This project began with my long lasting passion for organization, tracking, and the search for better work habits. Most would consider me a very organized person in both my personal and work life. While this is generally a positive aspect of my personality there are consequences that come with this life style. Often work and organization can overwhelm my world such that my push toward getting a specific task done inhibits my focus on other equally important tasks. For this reason, I have been hesitant to implement tracking apps in the past. I am worried that the heightened awareness that comes with tracking apps would amplify the narrow focus I tend to get stuck in?
In order to explore what I do and do not like about tracking apps that aim to help your work habits I implemented a few into my life. Two of these apps included the Reporter App and Toggl. The Reporter App is a customizable survey app that randomly asks you questions about your day. The app stores your answers into simple visualizations and helps you keep a record/journal of random variables throughout your day. This app does a wonderful job of helping you to note important aspects of your day that may contribute to your work habits. However, I found the randomization of the surveys to be very distracting when I was working. Often, when I was in the middle of a work session, a notification would pop up on my phone to tell me that it was time to “report”. Most of the time I would find myself ignoring the notification in order not to break up my work session. Then after the work session I would notice the notification again and continued to ignore it since I was not working and the answers would not be applicable. What I liked about the Reporter app however, was the simple and immediate opportunity to analyze your answers. Overall I had a much more positive experience with the Toggl app. I used the Toggl app to track my work sessions throughout the semester. If I was doing homework for one class I would start and stop a timer at the beginning and end of the work session, respectively. Now I have a very comprehensive timeline of how much time I spend on each class. I found this app very easy to use and so quick to implement that it barely creeped into my work sessions. Still however, I had a weird feeling that tracking my time for each class and noting that timing in the moment was motivating my work in negative ways. Noting the time ticking by instead of focusing on the task at hand is a common result of time tracking and I often find myself doing just that. Of course, having the data after the fact has been interesting to analyze and motivates changes in my work habits.
My aim for this project was to think critically about how a mobile application could benefit or harm your work habits. Ultimately, I tried to design and build an application that took all of the positive aspects of tracking apps but eliminated the negative effects that they can have on work habits in particular.
This project served as a final project for my Quantified Humanist and Mobile Lab Classes. The design, concept, and backend was built for the Quantified Humanist class and the app execution was built for the Mobile Lab class. For a more detailed description of the Zone App and the development process please visit my Mobile Lab and Quantified Humanist blogs.
Pre Work Zone App Flow
This video shows the pre work (“work zone”) section of the app. Before starting a work session, users would open this application and answer this questionnaire.
Post Work Zone App Flow
This video show the the post work (“reflection zone”) section of the app. After completing a work session, users would open this section of the application and answers the remaining reflection questions before moving on.
100 Day Challenge
Through a class at ITP called 100 Days of Making I completed a project called “100 days of analog food porn.” Every day for 100 days I drew an image of food and posted it to social media. As a result of this iterative project I now have a large collection of my food drawings. Along the way I learned the power of iteration, focus, and routine.
Click here to see the entire collection of drawings.
A Dyslexic's Experience
One in five people have a language based learning disability, the most common of which is dyslexia. However, most of the population, even some dyslexics themselves, misunderstand the disability completely. Dyslexia effects the part of the brain that processes language and thus, most dyslexics have difficulty decoding sounds and relating them to letters. This slows their reading rate and makes spelling a challenge. A Dyslexic’s Experience is a project designed for anyone to understand this language processing barrier first hand. Throughout the interaction the user will learn and spell words using a visual representation of the alphabet designed by measuring the volume inputs of spoken letters and drawing circles with radii based on that input. The barrier between the user and this new alphabet is meant to recreate the challenges individuals with learning disabilities face. When the user scans a symbol from the visual alphabet in the ‘learn’ section of the board, the corresponding letter will play over the headphones. Requiring the users to learn the alphabet by matching the oral sounds of letters to the symbols is meant to highlight the difficulty dyslexics have decoding sounds. Once the user learns enough letters to make a word, they will scan the letters one at a time in the ‘write’ section of the board. As they scan, their word will be displayed on the screen and they can submit it into the library of words written by previous users. The symbols that make up the alphabet are purposely similar yet unique in order to make the interaction somewhat challenging. In conclusion, the user will gain a first hand experience of a dyslexic’s learning differences.
For a more detailed look at this project visit this site.
Marriage License Podcast
For an assignment for my Collective Narrative class at ITP I created a multi narrative podcast. I interviewed three of my family members and asked them to tell me the same story of how my parents got their marriage license. I chose this story because it was one that has been repeated in my household growing up. I think it is interesting how my siblings and I have taken the stories that my parents have shared with us and made them our own. I wanted to test how the validity of these stories would hold across generations. Thus, I separately interviewed my dad, mom and sister and then compiled the interviews together into one cohesive story.
Using the laser cutter I made these coasters out of thin plywood. Each coaster consists of a patterned base and two rings. Once the pieces were glued together the rings acted as a rim for the coasters. The patterns were based off of ones I found online and were redrawn in illustrator.
Laser Cut Pieces
I have always loved to cook and bake. Over the years, I turned my passion into a business, creating personalized cakes and cupcakes for any occasion. Here are some sample treats that I made…
Tracking the Vote
For one of my final ITP projects, I decided to use data visualizations to explore what happened in the 2016 US presidential election. As the project progressed, the motivation became one that would inform readers about our election process and why we should care. The webpage follows the votes in the 2016 elections and tells the story of how and why some voices get eliminated in the process. Toward the end, the visualizations get manipulated in order to explore faults in our electoral college system. Hopefully, this webpage will inform the uninformed and empower everyone to care about future elections.
For a more in detailed look at this project visit the ICM blog.
This is a basic concept for a waste tracking app I built using Swift. The app would help the user track the type of waste they are removing from their household. This may give them a better grasp of the amount/type of waste they produce. While building this app I focused on using animations to improve the user experience.
Using concepts from my Nature of Code class, I created these particle experiments.
You can view the Particle Population Tracking example here and find the code here.
Particle Population Tracking
To build this example I followed this video to create my own target seeking genetic algorithm. In order to better see how the new population relates to the previous population I tracked the particles and used some alpha. I think this example does a good job of seeing how a particle with a good fitness closely follows the genes of a previous particle but not exactly. This way of looking at a genetic algorithm also creates an interesting visual animation.
Growing Flow Field
This example places particles inside a flow field. this test shows a completely random flow field where the particles are forced to start either at the top or bottom of the screen. This creates a nice growing visual effect.
Using concepts from my Nature of Code class, I created this oscillating pattern that grows and shrinks. I imagine this as an alternative to the pattern that appears in the Apple watch Breathe app.
You can view this example here and find the code here.
Elephant with p5.js
Hand Sketched Plan
I drew the elephant out by hand and kept track of the coordinates of each vertex as I coded the elephant into my p5.js sketch.
Design and Color Process
I made the elephant using white triangles with a black stroke to ensure the shape of the elephant was successful. Then I added color to each triangle and adjusted the color scheme to my liking.
A classmate and I designed and built this interactive moon animation. We loaded images of the moon phases into our p5.js sketch and mapped each image to a different slider range. We plan to continue this project by adding more sliders in order to allow the user to manipulate the night sky and the stars independent of the moon phase.
First, we created a mock up of our interface in illustrator. We then built the sketch in p5.js, focusing on just one slider.
To try the interface out yourself visit this site.
Halloween Skull Candy Dispenser Game
The physical design consisted of a control box and the dispensing skull.
This video shows the halloween game we designed. The two knobs on the physical controller allow the user to move the pumpkin. The object of the game is to “consume” all of the candies on the screen while avoiding the bats. Once all of the candies are “consumed” a signal is sent to the physical skull and real candy is dispensed.
Initial User Testing
As soon as we had a working model, we completed some initial user testing to ensure our design was easy to use. We used the feedback from this testing to modify both the software and the hardware.
Final User Testing
Once the design was complete, we asked other users to play.
Using vectors and forces I created this repelling field with p5.js. When you move your mouse through the field the particles flee the mouse. This project was one example from a series of particle/system experiments I completed for my Nature of Code class.
During my first semester at ITP, I was in a class called Visual Language. In this class we explored many types of graphic and visual design. One week we were asked to develop a series of expressive words. Here are some of the sample words that I developed during this exploration.
First, I experimented with different patterns using Adobe Illustrator.
I laser cut my favorite pattern out of plywood and created a motor mount so that the bottom piece would remain stationary, while the upper piece would rotate on the motor axle.
Wall Key Holder
This key holder hands on the wall and has an embedded magnet. When keys are placed on it, the magnet holds the keys and the keys look like they are floating. I used the ITP shop to design and construct these key holders. This project served as a great project to help me learn how to use new power tools. I used various techniques during the process to get repeatable results so that I could make many, identical key holders.
Miter Saw Setup
Using a stop block I cut each key holder to an equal length with the miter saw.
Drill Press Setup
I used two stop blocks on the drill press to drill holes in the same place on each piece.
Back of Key Holder
Each key holder was fitted with a D-ring and a magnet.
Hanging Key Holder
Each piece was finished using a sanding belt.
Magnetic Wall Key Holder
Magnetic Wall Key Holder Demo
I spent the summer of 2018 working with a team of designers, engineers, and tinkerers at Teknikio. Teknikio develops electronic boards that can be embed into craft projects and provides an educational STEM tool for children. At Teknikio I helped to develop educational packages for STEM based programs in school, camps and makerspaces. I also designed and built electronic store displays and new sample activities for the company. Here are some projects I worked on along the way.
Teknikio Store Display
I designed and built this moving store display with a Arduino nano, Teknikio LEDs, servo motors, and various craft materials. The display was designed to catch peoples attention and highlight the Teknikio product in a store that sells Teknikio retail.
Light Up Mason Jar
I designed and built this project for the Teknikio Makerspace Kit using Teknikio heart LEDs, a coin battery, conductive tape, embroidery floss and a mason jar.
I designed and built this wheel to highlight various Teknikio boards in stores and at trade shows. Keep scrolling to see how this project turned into an interactive wheel display.
Here is an amplifier that I designed and built using laser cut pieces and Teknikio electronic parts. The user can play music on their phone and place it in the center slot to amplify the sound. As the phone slides in, Teknikio lights turn on and change color.
Teknikio Ice Rink
I built this ice rink to display the Teknikio penguins at a trade show.
I designed an built these wallets using Teknikio boards, conductive thread, snaps, and fabric. When the wallet is closed, the snaps close the circuit and turn on the LED.
For kids, the best part about their parents receiving packages is that they get to play with the box with which it came. Kids love to turn boxes into play houses, cars, ovens, etc. Why not develop a kit where kids can add Teknikio circuits to bring their play boxes to life? Here is a car prototype for this idea that I had at Teknikio. The headlights and lights on the wheels turn on via switches on the side of the car, a buzzer is connected to a button on the wheel to act like a horn and a light sensor in the back turns on siren lights in the back when it senses darkness. The video below shows how the headlights turn on and off with a switch.