Week 11 - Journal

Nick Huang - Sun 24 May 2020, 7:27 am
Modified: Sun 24 May 2020, 10:31 am

Contact & Workshop

For the contact session, Lorna first explained to us what the final delivery was going to be and what should we prepare for the final exhibition. Then we started the report-back to express our thoughts and concerns in terms of the lockdown and how to complete the final delivery, my responses were:

1. What is one good thing you can say about lockdown?

For one advantage about the lockdown, I’d say it saves time. I don’t need to spend time on commuting, I can set aside the time to do other things, like working on my projects, taking a nap or a short break.

2. Based on feedback to date & what you have left to complete:

The feedback I received so far is not bad since peers and evaluation participants have given positive feedback in terms of the physical form, interaction means, and functionality. There are also some suggestions for further improvement. For example, considering using the LED strip or adding the faded effect to the single LED light to give users the continuous visual feedback, rather than lighting up a LED every 2 seconds. Also, using the laptop speaker to give auditory feedback will be a good alternative, because it can provide more polished audio. In addition, adding decorations to the ‘breathing tree’ will give a better experience of my prototype.

3. What concerns/questions do you have? (doesn't have to be directly project related)

One concern is about the final exhibition, I’m just wondering how to take my ‘breathing tree’ (the clothes stand) to campus since I am planning to do the exhibition on campus for ensuring a better quality of the live stream. Also, I am concerned about how the virtual exhibition is going to be, something like others talk with me first, and then I show the functionality and interaction behaviours of my concept?

In the workshop session, Clay and Alison guided us to practice the one-minute pitch for the final exhibition. The key feedback here was that when preparing the pitch to communicate our ideas, we should consider how to quickly and compellingly introduce our ideas to clients. My response was:

One-minute pitch (including the name of your concept):

Are you still struggling with the lack of breath when singing? Let’s try the ‘Breathing Tree’! It’s a tree-shaped device can help youngsters practice the breathing technique used for singing. It aims to help young singing-lovers practice abdominal breathing technique in an intuitive and playful way, so the primary goal is guiding users to practice through multi-sensory engaging feedback. It will provide both auditory and visual feedback by detecting users’ abdomen movement and their breathing length respectively. By using this device, you will get rid of practicing the breathing technique in the tedious and less intuitive way, instead, it will give you playful instructions to practice that in the correct and interesting manner.

Team progress

This week, our team shared our opinions on the final delivery and how to better design for our web-based portfolio. After discussing with team members, one useful framework I may consider using is jQuery. Besides, since almost all of us are using the microphone sensor for our prototypes, Paula ordered 3 extra ones as the spares for some unexpected damage of the microphone sensors. So, Wally and I also picked up our sensors this week from Paula.

Individual process:

This week, I mainly worked on improving and building my prototype according to the previous feedback, and purchasing materials.

First, I went to the workshop for getting technical help around making the microphone of my concept from Clay on Friday. We first got the microphone disassembled, so that to put the microphone sensor in it. Clay also soldered one long wire for me to connect the microphone and Arduino.

Disassembled microphone materials for assembly

After a few times attempts, the microphone part worked for controlling the gradually lighting up effect of LEDs.

completed microphone testing the microphone

For the ‘Belt’ part of my concept, the solder of the force sensor was broken, so Clay soldered that again and added a protective cover to the connection between the sensor and wires. Much appreciated for Clay’s help!

soldered force sensor_1 soldered force sensor_2

Previously, users thought adding some decorations to the ‘Breathing Tree’ part would make the prototype look better, so I bought some plant strips for decoration to give users better visual experience.


Plan for the next week:

  1. Completing the audio part of the ‘Belt’ part
  2. Adding decorations to the ‘Breathing Tree’ part
  3. Finishing the wiring part of the ‘Breathing Tree’ part


In terms of preparing the pitch for ‘selling’ my concept in the final exhibition, it’s important to grab the audience’s attention and give them a panoramic view of my concept within a very short time. Therefore, I think the whole pitch can start with describing the ‘problem’ I’m trying to solve (what), followed by giving the rationale of my design (why) and then talking about what’s unique of my concept (selling point). During the pitch, it’s important to let the audience know the USP (unique selling proposition)so that they will be more attracted by the content.

For the visual part of my concept, using some light effect is effective to give users continuous feedback. But in order to give users more obvious feedback and to make my prototype more applicable in different scenarios (like in daytime), using the LED strip to give brighter feedback would be a good direction for exploring.