This week I predominantly set about refining and planning my prototype build based off feedback from appraisals and elements that were not implemented as intended in the recent deliverable. As suggested by Lorna, I have created a structured plan for the next few weeks so that I can remain on track to complete all deliverables to the desired standard.
After completing the appraisals and reviewing my own, I've begun improvements and additions on my prototype. In order to create a full-scale prototype, I intended to get a mat of some form to attach the colour buttons to. I decided to use an exercise mat, however, they were sold out in all the shops I went to. I've ended up instead getting a harder, foam board base for the mat as it was the only option I could find at Officeworks.
I dropped in to the workshop to pick up some more wire to extend my current small-scale buttons. Clay also suggested a way for me to make my mat and I did a sketch to plan out how I will create it:
I will focus on cable management once I have finished the core elements. I may get a small box to house my Arduino and breadboard in to make the prototype look neater.
My main concern at this point is implementing the element I simulated in my first prototype deliverable - defining a fill colour area for the colour changes to be applied to. I have currently just created a sprite and the colour changes are being applied to that. The intended functionality would be for users to free draw and then colour in the segments of their own drawings. I spoke to Steven about this and he suggested I use a method to scan each line of pixels to determine where the shape outline is. I did some research to see if I could find more information or resources on this method and found some referencing the "scanline method': https://support.shootmavis.com/hc/en-us/articles/213531145-Scanlines-and-horizontal-samples
Even though I understand this method and how it would allow me to accurately determine the space inside a drawing, I am not very confident in my programming skills and feel that trying to figure out this method would require me to spend a large portion of the next few weeks solely on this element. I feel that this would not be the best allocation of my time and through compromising some of the intended functionality, I will be able to produce a much better portfolio and develop other aspects of my prototype to a higher extent.
I talked to Clay about this issue and he mentioned that instead of allowing users to have full creative freedom, I could instead assimilate a children's colouring-in book, providing a pre-designed template that students then trace. This would allow me to easily then just apply colour changes to the various shapes that comprise the whole image. Due to this change in direction, I altered my plan for the next three weeks to enable more time dedicated to portfolio development.
I started looking up some children's colouring in to gain some inspiration about the type of shapes and complexity that would be suitable for the target age range. I found some pages like what I am hoping to make that require users to trace over some dotted lines and then colour in the shapes:https://twistynoodle.com/trace-and-color-the-flower-2-coloring-page/
This week I have also started on my portfolio so that it is not a task completed last minute once I complete the build phase. I am keen to create a portfolio that is aesthetically appealing and showcases my personality and design skills as well as the required content and project process. I hope to be able to display this portfolio in future professional opportunities so I have undertaken consideration of the design and appearance.
Due to this I have done a lot of research into current web design trends and aesthetic design that reflect my own personal design. I find that the best form of inspiration when doing any type of visual design is looking up graphic design boards on https://www.pinterest.com.au/. I found some really minimal yet interesting designs which I will definitely take inspiration from to influence my own design.
Currently, I have only started to create mock-ups of the intended design so that when I begin development I have a clear picture of what I am developing. I have included some early mock-ups that still need a lot of work but I am just playing around with colour scheme, fonts and layout at the moment.
Although we aren't required to produce graphic elements for support for the exhibition, I still want to create a consistent design to be used across the portfolio and other documents. I've designed a simple 'logo' to be included in the portfolio.
I am going to have a very simple navigational layout with a home page and then a page for each required section of content. I will also include links to my other deliverables through YouTube and any sources I used.
This week I have unfortunately not been able to make too much progress on the project due to my work and other courses. I feel that regardless, making a structured plan for the remaining tasks will aid me significantly in managing my time and completing the project whilst also balancing these other commitments. Even though I haven't made much build progress, I have purchased all of the necessary equipment (board and wires) so that I can get into development over the next week. I also feel a lot better after finding a compromise regarding my concern with fill colour area. I feel more optimistic about the final deliverable as I will now have a lot more time to spend on other elements of the project and now have a clearer idea of how long the feature will take to implement as I am already familiar with implementing the functionality.
This week has also taught me that it is inevitable that I will encounter issues throughout the design process e.g. struggling to implement the shape selection. Talking to Clay and figuring out a work around really helped me get on top of the project and feel more confident and in control. This experience has taught me that the 'right' way may not be the only way and that the design process is about the process, not just the outcomes.
The main item on my 'to do' list for this week is to build my mat. Having a clear plan of how I aim to do so, I am confident that I can complete it next week with plenty of time to make refinements before the exhibit. I also need to being the development of my portfolio and begin writing my content.