Show ‘n’ tell

Okay…I made some changes as I said I would during the weekend…the problem is that I forgot to show the changes to my partner, but I thought it would be ok, since what I have changed is not really central in our concept, namely the background. If there are more than 20 devices, there are plenty of unicorns running (it reflects the crowdedness aspect), and if there are fewer than 20 devices, there is the image of one crying unicorn. It is me who drew the unicorn, so I thought it would be cool to showcase my skills!

My partner informed me that he was sick and could not come to the presentation…PANIC! I wanted to show my version to him…and if he did not like we could use his version…but as he was sick, I did not want to bother him with something so insignificant, at least for me.

The presentation was okay, even though we got much criticism, but at least of the constructive kind, and I actually agree with them. One of the criticisms is that our concept was giving a “black-or-white” idea – it is either too many devices, or too few devices, we do not explore anything in the middle.

Another criticism is that our concept is sort of normative – we tell the user how she/he is supposed to feel if there are many/few people around – we did not leave much space for the user to experience one’s own feelings. It is as if we are imposing feelings related to crowdedness and emptiness. As Kant puts it, space is a subjective notion, so we all experience it differently. And finally, when it comes to the website, we should have removed the instruction part, really unnecessary. Additionally the unicorn animation when there are too many people was somewhat too “frenetic”and could make people more nervous instead of calmer. But according to my classmates we succeeded in causing impact on their mood.

My own reflections about the module was that we took for granted people’s attitude toward emptiness/crowdedness, we made assumptions that are not necessarily true.  We should have left more space for interpretation, user’s own experience instead. It felt like we were designing for ourselves, instead of adopting a user-centred design.

Another problem is communication and working in pair – my partner tended to work on his own, or alone get help from his buddies and would leave me “in the dark”. I had to ask him constantly how things were going, and what I was supposed to focus on, and I even had to say “it is actually an assignment in pairs, so we should do it accordingly.

But I also should have asked him about the animation before presenting, we both have flaws and we learn from our mistakes.

Anyway, that’s how our page looks like now

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Finally!

Today we finished our work with the website, and we coded in a way that approximates the amount of Bluetooth devices close to a MAC address you enter in a text box – something added today after some struggle.

Furthermore we added new sounds that play according to the amount of BT devices in the vicinity. If there are more than 20 devices a calming tune will be played – the choice was Eric Satie’s Gymnopedie No.1, if there are fewer than 20 devices , a jolly song with children playing and birds chirping will be played in order to cheer up the user.

We also added a new background for the page, which we found on codepen.io. This is what our webpage looks like right now.

explore

 

Honestly, I was not 100% satisfied with the choice because it feels so unrelated to our concept and static. So I said that I would look for other alternatives during the weekend and try to “pimp” it a little bit.

 

Hell yeah

Ok today I was on fire! If on Monday I felt like an technologically impaired duck, today I felt like that nerdy kid dancing.

nerdy

As mentioned before, we were having some issues with play and stop buttons…well the stop button was created but no listening event. So we started coding and looking for solution. When my partner went for lunch I kept trying different ways to make the sound stop and then I faced another problem – once you stop you could not resume the playing. After reading on several fora, such as Stackoverflow, I found the solution to resume. And we were also having some issue with the start button  -In order to make the songs change on their own, we had to set an interval so it would refresh every 2 seconds. But still on iOs devices you would have to press play in order to refresh.  So I showed my stop-button solution to my partner, and together we incorporated it to “Play” button but with reverse logic. It worked like a charm! Now we could play and stop without any problem on mobile devices, and on the web version it worked really well.

 

code-snippet

Tinker tinker

So I came to terms with using approximate number of bluetooth devices in vicinity rather than the accurate number. We managed to count the approximate number of devices, but as my partner pointed out before, it is not that important to have the exact number, since all we need to know is if there are many or few bluetooth devices around us.

As the sound would not play in some mobile devices, we had to add a “start” button, making it possible to play audio on every mobile device – Android and iOs based ones. A problem is the ever-looping sound…the music would keep playing, and you would have to close the browser window to make it stop. So the solution was to create a stop button.

Today we also discussed whether we should add some animation to the website or not – the website design is not the central element in our concept – the idea is to keep your mobile phone in your pocket, with your earphones plugged. The output in this case is the sound, so you would not really be looking at the screen.

Nevertheless, our website looks really simple, it feels so incomplete and empty. So we decided to work on the design, since the coding part was almost done, except from the start/stop minor issues.

That’s what we have so far:

unpolished

Not very pretty, ay?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technologically impaired duck

Today I felt like the meme “Technologically impaired duck” – completely incompetent in coding, having hard time in making it work. I even forgot to connect my phone to Internet in order to check if it was working or not. After so much struggling and help from classmates, we found a way to count approximately how many Bluetooth devices there are in the vicinity, but really roughly. I wanted an exact number, and I was very frustrated about not being able to do it.

duck

But my partner made a very valid point – the exact number of devices is not very relevant, the important here is to show how our concept works, so it is ok to work with inaccurate data. I had hard time to accept it in the beginning because I hate inaccuracy, but I realised I was being silly.

 

Coaching with Sofie

Today we worked until 14:00 and also got feedback from Sofie. What we noticed is that most of the groups were using similar concept…I was so naive in thinking we had something “unique”…

So we presented our idea to Sofie, and she seemed to like it with one reservation – we should use sound instead of music. She said that using the latter would be sort of cheating “not really cheating, but preferably ambience sounds”.

As there was nothing scheduled for tomorrow, we both decided to work from home with coding.

 

Getting started

 

After the brainstorming session, we decided then that we would work with the feelings of emptiness and crowdedness – if there are too many detected bluetooth devices, you will listen to a soothing music, and if there are too few detected bluetooth devices, you will be cheered up by a jolly tune.

Today Lars showed to us how to receive information from his Bluetooth database on Firebase and how to use and adapt his code to our concept. My first reaction when I saw a code in Js was like “OH….KAY….”, since I have never worked with Js before, just plain Java…and it was like in beginning of 2015. I was very rusty after parental leave.  My partner was also a newbie. Firebase I was confident with, we used several times…but again long time ago.

So we started trying to implement our teacher’s code and adapt it to our concept – we struggled a lot but we could make some progress. We succeeded at least to detect which Bluetooth devices are near to my phone (my partner only has Iphone, so we have been using my Android phone (my main phone is Iphone though).

What we have problem with right now is to count the number of Bluetooth devices, something that is pivotal in our concept – if the number of Bluetooth devices is less than x, we are going to work with output related to loneliness, emptiness, if it is more than x, then it is crowdedness we are talking about. With other words, we gotta come up with some way to count how many devices there are in order to create if/else statements, so we can play different sounds and maybe animations depending on count number.

Today we spent a lot of time trying to come up with an arraylist with all the devices detected by my phone and count them so that we can work with and do some coding. We made the sound part work through our code, but we still could not figure out how to count the number of devices using code.