibilities (Page 12). In line with the author’s statement, I believe that signifiers are of far more importance to designers than affordance (Page 19). In addition, Norman mentions how it’s important to give feedback to users because how else would I know that something worked? So, it is important to provide confirmation & immediate feedback, but not too much feedback (Page 23).

Overall, I believe that the reading contains many of the most fundamental things a designer must know. I have come across these topics through other classes I’ve taken, such as UX Design and Wayfinding, so this book covers a great intersection and gives a proper overview of key points. With proper design comes a great product, and with great products comes happy customers; it can be done, says Norman (Page 36). However, in the eye of the campus designers, it’s a different story.

Assignment 4 – “On My Nerves” by Sara Al Mehairi

Overview

Neurons Affected by Epilepsy Identified
Sourced from Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News

The concept for this assignment came about after some self-reflection on the “workings of my mind” throughout past semesters. From those moments when deadlines approach to when things get on my nerves, I had hoped to capture this chaos visually, but not through random lines because we have come to an agreement that randomness is our biggest enemy, rather through nerve cells (cells that send messages all over your body to allow you to do everything from breathing to talking, eating, walking, and thinking). With that, my goal was to depict my genuine experiences, to the best of my capability. That’s when the idea came to utilize my actual Notion to-do lists, which have been my go-to resource since my first semester during freshman year.

Data Visualization

let courses = [
  { name: "Discrete Mathematics", tasks: { Assignment: 4, Quiz: 3, Other: 2 } },
  { name: "Intro to Computer Science", tasks: { Assignment: 6, Other: 2 } },
  { name: "Pre-Calculus", tasks: { Assignment: 14, Other: 4 } },
  { name: "Wayfinding", tasks: { Assignment: 9, Other: 2 } },
  { name: "Calculus", tasks: { Assignment: 15, Other: 2 } },
  { name: "Stereotyping", tasks: { Assignment: 9, Other: 4 } },
  { name: "FYWS", tasks: { Assignment: 17, Other: 2 } },
  { name: "UX Design", tasks: { Assignment: 12, Other: 2 } },
  { name: "Inequality", tasks: { Assignment: 5, Other: 8 } },
  { name: "Communications Lab", tasks: { Assignment: 18, Other: 4 } },
  { name: "Data Structures", tasks: { Assignment: 16, Quiz: 4, Other: 2 } },
  { name: "Techniques for Safety & Production", tasks: { Assignment: 2, Quiz: 2 } },
  { name: "Space Diplomacy", tasks: { Assignment: 7, Other: 2 } }
];

Each color within the visualization represents a course I’ve taken up until fall 2023, while the size of the circles correlates directly with the workload associated with each course (categorized into assignments, quizzes, and other tasks from my actual to-do list). The lines, aimed to create a nerve system-like structure, are meant to connect circles of the same color/course to illustrate the connections. Additionally, the back-and-forth motion that results from touching the edges was intended to mimic the beat of a human heart (so did the oscillating opacity), with the hope of adding a human touch to the art piece.

Challenges & REFLECTION

One of the challenges was trying to make the piece look like something from the human body. Although I didn’t perfect it, I tried drawing inspiration from images of what nerves would look like in our body. Another challenge was deciding the colors. Initially, I wanted to symbolize stress and complexity, so I started with reds and warm tones. However, they ended up looking more like a calm sunset, which led to the idea of using cool tones to oppose the idea of “nervousness” and “perplexity“, hence being “cool” and “relaxed.” Another challenge was definitely implementing the code. I had to use many of the things we had done in class and had a lot of debugging throughout. Many of the things you see happened by accident, but I’m happy with it. Through this attempt, I hope to give you a glimpse into my academic journey – the ups, the downs, everything in between, and more specifically, the things that got on my nerves. Pun intended.

Reading Reflection – Week 3

First and foremost, I completely agree with Crawford when he said that “the term interactivity is overused and under understood.” I believe it becomes under-understood because it has been made a universal term when in reality it can be interpreted in many ways, thus becoming subjective, as discussed on page 6. That’s something I don’t necessarily like, especially considering the word “Interactive” in our university’s “Interactive Media” program. In this sense, it has been underestimated and has affected many opportunities for students, including myself. To be more specific, the term has been underestimated in many ways. When people hear “Interactive Media,” they often disregard “interactive” because it’s an adjective and then proceed with “oh, so like media, like social media” or “oh yeah, like TV hosts and stuff.” I find that very frustrating because what we do is much more. With that, I have a love-hate relationship with the term “Interactive Media.”

Furthermore, on page 11, the author states,Interactivity designers do not deny the hard-won lessons of the past; they seek to incorporate them in a wider perspective, which, in turn, requires some rearrangement.” He follows by saying that incorporating the wisdom of older fields plays an important role in this so-called “rearrangement.” I wonder what exactly he means by rearrangement, and to what extent should we apply it. In addition, on page 12, the author says,Once interactivity becomes established in our culture, the academic will get a hold of it, and then you’ll have more ‘high-quality’ definitions than you ever thought you needed.” But what about the non-experts in the field who tend to have authority in recruiting? Will they ever understand what “interactivity” is, or more specifically, what “interactive media” is? Overall, I’d say it was an interesting read, but I had a lot of contrary ideas, part of the reason being that I will be carrying that name with me throughout my academic career.