Documentation & Reflection

Week 1 Entry 2: Harmful Attitudes toward Design

Amraj Singh Sukhdev Singh - Thu 27 February 2020, 3:03 am
Modified: Thu 27 February 2020, 3:54 pm

The first couple days of physcomp have come and gone, and yet, concerns and anxieties I've had even in the first few weeks of the uni remain, haha.

Often they're irrational, there's a drive to "just get it over with" , that comes from any number of things, which prevents the project from being the best that it can be. I'm hoping that by addressing them early here I can safely recognise when these attitudes pop up during the semester, and take steps to stop them from impacting on the project negatively.

Is that all?

The ever present concern of "wow, I've been here for a while now, is this all I've been able to do" seems to linger the strongest, for one.

Because I know every individual step I took to work on my projects here so far, they can easily seem completely meaningless. There's no intrigue or mystique to what I've made, because I'm aware of all the shortcuts, gaffa tape and hotfixes that went into making something that seems more or less workable ready for various presentation days.

That doesn't mean that the idea is a bad one however, it just means the execution could do with more work. It's a little unfortunate, but university constraints mean that vast amounts of knowledge have to get compressed into limited amounts of time, with several high intensity deadlines at once - putting a hard cap on what can be achieved.


Strive for the best, but don't blow out all the lights and trip the circuit breaker to do so. Really, the only result is that once all that happens, I start to grow to hate the idea itself, assigning blame to its complexity for why stress is encountered.

It's burnout. There's a point where we have to stop, evaluate whats going on, and decide how to sustainably meet the goals we set. It's just that in the moment, it's faster just to keep the pedal to the medal and brute force until something is done... and so it's usually best if you have a teammate that notices and tells you to hit the brakes.

Whether that's usually the case though, well...

External constraints

In reality the above is a side effect of the artificiality that comes with universities being treated more like a job factory than what they really are, a place to fail without crashing and burning. Everyone has a limited amount of time to be here and "succeed" at the job factory, so that they can go out and be useful to society.

There's societal pressure to get a job, because "unless you have a job, you are a parasite and are worth nothing". Society deems there to be no dignity in just existing, so obviously "continuing to be at uni is undesirable" /s.

That leads to a collective subconcious rush to the end, "only the end result matters", and so the perception of the idea and course can transform into an ugly thing, that the course and project is an obstacle that doesn't even matter, the sooner the end is reached the better. But that just leads people to not make the most of their time to learn.

Sure there's lots of limitations, but the urge to rush to the end and "read the last page of the book, so that you can start with the next book" just makes what we do here hollow.

It's best to remain cognisant of that time ticking down, but not be swept away by it... otherwise we just accidentally work against ourselves.

The scale between 0 and 1

While I have a laser focus on all the things I didn't manage to achieve, because observers seeing my final work have been able to get a glimpse of the vision behind some of these ideas. What I've worked on has been relatively acceptable enough that we could say "close enough" and call it a day...

It isn't supposed to be treated like a binary "everything was perfect, success", or "this one thing didnt work, it was a complete failure", but that is the kind of perception that tends to rise up instinctively... and pushes towards the even more depressing idea, "everything I do is garbage", which is only partially true.

In truth, it's more like a radial chart with different stat distributions depending on the project, one idea might have a little more success at area x than another, but the other might do y better.

It's small victories, its possible for parts of the project to fail sure, but also for parts of it to be a success on their own, and ideally we want to take those successful things, and rocket forward with what we learnt so that the next time, the project as a whole is better.

Understanding who this is for

These projects, they're proofs of concept, but my recent experience in interviews seems to show that employers dont care about experiments and explorations of space - when showing them what I've worked on ... the questions all steer towards the inevitable question -"how fast can you get me a finished product". The type of statement that inspires a disappointment at not doing better... like all that time was wasted.

But finished products, they're a myth. There's no such thing as a perfect idea, and this urge to rush towards them just distracts from finding out more about the space and engaging with the project earnestly. As depressing as it is that we don't get that job afterward, we're working on these ideas to polish our skills, understand spaces better, or bring novel contributions forward.

To that end... working on it to impress specific people or get validation from anyone other than the users and ourselves is a little strange. We and the users have to be okay with the project and what it does first, anyone else is just a side bonus.

The conclusion for now

Hopefully with this, I have a small yardstick of some of the more dangerous attitudes, now that I've considered them a little. Perhaps throughout the semester, this list will grow and be more refined, but I at least know what I want to look out for.

Week 1 Introduction

Sean Lim - Thu 27 February 2020, 12:14 am


Hi, my name is Sean and I'm currently in my 3rd and final year at UQ. I am currently studying user experience design. During my free time, I would spend time doing something active like working out in the gym or walking my dog around the park. I am someone who is keen on learning new skills and tries to perfect them to the best of my ability, so recently I have been trying to learn how to cook and hopefully one day I might be able to cook a proper meal for my family!

This is Bear

What I Hope to achieve?

Approaching this semester, I would want to learn more about design processes and create a human-centred design. I hope to create something that is current and is widely beneficial to our society. Being interested in guiding the younger generation, I am determined to design the ultimate product that will help teach and inspire them to do what I do!

Week 1 Introduction

Nelson Gregory - Wed 26 February 2020, 11:34 pm


I'm Nelson Gregory, and I'm in my final semester of my Bachelor of Information Technology degree. I have spent many years tinkering around with electronics and working with tools as a hobby, so this course is right up my alley!

I look forward to using all of the tools and facilities at the lab and the UQ Innovate Workshop to enhance my product development skills. These will allow me to break the boundaries between hardware,software and the tangible to develop a new an exciting installation. I aim to achieve a successful project by the end of the semester, all whilst having fun and making friends along the way!

I am keen to work with everyone to see what we can come up with!


Week 1 Entry 1: Introduction

Amraj Singh Sukhdev Singh - Wed 26 February 2020, 10:48 pm
Modified: Thu 27 February 2020, 3:54 pm

Who Am I?

Hi there, I amraj, and I would like to make nightmares real.

I'm in my second year at UQ, here on the study abroad program on credit transfer. Prior to this, I've completed Diplomas in IT and Counselling Psychology. I also have experience freelancing with web development, among other things.

I draw as a hobby, you can find some of what I draw on instagram, at , among other places.

Here's some of my recent favourites:

Imgur Imgur Imgur Imgur Imgur

I like drawing robots that are like people. In my vision of the future, every 'person' is inescapably augmented by technology. Everyone has robot parts because the technology is literally a part of them, haha. One of many nightmares it would be interesting to share, dont you think!

I enjoy drawing because I still have a lot of room to improve, and there's also many possible directions I can move forward in to do so.

Experimenting with what works and what doesnt work, until I find something that's worth sharing is pretty rewarding - every additional round of drawing I do, I learn more about what I can do better next time! (hint hint)

What do I want to achieve?

I'd like to make nightmares real, but what I really mean by that, is creating something that has a strong emotional impact on people.

I think it's pretty easy for us to ignore a lot of things around us in the hustle and bustle of daily goings on. We filter reality through a certain perception so that we're not overwhelmed by everything we encounter.

And so... creating something horrifying and disarming (like a nightmare) or subtly concerning enough that I can truly bypass that block and get through to people with some message, a vision perhaps, would be pretty cool.

When I draw, I'm delivering a pretty defined and clear image of what I'm thinking of to people who look at my work. With things that I design however, it's not as straightforward, and getting that vision across in more and better ways, is what I think I want to get from this course.

Most importantly though, that feeling of progress, that I'm slowly but surely improving through consistent and frequent investment, I would say that's the satisfaction I'm chasing - and along the way, I'm hoping to pick up a bunch more new skills in service of that!

Whether it's better use of hardware and electronics, or just more industrial manufacturing experience, I look forward to what the semester holds!


Junxian Chen - Wed 26 February 2020, 8:22 pm
Modified: Wed 26 February 2020, 8:22 pm

Hi, this is Chen. This is my last year of software design and UX. Interest in programming and hand-making. hate report...

Expectations from this course:

  1. making some cool things.
  2. writing some coool code to let them run.
  3. cooool!


Benjamin Williams - Wed 26 February 2020, 8:22 pm
Modified: Wed 26 February 2020, 8:26 pm

Yoo, welcome to my first journal entry of DECO3850 :)

I'm in my last year of study of a BInfTech (UX/INFS) and I'm keen to finish it off by combing all the skills I've learnt to design and build a project. This hands on course should teach me a lot about the process behind physically building a project, rather than just designing and prototyping. Already, I've enjoyed being led around the workshops and shown how to use the machinery that we'll be able to use.

At this stage I'm not sure about any themes or the direction my project may go down, but I'm excited to find out what the group and myself will come up with. I have a range of interests from music to sport, so I'm keen to come up with an idea that I can really get behind. Otherwise, I'm going to struggle with the workload. I'm going to start research now...

Week 1 Introduction

Dimitri Filippakis - Wed 26 February 2020, 5:21 pm
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 11:23 pm

Who Am I

Hey I’m Dimitri and I’m in my final semester of Uni (4th year) studying a bachelors of I.T. majoring into User Experience and Information Systems. I have a wide variety of skills within the Industry, many that come in handy when working in large group projects. I'm most excited to get hands on for this subject and enjoy the semester. Although I study I.T. I have also have completed some trade work throughout the years doing odd jobs as a builder, and plumbing apprentice.


For PhysComp I am hoping to improve my design skills, and improve my creative thought so that I’m able to think more out of the box. Additionally, I want to expand on my knowledge of electrical hardware.

An Intro Into Me

Piyumi Pathirana - Wed 26 February 2020, 5:06 pm
Modified: Wed 26 February 2020, 5:06 pm

An Intro Into Me

Hi there! I'm Piyumi, a final year student studying a Bachelor of Business Management and Information Technology. I am an avid enthusiast of travelling, music, food and design! I've been at uni for a long time now due to not having a clue for a long time about what I wanted to pursue, but having specialised in UX Design, I definitely think I've found something that I'd love to pursue as a career!

Throughout this course I hope to be able to successfully create an innovative project that I'm proud of and that I have challenged myself to complete. I'm excited to learn and be very hands on during the course to achieve this through making use of the amazing facilities that I'm only recently discovering about! Having never really done much construction, I'm a little nervous to dive into something new, but am always up for a challenge!


Week 1 - Ideation

Jessica Jenkinson - Wed 26 February 2020, 2:29 pm
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 1:30 am

This week we began by completing various activities that encouraged us to think about the current context of technology in society. The HCI Grand Challenges task focused on one of the challenges per team, where we noted some of the positives and challenges that currently affect that area of HCI. My team's work can be seen below.

HCI Grand Challenges Task:


The Card & Cipher task was very fun and fast paced. I can struggle to begin the brainstorming process at times, and often refrain from writing down ideas unless they are "good ideas". This task helped me overcome this as it forced me to put an idea down on paper, regardless of how ridiculous or insane it was.

Card & Cipher Ideation Task:



Kelsey Quinn - Wed 26 February 2020, 1:36 pm

Hello! I'm Kelsey, and I'm in my 4th year of my IT/Arts dual degree. I'm majoring in UX design for IT, and Japanese for Arts. I also already have degrees in Music and Education, and have spent a few years working as a music teacher in schools.

In this course, I'm hoping to learn more about how to connect technology and digital spaces with the physical world, and in particular how technology can be used to solve or bring awareness to problems and issues in society. I'm also hoping to improve my programming skills, which, despite being in my final year, I feel I've only just started to get a handle on.

My main concern about this course is the amount of work needed to do well, and how much stress it will probably cause. I hope I'll be able to work in a team where everyone pulls together and helps when others are struggling, so that no one ends up too stressed.

Week 1 Introduction

Ryan O'Shea - Wed 26 February 2020, 1:31 pm
Modified: Wed 26 February 2020, 1:33 pm

Hi i'm Ryan and i'm in my 5th year at uni, and hopefully my final semester of studying a duel degree in Business and IT i'm keen to get into the design work for this course and make a great final project.

I'm a local from Brisbane who enjoys games, puzzles and drinks and looking to work in Advertising in the future as that is my business Major.

Doing design work is something I really enjoy, along with idea generation and making things as wacky and out there as i can, while still conforming to deliverables and constraints that are provided.

I look forward to working with you all for this semester :)



Tuva Oedegaard - Wed 26 February 2020, 1:25 pm

Who am I

My name is Tuva and I am on my third semester of a Master in Interaction Design. I am from Norway and is 23 years old. I have a Bachelor of Applied Computer Science from Oslo Metropolitian University and my main interest is User Experience. On a general basis, I would love to get better at designing User Interfaces.


In Physical Computing I am really hoping to learn something I have never done before. I am mainly Web-focused and wokring as a Front End Developer, and that is probably what I’ll work with in the future as well. Based on this, Physical interaction is not something I’ll get to do later on in my life! I hope to come up with an idea that can be changed, developed, tested and that I’ll get to see a product that I can be proud of in the end. It would be a lot of fun to try to use the different physical tools we have been introduced to, because it might be likely that I’ll never get to work with it again.

First post

Rika Matsubara-Park - Wed 26 February 2020, 1:10 pm
Modified: Wed 26 February 2020, 1:18 pm

Hi, I'm Rika! I'm in the fourth year of my Bachelor of IT and UX Major and I like drawing birds in my free time. I'm pretty design-based but I am always looking to advance my programming skills since I do enjoy something a bit more technical than drawing nice shapes (not that that's all design is, of course).

Week 1 - Introduction

Jessica Jenkinson - Wed 26 February 2020, 1:02 pm

I am currently in my third year of a dual Information Technology/Business Management degree majoring in UX design. I am interested in user experience and physical computing and therefore excited for DECO3850 this semester. I already feel quite confident in my visual design skills and am eager to implement them and further develop my knowledge in this area. I also learn a lot in DECO2300 which I took last semester about hardware and am familiar with Arduino which I believe will be very useful throughout this course. I am slightly concerned about the development and programming aspects of the project as I am not very confident in my coding ability. However, I feel that this is a great opportunity to improve on this through challenging myself and taking on development tasks even if it is out of my comfort zone.

I expect to have an enjoyable experience in this course. There are many areas of IT that are utilised throughout the course and the project which I enjoy and believe will make the project a genuinely fun experience for me. I am looking forward to the ideation process and hope to further improve my ability to document the ideation and design processes. My expectations also include learning how to better use hardware such as Arduino and using machinery for physical construction.


Anson Cheung - Wed 26 February 2020, 12:38 pm
Modified: Wed 26 February 2020, 12:38 pm

Self Intro

Hello , my name is Cheung Yiu Hin and you can called me Anson. My major is user interface design bachelor of information technology.

What what are you hoping to learn/achieve

As my major is interface design I would like to practice more testing skill and design of the user interface. Get more familiar with the product design process. Beside I want to learn more presentation skill at the exhibition and the prepare of a exhibition.


Laura Pham - Wed 26 February 2020, 9:32 am
Modified: Mon 2 March 2020, 9:13 am

My name is Laura Pham.

This is my third year enrolled in the Bachelor of Information Technology, majoring in User Experience Design.

I enjoy collaborating with like-minded peers.

From this course, I would like to learn hardware, namely: Arduino.

I would like to utilise my knowledge of construction.

Week 1 Intro

Paula Lin - Wed 26 February 2020, 1:35 am
Modified: Wed 26 February 2020, 1:50 am

Hi my name is Paula, currently in the last semester of interaction design. I am always interested in game development and new technologies that aim to benefit people's health and fitness.

Expectations from this course:

  • Exposure to different types of interactive designs
  • Learn or improve the skills needed to develop the concepts into a successful and meaningful product in the most efficient way
  • Explore technologies and tools available that are useful for interactions


Zhishan(Suzy) Yan - Tue 25 February 2020, 10:42 pm
Modified: Tue 25 February 2020, 10:44 pm

Hi, Deco3850 people!

I am Zhishan Yan, usually go by Sulan. I am currently in the final semester of my IT bachelor degree, how excited!

The biggest expectation for this course of my is to explore the unfamiliar field such as hands-on skills and back-end coding, as well as the design process on a deep level. Even though I had taken some deco courses but still can be vague when it comes to concepts, hopefully by taking this course, I will have a better and solid understanding from it.

Work hard and good luck!

Week 1 Journal - Introduction

Maria Harris - Tue 25 February 2020, 9:52 pm

Hello everyone, my name is Maria and I am currently in my third year of studying a Bachelor of Information Technology.

I enjoy UX design as I find it challenging and interesting because I get to work on different projects that allow multiple iterations, as an idea can always be better. I am an organised and hardworking person who wants to contribute fairly to my team; I want to be a part of the creation of the project.

I don’t have a lot of expectations for this course other than that I expect that I will learn to use the equipment effectively to create a physical project which will incorporate technology. This means the project will need to be programmed, designed and built.

I am looking forward to using my hands and being creative with physical materials. In this course, I want to learn new skills that will allow me and my team to create an object with or through technology. I want to be a part of the journey starting with the creation of ideas, iterating them and then eventually creating a final prototype that will be shown at the exhibition.

In DECO3850 I am concerned that I don’t have enough skills to contribute more than just one role such as a designer. However, I want to push myself to be a bit more experienced in programming and using equipment to build a physical project.