Documentation & Reflection

Week 14 - Exhibit!

Jessica Jenkinson - Fri 19 June 2020, 10:30 am
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 6:18 pm

This week is pretty much the final week of 3850, with the exhibit on Wednesday night and the final portfolio and team report due on Friday. Over the weekend, I completed the final elements of my portfolio which is now ready to go live on the IXD website. To achieve the curved text feature that I included in the mockup, I using svg to create a shape that the text curved along: CSS-Tricks. (2020). Curved Text Along a Path. Retrieved from

I am really happy with how my portfolio has turned out. I not only managed to achieve the intended design but I also feel that the text/media conveys my concept well.


I also finished my prototype, making final changes to issues that were revealed in the testing session I conducted. At this point, I feel pretty confident in my deliverables as my prototype is working as intended and my portfolio paints a clear picture of my concept and processes. Today (Tuesday) Michelle and I tested our setup for the exhibit on the Discord server. We experimented using a combination of screen sharing and then switching to the mobile Discord app to provide clearer footage of the actual prototype.


I also completed my videos to show my concept & prototype form for my portfolio:


For the exhibit, my team decided to each take turns in presenting our concepts when visitors arrived. Through out the exhibit, we experienced quite a lot of traffic through our channel, with many visitors including friends, family and UQ staff. Throughout the exhibit I began by giving visitors an explanation of the task and our collective theme before explaining my individual concept. As mentioned before, I presented my concept through a combination of sharing my screen to show the digital display, and using my phone or adjusting my laptop camera view to show my mat. I also shared my portfolio on the screen to show the "intended concept" which a few visitors said made it a lot easier to understand the concept. We received some great comments and feedback, with a couple of visitors saying that our concepts fit well within the studio domain and were very creative.



I was really impressed with how the studio ran, especially considering it was the first exhibit to be run virtually. The positive feedback we received as a team really solidified my confidence in my final course outcomes and it was good to see others interested in the work I had completed. Having a team channel also allowed a clear view of all of our individual concepts and how they fit together under the broader domains. As a team, we reflected on how the outcomes would have been different under normal circumstances. Seeing the work we all produced individually, we would have been able to make an amazing concept if we worked on the one prototype. Nevertheless, the course has still been extremely enjoyable and I have been able to learn so much from technical skills to specific information on my focus domain.

Over the next week, we still have the final portfolio submission, team report and then the critical reflection essay to submit. I aim to make some changes to my portfolio for the final submission, such as including some reflection on the success of the exhibit and adding some extra detail into my process section. This work is mainly just report writing and doesn't require any design process application, therefore I likely won't have much to document next week. I expect that writing the reports will really allow me to reflect upon all of the work I have completed this semester and just how much I have actually learnt! Overall it has been an amazing semester despite the many challenges that we had to navigate!

Week 13

Jessica Jenkinson - Wed 17 June 2020, 2:41 pm
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 6:37 pm

This week was predominantly dedicated to last minute improvements of my prototype and portfolio completion. Over the weekend, I finished my portfolio development and wrote the majority of my content for the portfolio. I categorized the content according to the criteria with pages for the "product", "process", "reflection" and "outputs". So far I have detailed the 'actual' and 'ideal' versions of the prototype through text explanation and I aim to make videos to demonstrate the form, functionality and interaction later in the week. In the process section, I explained my process through the major milestones of the project and highlighted key user engagement and how user feedback guided the design.

Detailing the 'ideal' and 'actual' prototype forms in my portfolio prompted me to really reflect on the comparison between the two forms. I created a visual representation of the 'ideal' concept to include in my portfolio to make it easier for viewers to understand the intent of my concept.


I have felt that my prototype doesn't look very 'professional' or neat, especially when comparing my prototype to other peers work. After reflecting on the comparison, I actually feel that I did quite well in building a concept that embodied all of the relevant themes and brought about all the desired experience outcomes. My main focus of cultivating open-ended experience and creative freedom is definitely evident in the prototype design, with no real constraints to use at all.


With the build almost completed, this week I aimed to improve the prototype and solve any issues with the prototype. An issue was evident with the reading of the Arduino byte data in Unity where different values were being printed than expected and resulting in incorrect colours being displayed. After talking to Ben it became clear that the issue was related to double-digit messages being sent which could not be read using readByte in Unity. Therefore, each Serial.Write message in Arduino needed to be changed to a single byte. To do so, instead of double-digit numbers, single alphabetic characters were used. This revealed another issue regarding the bytes being translated to numbers based on the ASCII codes.


Therefore, I changed my ChangeColour function to instead read the translated numbers for each byte message. This significantly improved the functionality of my prototype which enabled me to better depict the intended concept and its use.

As discussed in the last journal post, for the selection feature, I utilised the OnMouseOver function to determine the "selectedGameObject" for the material colour changes to be applied to. Whilst talking to Steven in the workshop, he also recommended that I use raycasting to detect which element is hovered over and helped me to implement this.


These two changes were really beneficial to the general flow of user experience and decreased the amount of lag and glitches experienced when using the prototype. With these final changes, my prototype is now completed to the intended form/functionality for this deliverable. If I have any spare time after completing my portfolio I may try and make further improvements, however, the current form is able to bring about the experience outcomes as desired.



Now that I have completed the prototype, I aim to test it so that I can make any necessary changes in the next few days. These changes, if any, should only be minor one e.g. a wrong colour entered for a colour pad or combination. As the previous prototype was tested extensively, Twisted shouldn’t require large changes from a conceptual perspective. I decided to ask my cousins to test the prototype as they are 4 and 6, ages very close to the target audience for the concept. With relaxed social distancing rules, they were actually able to come over and test the prototype in person which was great and allowed me to receive much better feedback and easily record observations.

Imgur Imgur

I started by giving them a very brief explanation of the concept e.g. "you can use the mouse to draw and then when you want to colour in one of the shapes, you move the mouse over it and then step on the colour you want it to be. You can also make new colour by stepping on more than one of the colour pads at a time". I gave minimal instructions to observe how they would use Twisted and to see if they would 'teach themselves' through exploration. This approach produced the results I hoped, as my cousins eventually discovered every possible interaction and colour mixing. Aly, 4, said she wanted to make pink, and successfully did so by standing on pink and red at the same time. This showed to me that I successfully designed the prototype to draw upon users innate skills. Hopefully this would be the same for others in the target audience, however, more testers would be needed to see if these participants are actually representative of the broader audience.

Once my cousins had become familiar with how to use the prototype, I gave them a few specific tasks to complete:

1) Outline the circle in the top corner

2) Colour the circle in orange

3) Colour the tree in green

4) Draw your own image on the canvas

Both of the testers were able to complete the tasks without hesitation and actually completed them together collaboratively, also demonstrating that the objective of facilitating collaboration was achieved. To create the green and orange, they worked together by each stepping on a single colour pad. Whilst they didn’t get the correct combination for green straight away, they tested different combinations and finally came to the correct combination of yellow and blue. This also demonstrated that the objective of teaching colour theory (primary colours that mix to create other colours) was achieved. Overall, the testing session went really well and only one minor issue was found where the mixing of blue and black was set to the wrong colour.



Getting the prototype completed, tested and revised this week was a big relief as I still have until next Wednesday to finalise any elements. As I couldn’t get access to a large touchscreen for the prototype, I am having to use my computer screen. Although it doesn’t allow for touch interaction, my cousins who tested it still seemed to enjoy the interaction and I feel that it doesn’t negatively impact the form too much. I am pretty happy with the final prototype and look forward to presenting it at the exhibit next week.

It was also really great this week to be able to observe target users actually interacting with the prototype as it proved lots of the findings discovered through team and individual research. The testers showed active collaboration, engagement with the concept and clear communication when problem solving, all behaviours that were expected due to research and aided in the learning of colour theory. This not only supports the strong relation of my concept to our team domain, but to the broader studio context as well.

Over the next week, my main goals are to complete videos for my portfolio, finish my portfolio content, fix any development issues with my portfolio and get started on my section of the team report.

Week 12

Jessica Jenkinson - Sun 7 June 2020, 9:37 pm
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 7:07 pm

This week I got started on the actual build of my mat after finally getting all of the necessary materials last week. Unfortunately, most of the materials I hoped to use were sold out due to low stock from Covid-19 so I had to compromise with some of my materials. I went to numerous places to find soft foam such as an exercise mat such as this one: but all were sold out. I eventually ended up with some foam board which I still was able to use to make the mat.

Firstly I did a test with one of the buttons and experimented with a few approaches. As I couldn’t find any softer foam, I ended up only being able to use the foam board I had purchased. I therefore had to rethink my design a bit and attached cut outs of the board to the colour pads.


This approach actually worked very well as the intended colour messages were being received and sent to Unity. Obviously, with more access to resources I would have constructed this more effectively but in the circumstances is still managed to achieve the intended outcomes.

At first, I approached the design by attaching the wires to the bottom of the cut-out, however, as the wire was thicker where it hadn't been stripped, this was being pressed down onto the foil instead of the actual wire. After this I tried a different approach through threading the wire from above the cut out. I made a diagram to plan how I was going to actually create the buttons:


I started by cutting out circles where every colour pad would be placed to serve as the gap that would allow room for the button to be pressed down and spring up when not pressed. I then attached sheets of aluminium foil on the bottom of the board as the ground. These were all attached so that I didn’t have to connect a new ground cable to every single button, and instead just attached one as every "ground" foil was attached. I attached the two sheets using some copper tape. As the foil is very fragile and would be easily pierced when the button was pressed onto it, I also attached some plastic sheets along the entire bottom of the mat to protect the foil.


The board cut outs then served as the "button" with the wire coming from the Arduino attached. Each cut out was pierced to make a small whole in the centre to insert the wire. The wire was then sticking out below the button but still high enough that it wasn’t touched the foil unless pressed down. The button was also propped up on each side by some cardboard to prevent the button touching the foil when not being pressed. This means that when pressure is applied, the middle is forced down so that the wire touches the foil, detects an input, and then returns to the normal positioning when the user removes their foot. The visual colour pads were then added above the cut outs using double sided tape.


I also had to alter my Arduino code from the first prototype demonstration as it used capacitive touch. The aim was to turn them into buttons that detect whenever one of the pads is stepped on. One of the Twisted team members, Michelle, had also implemented similar functionality and assisted me with changing my code. The core functionality remained the same in that every time a colour was selected, a byte message was sent to Unity. I also decided to keep the "colour mixing" in Arduino instead of Unity by detecting when multiple pads were stepped on and then sending a separate byte, representative of the mixed colour.

By the end of the week, I pretty much had my entire mat element completed which was a big achievement. I also started to look into how I would approach the 'selection' element of the concept. As discussed in previous journal entries, I am going to include shapes on the Unity scene for the colours to be applied to instead of having users colour in their own drawing segments. To do so, I have to figure out a method of determining which shape the colour should be applied to. Currently, when I use the mat, every shape changes its fill colour. After talking to Clay and Alison in the workshop, they mentioned that I could use selection or toggle to allow users to click and select a shape. I looked into these options and found some related forums:

After looking into both of these options, they didn’t seem too suitable for my needs so I decided to try a different approach and focus on getting users to hover over the shapes rather than clicking on them. This would also present as less of an interruption to the user experience throughout interaction. After looking into this option, I found the OnMouseOver function which detects when the mouse is hovered over a game object:

This allowed me to then create a "selectedGameObject" which was the shape being hovered over, and the only shape to which the fill colour changes would be applied to. The functionality isn't working 100% accurately so I plan to ask one of the tutors about this in the coming week.

For my new "colouring-in" approach, I also needed to make some outlines that outlined the shapes in Unity for the users to trace over. I had many different ideas about what kind of scene to create - either a very complex image that allowed users to colour in specific shapes, or a more simple image to align with the theme of creative freedom. I decided to go with the latter option, and create a very simple landscape so that users could fill in the white space with their own drawings. Although this does slightly hinder the idea of total creative freedom, by leaving a lot of blank space I believe it still provides the opportunity for open-ended interaction as well as a playful experience.


I was inspired for this element by similar online colouring in activities that I used to love as a child, such as the Disney ones:



I am really happy with my progress this week, with most of my build and functionality working. This has given me a lot of time next week to finish my portfolio and make improvements on my mat. I haven't had too much time this week to focus on my web development due to my main focus being on the build and coding. However, I am to complete most of my website over the weekend.

My main aim for this course, as discussed in my first journal post, was to improve my development skills as I am not a very confident coder. I feel that I am making good progress to achieve this aim as I have been able to implement most intended elements thus far. Whilst there are some issues with the prototype functionality I am feeling more confident in my abilities.

My main concern at the moment is with my mat. Whilst I was able to build it this week, I had to do so with quite limited resources. My original plan was to have a layered mat with foil for ground, cardboard as a separator and foam on the top of the mat to allow movement in the buttons. Due to very low stock of various materials, I had to compromise and construct the mat with a piece of foam board. Whilst the mat seems to currently function well, it could definitely be more durable. Considering that I will likely be the only person using the mat, I don't feel that this is a massive issue, however I would definitely use more sturdy materials if they were available. Nevertheless, I am happy with my prototype build so far considering the unprecedented circumstances.

Over the next week I aim to fix any issues that come up with my code as I know that there is definitely still room for improvement. I am also continuing to work on my portfolio and hope to get the bulk of my web coding done over the weekend.

Week 11

Jessica Jenkinson - Mon 25 May 2020, 10:06 am
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 7:29 pm


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':

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:



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 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.

Imgur Imgur

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.

Week 10

Jessica Jenkinson - Mon 18 May 2020, 2:13 pm
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 7:48 pm

Prototype deliverable:

This week I submitted the prototype video and documentation. Overall, I was very happy with the stage my prototype was at for submission and feel that my documentation and video displayed my concept and progress well.

My demonstration video is linked below:

My current prototype provides a pretty accurate depiction of the final intended functionality and form, apart from being on a smaller scale. My colour mixing was very time consuming due to the method I used, although I wasn't able to get any more efficient methods working in time.

Next week, I am going to find some more ways to do this, probably using an equation to mix the chosen colours. If not, I will continue with the method of manually inputting each outcome colour for a selection. I will also focus on making a more durable, larger mat to more accurately display the intended form. I also need to purchase some more wire so that the sensors can be extended to reach each colour pad on the larger mat.

One issue I can foresee is my lack of a large screen to match the upscaled prototype. I have been using a Microsoft Surface up until now for the screen which worked well with the A4 sized mat. I may have to compromise the final form of the concept due to this issue and may not even have access to the Surface for the final submission as it is not my own device. I have talked to Alison and Clay about this issue and they said that as long as I can somewhat convey the intended interaction it is completely fine.

I did a drawing to depict the intended final form of the prototype so that I could visualise each element and start planning how I wanted to make the mat:


I have also been looking in to some existing "interactive mats" and found a really interesting one that is an interactive yoga mat: I love the lights incorporated into the mat and how they provide instant feedback based on the users movement. While I might not end up building a similar concept, it really inspired me and broadened my view of the possibilities for an interactive mat concept.



This week in both the studio and workshop we worked on our team appraisals. My team, Twisted, started by watching through all the videos and writing our individual comments in a spreadsheet. We then assigned an equal amount of critiques per member to be written up based off the collective comments. I thought all of the concepts were very innovative and fit well into the studio and individual team domains. It was really cool to see everyone else's interpretation of the studio and team domains as thus far, I have only really been exposed to my teammates concepts which all focus on the same theme of creative learning.

My appraisals:

I found that the appraisals I received on my prototype were very helpful and identified some very insightful points that I have failed to identify myself. The main points of feedback I received are as follows:

Appraisal 1:

- Your overall concept might be too complex for a younger child, maybe this is something you can test

- The prototype is heading the right direction but it might need to be adapted to something that a child can use with very little to no knowledge about colours

- The demo made us ask a few things, what if the kids started drawing different shapes at the same time? Will the colours get mixed up? How does the system handle it?

- It wasn’t very clear on how this concept can teach kids about colour. Finding a way to measure what they learnt might be beneficial for preschool teachers to know if their students have learned anything.

I found these suggestions very helpful and will try to implement them as best as possible. However, due to a lack of resources, skills and money, some of these will not be able to be implemented. With regard to the system being too complex for the young audience, I have tested it with children in the target age range and they were able to successfully understand the interaction and complete given tasks. If possible, I would complete testing on a wider range of target users but due to restrictions I cannot see any way to do so. Children currently don’t need any pre-existing knowledge of colours, and from testing, it has been observed that children will explore the system and manage to learn how to use it themselves.

With the questions around the technical issue of multiple users drawing at the same time, the current functionality is so for a couple of reasons. Firstly, with the resources available to me, the drawing feature only allows for one user to draw at a time. Furthermore, this has been decided to enhance the collaborative focus of the concept. If children could individually draw their own images, they are likely to keep an individual focus instead of working together on one subject. As there is only one mat, this could also lead to disputes over who gets to colour their image first.

Finally, the concept teaches colour through providing students with the platform to explore primary colours and the results that come when they are mixed. E.g if they step on blue and yellow at the same time they realise that this makes green. Although this seems simple, it is a critical step in visual art education to learn how primary colours can be mixed to create other colours. Measuring this objective was outlined in my documentation where I noted that teachers could ensure learning through testing students on their knowledge, asking students to list what colours would go into a final colour option.

Some of these suggestions hint to me that my demonstration was not clear enough in some aspects. Potentially, the video alone was not enough to convey the nuances of my concept design which is understandable. I feel that if my documentation was read as well, understanding of my concept and the rationale behind decisions would be clearer.

Appraisal 2:

- One team member suggested that the current functionality only works for one element to be coloured at a time.

- Another team member suggested can the users erase the drawing or revise what they have on the screen.

- We also thought an issue that may arise in the future after you get the colouring to work with the free drawing is non-enclosed spaces. As children aren’t the best drawers, they may try to draw a circle but not fully connect it. You may be able to fix this by adding something that connects the line to the nearest node.

- You could add a feature where the children can select a pre-drawn image segment and then fill in each part in their group.

- In saying this, how can the images be exported in case the children want to show their parents or take their creations home?

Some of these suggestions overlap with those previously discussed. An eraser is a really good suggestion that I will try to implement for the final deliverable. I have tried including a reset button, but seeing as this would remove all previous designs I decided to discard it. The non-enclosed shape issue is a very valid point. I will try to figure out how to connect nodes as suggested, however, I am not sure if I will be able to implement this.

With the last two suggestions, although including pre drawn shapes would remove some issues, this would be detrimental to the main focus of creative freedom and self expression. Being able to export their creations would be a great idea, I don't think this will be at the forefront of my focus for this project.

Appraisal 3:

- You did not explain clearly where you want your device to be placed. We don’t know if it's in a classroom or a museum, etc. If this device is more portable, we think it will attract more users of different ages.

- We suggest that you may be able to add a cancel or return function to your device.

- The colour on the panel could be better arranged. It could be a half-circle around the point the user is standing.

- The selection of the colours also could be re-considered. Like, it might be a good idea to refer to the colours in colour pencils.

The first suggestion raised a really good point that I forgot to include in the video. Whilst I explained that the concept was to be situated in Grade 1 classrooms in my documentation, I should have also included it in the video. Instead of a cancel or return function, I will try to add an erase option as mentioned in another appraisal. I think the colour palette design suggestions are very creative, yet testing so far has supported my current design and I think a simple design will be the most effective for the young audience


The appraisals provided me with a great opportunity to reflect upon the successes and drawbacks of my current prototype. Lots of the points raised were very good points, and ones that I would have liked to incorporate into the prototype. However, due to resource limitations, have not been able to as yet. This only gives me more points for motivation to improve my prototype. The appraisal exercise also brought to light the immense benefits of receiving constructive criticism from those who have a fresh perspective. Working on the concept constantly has definitely meant that I haven't picked up on some clear areas for enhancement. The feedback is also so helpful as it is coming from other students who also understand the context of the problem. I have experienced times where I ask friends or family for feedback or suggestions, yet don't end up receiving much help due to their lack of knowledge regarding the course and the project context.

Overall, I am really happy with the current progress of my report and feel that I have already learned so much about the domains and design process in the context of a physical computing project. I am eager to get started on building my full-scale mat over the coming weeks and plan to do up a sketch of how I am going to build the mat over the weekend.

Week 9

Jessica Jenkinson - Tue 12 May 2020, 4:24 pm
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 10:01 pm

This week I continued my prototype build and worked on my prototype documentation and video for the submission next Monday. I am quite confident with my progress so far on the various deliverables and understand the rest of the work to be completed well - I have made myself a clear plan of how I am going to structure my documentation and what content I am going to include in my video.


This week we again did a report back and split into our groups afterwards. My team had a few questions regarding the documentation that we discussed with Lorna. As our team is all working on individual directions, we split off to continue our work after this. I continued to work on implementing my colour mixing code. I cam across an issue where mixed colours would flicker with the two individual primary colours, so I will ask Alison and Clay about this in the Friday workshop.


This week in the workshop I was having some issues with my colour mixing and got some help from Clay and Alison. In my void loop, I have an if statement to display colours when the colour pad is pressed and then separate if statements if two colours are pressed. My issue was that each time I wanted two colours to mix, it would do so, but also loop through and show both individual colours as well which created a flickering on the Unity display. I eventually discovered that it was doing so because I had never said that when two colours are pressed, the individual colours should also not be displayed. I ended up solving this by making each colour display if it was pressed and all other colours weren't pressed e.g. if the cap touch reading for red is > 80, every other colour has to be <80.


As I have already completed most of my core functionalities for my functional prototype, I focused on implementing all colours on the mat and making a small scale version of the mat to connect my capacitive touch sensors. I made the mat very simple as I know I will be making a full-scale, durable mat later in the semester. I simply printed out 8 circles for each of the primary colours and tones and stuck them onto a A4 piece of paper.


I used the cap touch example and also the Free Draw asset to create the drawing function: (2020). Arduino Playground - CapacitiveSensor. [online] Available at:

Foolish Mortals. (2020). Free Draw. Available at:

Last week I had only completed colour mixing for red, yellow and blue so I implemented all 8 colours throughout the week. Currently, I simply have if statements in Arduino that write a number to the serial port and a separate number for each 2 colour combination. This meant I had to write a large number of If statements for only 2-colour combinations. As I know this method works, despite being very inefficient, I have decided to use it for this delivery and then investigate more efficient methods of colour mixing for the final prototype - I will try and do this by making a method that automatically mixes the selected colours.

I also decided to use capacitive touch sensors because the small scale prototype will require users to use their fingers to select colours. Capacitive touch is very accurate at detecting touch so is a good method of detecting when colours have been pressed. I am aiming to create a larger prototype for the final delivery using the mat from my visual prototype and instead use buttons or pressure sensors to detect when a colour is stepped on.


This week I also created my visual representation prototype so that I could accurately illustrate the intended form and interaction in my video. I did so using a Twister mat with my specific colours attached on top.


Twister has been one of the main inspirations for this concept and I really wanted to incorporate the fun and playful atmosphere that Twister creates into my own concept. The initial probe I conducted highlighted that young students highly value the theme of "play". Combined with the studio domain that calls for "playful" interactions, I aim to create playful experiences as much as possible with my prototype. I am also making the assumption that some users will recognize the similarities between Twister and Twisted, and in turn, immediatly assume that multiple users can interact with the prototype at once. This will help in aligning with the team domain in that collaboration will be facilitated through use.


Once I was happy with my prototype and couldn't find any issues with functionality, I got two of my family members to test it. I gave them a set of tasks to test how they would draw and make various colours. All functionality worked well and didn’t indicate any technical errors. The only feedback was that it was pretty rudimentary and could get boring. I think this was mainly because the testers were much older than the target audience and their interests were therefore very different to what I have designed for. Nevertheless, I will look into ways to make interaction more involved and exciting.



I received feedback from the proposal report this week which included a suggestion that I look into something that leverages and expands on the movement intention such as potentially incorporating time pressure/speed or having moving objects. As I received this feedback when I had already made significant progress on my prototype I haven't yet implemented any changes. I like the idea of moving drawings however, and this will definitely be something I will look into for future versions. I like the idea of the interactive wall "coming to life" with moving drawings e.g. Birds flying around the screen and plants moving in the wind. I will look into this more once I have finished this next delivery. This addition is supported by the prototype testing where a user said that the interaction seemed slightly rudimentary as it would add another level of interest and interaction. It would also align will with the broader studio context and make the concept for playful and novel. It does seem like it will be quite hard to implement so it will be explored more later in the project if time permits.

The progress made this week has made me confident for the prototype submission next week. The coding issue was leading to quite a lot of frustration so it is a big relief to have fixed that issue. This minor obstacle helped me to develop better work strategies however, as I recognized that I needed tutor help and moved on to the documentation until I could receive assistance in the workshop. In doing so, I saved myself a lot of time that I could have spent stressing unnecessarily about the issue, and instead solved the problem efficiently. When the development starts getting more intense towards the end of the semester, this is definitely something I need to keep in mind to save myself unnecessary frustration.

The progress I have made this week has also been very rewarding as I am now seeing how my physical prototype really reflects the desired outcomes and broader studio context. The prototype certainly creates a playful experience, and provides open-ended interaction, both focal points of my inquiry. My family members who tested it also said that it was a new and interesting type of technology which supports that it provides "novel" interaction - another great achievement in aligning well with the studio domain. Overall I can see my prototype aligning well with the studio domain, team theme and team domain which I consider a great success.

Over the next week I will finish the final element of my prototype (implementing the changes to fix the glitch), finish off my documentation and make my demonstration video.

Week 8

Jessica Jenkinson - Fri 1 May 2020, 3:31 pm
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 11:20 pm

This week I have continued to build my functional prototype. I began with my Arduino code which uses capacitive touch to detect when a certain wire is in contact with a conductive material (the users finger in this case). I have started with just 3 sensors to test the functionality before I implement all 8 for each of the 8 colours. I have done the sensing by reading when a cap touch value is above a certain number and then sending a byte message to the serial port e.g.

if (redPin > 100) {



I then did this for each of the sensors with a different Serial.write(x) number for each colour. For colour combinations, I sent a new number for each combination where the two readings were simultaneously above 100. This then meant that for each colour/combination of colours, a representative byte message was sent to the serial, to eventually be read in Unity and translated to a material colour.

In Unity, I then made a function, ChangeColour, which reads the byte message from the Arduino and then changes the shape material colour based on the message.


I then set up Arduino-Unity connection which has enabled me to show the selected colours on Unity. I used this youtube tutorial as a guide: It helped me massively in successfully sending my serial outputs to Unity.

Achieving this means that I have now set up my core functionality and interaction that I aimed to have finished in time for the next prototype deliverable. I am now focusing on the second core functionality which is mixing the selected colours in order to teach users about the topic of colour theory and colour mixing. This element will also help to facilitate problem-solving and communication, as users will have to apply mathematical reasoning to figure out which colours need to be mixed to create the desired colour. Collaboration will also hopefully be fostered as multiple users can each select a different colour pad to together create a new mixed colour.I am aiming to do this through Colour.Lerp which will allow me to show the colours gradually mixing. I testing this method out and found that it works really well. Each number that represents a combination of colour, will be read in Unity and the two seperate colours will each be defined in the Colour.Lerp statemen, with a level of 0.5 each, so that the consequent colour is an equal mix of each of the selected colours.


I have also started work on creating my small-scale mat and connecting my capacitive touch sensors to the respective colour pads. Under normal conditions I would have liked to create a more durable mat, however due to the fact it will not be getting heavily used and the project budget has now been quartered, I have decided to create the visual representation mat using a Twister mat and my own custom colours stuck on. Twister was the initial inspiration for the interaction mode of Twisted and therefore it seems fitting to use the Twister mat in order to represent the concept design and interaction. I also gained inspiration for the small-scale prototype from existing concepts that use fingers to represent larger environments on a small scale. The first thing that came to mind was the finger skateboarding videos that I used to watch:



I am pretty happy with my progress this week as one of my biggest worries approaching this project was my lack of confidence for coding. With support from various sources and tutor assistance, I actually managed to get the majority of my coding complete this week. I am quite relieved that I was able to do so quite easily and feel that I have learned a lot already about coding for a physical computing style project. The main issue I could forsee was my Arduino-Unity connection. As I didnt have to do this for Digital Prototyping, it was a bit daunting for me. After watching some Youtube tutorials I realised that it really wasn't too complicated and managed to implement it very easily. Reflecting back to my main weakness and goal at the very beginning of the semester, I feel that I have already made great progress in improving my confidence with coding. Being able to complete all of the necessary programming for this prototype has boosted my confidence and even enhanced my interest in coding.

For next week, I need to implement all 8 colour pads as I only have 3 working at the moment. This shouldn't pose too many issues as it will be copying and editing code as opposed to writing new elements. I have also allocated most of the weekend to work on my prototype documentation.

Week 7 - Individual Prototype Work

Jessica Jenkinson - Fri 24 April 2020, 5:26 pm
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 11:35 pm

  • A detailed explanation of my individual concept can be found in my Week 5 journal entry.

This week I continued on from my work done over the mid-sem break. Over the break, I started working on my prototype by firstly conducting casual interviews, looking into research and beginning to build my prototype.

As my concept is aimed towards Grade 1 students, I aimed to interview both students in this age group and teachers or educational workers that have experience in this cohort. I have two cousins aged four and six that roughly fall into this target age group. Optimally, I would have hoped to gain insight into many students specifically in grade 1 however current Covid-19 restrictions have made this difficult. I began by getting my cousin's parents to ask them simple questions similar to a cultural probe to determine how potential users react to the concept and interaction. I showed them my current mock-up of the intended design and recorded their thoughts when shown the design. Their responses were positive and supported that the concept was appropriate for their age group, noting that it looked fun and even started listing things they would want to draw and favourite colours they would create. These responses were amazing to receive in that they supported my current concept design and allowed me to see links between concept and the broader studio domains. It was observed that objectives such as learning colour theory, collaboration, communication and playful and open-ended interaction were all being facilitated.

I also have access to gaining information from two primary school workers. I am currently writing up an interview testing plan so that I can affectively interview these people to gain information and inform my project design. I was eventually able to run the interview over Facetime and gained some really helpful information that supports all the research I have undertaken into related literature. The main points I was able to take away from the interview, was that creative learning is not focused on in schools much at all, and that very structured pedagogical practices are currently being used. The full transcript of the interview can be seen in my prototype documentation.

I have also spent a considerable amount of time researching online sources and examples for Arduino and Unity elements I expect to implement in my design. This includes elements such as capacitive touch sensors for pressure mats, colour mixing, touch screen drawing on Unity and building Unity on an iOS device.

- Arduino outputs to Unity (

-Drawing on Unity (

I have begun to implement these core functionalities of my design and will continue to do so after receiving assistance and resources from my teammates and tutors. In this week's studio my team discussed our progress in our breakout room and were able to share helpful resources and research findings with each other. Michelle and I are both using touchscreen drawing in our concepts and she was able to share a helpful tutorial on how to implement this feature:

Build Progress:

I have begun building my Arduino element using multiple capacitive touch sensors that will be connected to my interactive mat. I am now currently working on making the sensor outputs determine the colour displayed on my unity seen. As seen below, I have connected each sensor to a specific pin using resistors:



For the prototype demonstration deliverable, I am aware that it is unlikely I will have a fully functioning prototype because of various restrictions. Due to this I am going to create a functional prototype that includes core functionalities and create a separate prototype that represents the intended visual design and can be used to demonstrate the intended interaction. This visual prototype will be a full sized prototype of the concept while my functional prototype will be significantly scaled-down in order to effectively display the core functionalities of my concept.

Whilst I haven't made much progress on the functional prototype yet, the research I conducted over the break has definitely given me clarity on both the conceptual and technical elements of my concept. The feedback from the teaching staff interview highlighted the lack of open-ended learning experiences in primary schools which was solidified my decision to pursue the focus avenue of creating open-ended experiences. The technical research has also helped me enormously in managing my time and being able to create a plan for implementation. Coding is one of my weaknesses and being so prepared before implementation has enhanced my confidence now that I am approaching the prototype build.

My main aim for the next week is to start the Arduino and Unity code, and hopefully get the Unity-serial communication working so that I can view the colour selections on my digital interface.

Week 6 - Report

Jessica Jenkinson - Mon 13 April 2020, 6:46 pm
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 11:43 pm

The due date for the project proposal report is this Thursday and the majority of work this week was focused around completing it. Team Twisted had our usual Tuesday meeting where we brought up and queries or issues we were experiencing and discussed them with the team. A small issue I found when writing my individual report was the ordering of the structure. I found that through firstly explaining my change in focus, I had to bring up the reasons why these changes were made. When I then wrote my response to feedback section, I felt I was repeating large portions of the previous section. This was again the same with the discovery and project constraints. I discussed this with Lorna in the Wednesday studio and she approved using phrases such as "as discussed in the previous section" so that I would not have to reiterate certain sections.

In the studio we did a report back where I explained my finalised concept and talked further with my team afterwards. During the studio we worked on two activities. Firstly, we explored new way to conduct observations with the aim of observing passengers on commuter trains. This exercise prompted me to think about novel ways of conducting research and testing in the midst of a pandemic. Methods I highlighted included, using footage on social media, role plays, news footage, live streams, or body camera videos. All of these methods are very effective in place of normal methods and I will consider using them in my own project.


We also completed a mind map for our projects from a team perspective that got us to think about various elements of our concept:

Imgur Imgur

Afterwards, we predominantly worked on finishing our report and preparing it for submission. The most helpful section of the report for me was doing the project plan for completion as it has aided me in planning my progress and required resources for the rest of the project.


Due to the report taking up most of my time this week, I didn’t get too far with my prototype. I did, however, do some investigation into the screen I could use to represent my "interactive wall". I have an iPad at home which would be perfect so I will aim to use that. I did some research into apps that allow users to draw such as Procreate, Sketch and Affinity and drew some inspiration from the methods and techniques that users can employ to create art.


On a conceptual level, the studio activities really helped me to flesh out my concepts and consider the various aspects that make up Twisted. When writing on our graph, each member listed information specific to their own concept. This was really interesting as it allowed me to see our different interpretations of the same overarching team domain, and even gain ideas from my fellow team mates.

The other studio exercise was also very useful and topical and allowed me to explore various forms of research to enable a successful background survey, even in a global pandemic. I will definitely be using some of the techniques later in the project when I have to complete user testing.

I am still unsure as to how I could then connect this to Unity to allow users to colour it in through using the Arduino buttons - I'll ask one of the tutors once classes resume after the midsem break.

Over the break I am going to start making buttons for the interactive mat and experiment to see what materials will best work for the buttons. I have previously used copper tape which worked well so hopefully I am able to buy some of that.

Week 5 - Individual concept

Jessica Jenkinson - Sat 4 April 2020, 10:50 am
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 12:23 am

This week my team, Twisted, continued our report writing, focusing first one the group section of the report. I finished my "response to feedback" after discussion with my team in our group meeting about how we wanted to respond to the feedback we received. The main areas that we received feedback on were:

  • Addressing colour blind/visually impaired users
  • Creating a more open-ended interaction experience
  • Defining a specific curriculum to focus our inquiry on

I therefore conducted research into these areas and consulted with my team mates to decide how we could best improve upon these areas.We had a Zoom team meeting on Tuesday to check in with each other regarding our team report progression and ideation for an individual concept.

Individual concept:

I originally wanted to go down the path of exploring alternate/further interaction modes as Clay suggested in his feedback on our pitch e.g. twisting or jumping on the mat to adjust saturation etc. After spending some time exploring this avenue, I realised there wasn’t much I could adjust if I still wanted to keep the Twister mat, which I am keen to keep in my concept. Instead I decided to change my focus to another aspect we were indicated needed improvement, which was creating a more open ended experience to adhere to the studio theme. After reflection, I realised our initial concept did not allow open ended interaction as it was very structured and inputs were either right or wrong. I think this is because we were designing a concept for use in schools and tried to replicate common educational techniques. I instead want to alter Twisted so that users can freely explore their creativity without negative reinforcement and employ more creative processes to also align better with out team theme, 'creative learning'.

To address this, I have ideated for a concept that instead allows students to create their own drawings on an interactive wall which they can then colour in using the same mat presented in Twisted. The new concept will still focus on teaching colour theory and fostering collaboration and inclusion in Grade 1 classrooms, but will create a less structured learning experience than the initial Twisted concept. The original concept required inputs from students that would be deemed as incorrect/correct, which inhibited creative freedom for students and fostered a narrow user experience. The students will now create their own subjects to colour-in through using their hands to draw on the interactive classroom wall. Once a student has drawn their image outline, they then need to touch the drawing to select it and then move to the mat to colour in the various segments. There has been some changes made to the mat including the removal of the 'less', 'more' and 'apply' buttons. These buttons made it difficult for single user scenarios and would also be unnecessary with the new intended palette. The new colour palette will include all variations of primary colours that act as the basis to create any shade. These colours are; warm blue, cool blue, warm red, cool red, warm yellow, cool yellow, white and black. Not providing students with any premixed colours (e.g. green or purple) will force them to discover how to make these colours themselves and explore tonal variations to better understand colour theory. The interaction will also consequently be slightly different. Instead of having to select the 'apply' button, the colour will appear on the wall as soon as the user stands on a colour/s. They can then combine colours by either; following the 'Twister' interaction mode by using multiple limbs to select different colours, or by collaborating with classmates to mix different colours. This provides the students with further opportunities for colour and artistic exploration and freedom. Despite the concept being less structured, students will still gain the same benefits from discovering how primary colours can be combined to create new ones. They will also be encouraged to employ creative processes such as experimentation and hypothesizing, which will support the team theme of creative learning. Below is a basic sketch of the new concept:


The main inspiration for my individual concept is the Team Lab Sketch Aquarium:

I was lucky enough to actually visit one of the Team Lab exhibits in Tokyo of the Christmas break and was amazed by their installations that comprised of various forms of colour and light to create immersive experiences. When initially ideating phys comp concepts, I was very eager to draw inspiration from the Team Lab exhibits and did some research into their diverse range of installations. One I found, the sketch aquarium, aligned unbelievably well with the studio and team domains.


The Sketch Aquarium allows children to draw a fish and see it transform into a moving digital version on the virtual aquarium wall. The idea of a large interactive wall in Twisted was influenced by this concept as I loved that way that all children could view the collective display of their individual creativity.

In the Wednesday studio, we went through each team's progression as well as individual progression and concerns for the project. I discussed my concern with Lorna regarding development with limited resources, less access to tutor help and team member support. I have been restricting my ideas based on what I feel is achievable at this point which is limiting my potential for good concepts. Lorna advised me to disregard implementation during the ideation phase so that no good ideas are disregarded due to implementation concerns. As I had already come up with my new concept but was worried about developing it, I decided to go through with it and draw upon course support and research in future to help with development.

In Friday's workshop, we went through a similar process discussing our progress. My team also discussed our individual focus/concepts with Alison and Clay in our breakout room. I discussed my implementation concerns again with Alison who suggested I could use a touch screen device to mimic my interactive wall for my prototype. This made me feel a lot more comfortable about going forward with this concept. She also suggested I could do a small scale prototype which I drew out as a basis for research so I know what I will have to develop:



After talking to the course staff about ways to simplify the prototype build, I feel a lot less anxious about having to create the prototype on my own. I was banking on the fact that I would have support from 3 other team members at the start of the semester, so now doing the project individually is quite daunting. Nevertheless, the design process so far has shown me the immense benefits of research when approaching a problem and I am confident that with resource and tutor support I will be able to make a prototype that aligns with the concept aims.

Being in charge of the "Response to Feedback Section" has also meant that I have been critically reflecting on some areas that we didn't quite nail for the initial prototype pitch. This learning curve has actually been very beneficial in hindsight, as I will ensure in future that I have a comprehensive understanding of the problem space before my next proposal. Additionally, it has motivated me to consider all required themes and domain aspects when ideating a concept e.g. the open-ended interaction wasn't incorporated too well so this will certainly be a focus for future iterations.

Over the weekend I plan to finish my individual section for the report and start research into Arduino colour display and how to connect my buttons to the touch screen.

Week 4 - Pitch & Critiques

Jessica Jenkinson - Sat 28 March 2020, 11:39 am
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 12:37 am

This week we resumed classes online and went through the concept pitches. My group presented our video on Tuesday - Unfortunately I was unable to attend the online class due to work commitments, however I read through all of our feedback and caught up with my team. I also went through some of the Tuesday presentations and wrote comments. During the Wednesday presentations I commented feedback for each concept:

Imgur Imgur

Overall I felt like the concepts were all really interesting and explored great areas of potential under the theme. Some of the concepts even provided me with inspiration and ideas that I could potentially implement in my own concept design.


The peer and course staff comments were extremely helpful and will be used in future to refine and explore particular aspects of our idea. The main areas highlighted in the comments were:

  • Not usable for vision impaired
  • Could have alternate interaction modes
  • Single player use issues
  • Potential for customisable background
  • Alien is static
  • Finding a space in a specific curriculum where it could be integrated
  • Creating a more open ended experience

These areas of concern will certainly be explored further and addressed in the next iteration of the concept.

Over the next week, our team will work on our report - I am allocated to the "response to feedback" section as well as my individual section for the report. The points highlighted through feedback will all be considered and further research will be conducted to address them. Overall, I am happy with our feedback as we also received a lot of positive feedback regarding the interaction mode, storyline and collaborative element and all negative feedback was specific and provided clear suggestions for improvement.

Based off the areas that were flagged in the critiques, I've started to ideate ways to address any issues with the existing version of Twisted. Firstly, In order to make Twisted usable for those who are vision impaired or colour blind, it could be designed to educate these students on what colours are. One way I think this could be achieved is by also incorporating sound into the concept. This could be done by comparing sound pitch to colours - higher pitched sounds for lighter colours and lower pitches for darker colours. Sound could also be added to enhance the learning experience. I was really interested by this pathway and decided to look at some existing concepts - I actually managed to find some really interesting ones on Pinterest:


Research showed that learning colour theory can help children to create links between visual cues and words. In the current concept, users are given only visual cues (goal colour and palette) and no words to link these to. To address this, the colour could be spoken each time someone steps on the mat. This would not only assist with learning but would enable vision impaired students to use it through hearing the words rather than seeing the colours. To further integrate this, each circle could have the colour written above it so encourage word recognition and spelling.


I also want to play around with further interaction modes that expand upon simply applying pressure to the mat. Clay mentioned that we could look into spinning on a colour to instead adjust the saturation. This would be interesting for users and also target coordination and movement. This could be done through different movements e.g. spinning, jumping, walking on the spot. This could also fix the issues with one player - it could remove the action buttons so that instead you can choose the colour and apply it in one action.

Other comments involved the screen interface and that it could be made more engaging and interesting through adding customizable elements. An interesting way to target this could be to allow students to create their own backgrounds/aliens and turn it into a colouring in activity. This would also create a more open ended experience for the students and allow them to further explore their own creativity.

Finally, I'll need to do more research into the current Australian primary school curriculum and find an area where this concept could be successfully integrated. As I am working on the 'response to feedback' section for the team report, I will discuss this space and how it could be integrated. I did some initial research into the Australian and Queensland Curriculum and found some statements that definitely support the introduction of a technology based creative learning initiative.


Receiving such helpful feedback has been a key factor in the improvement of our design already. When reading back over the suggestions, I started brainstorming ways to improve the design and became specifically interested in exploring the topic of open-ended interaction. I feel that there could be some really fun ways to enhance the open-endedness of the concept and think I will pursue this as my individual direction of focus. I did some research and found my inspiration for the week: A great paper on playful, social and open-ended interaction which aligns so well with my chosen focus as well as the broader studio domain: This paper was a key factor in informing my refined design direction going forward.

The next week will be spent conducting more research to inform myself on how to address the outlined weaknesses with the current concept. The result of this will be my section in the team report. I also will work on my individual section once I have solidified my individual concept.

Week 4 - Break

Jessica Jenkinson - Wed 25 March 2020, 8:00 pm
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 12:52 am

This week we've had no classes due to the UQ break, but my group has continued to develop our concept and create our pitch presentation. We decided to submit a pre-recorded video to avoid any technological issues on the day. On Tuesday, we had our first group meeting over Zoom and focused on ideation. Following on from our initial discussion in last week's class, Michelle created a sketch with some developments on our idea. We all really liked her design and decided to continue on with this design. As seen below, the concept teaches children colour theory through using pressure to select and mix colours to create the colour shown on the screen. We have decided to call our idea "Twisted" - Inspired by the similarities it has with the game Twister.


The interaction mode for our idea will be applying pressure by standing on various colours on the palette and the control buttons such as "apply" and "more/less". The screen will have a background colour which will be the 'goal' colour uses will have to create through standing on the necessary colours on the mat. I am happy with how the concept relates to the studio and team domains, in that it certainly embodies the theme of creative learning as user will have to employ a number of creative processes to achieve the goal colour. The interaction is also certainly playful and novel through the interaction of coordinated movement on the interactive mat.

We also developed a background story for the concept to further engage the young audience:


During our group meeting we divided up sections for the pitch to individually work on. I am working on deconstructing creative learning based on our research and extrapolating on target areas such as colour theory and collaboration. This was mainly informed by the research I conducted last week into these topics. I also compiled the video with various sketches, mind maps, diagrams, personas and story boards we created.


Whilst we wanted to make the most of the week break, I still wanted to give myself some time off considering the past few weeks have been quite chaotic. I am really happy with our team's concept and feel that it is a concept I would really enjoy creating. It great that my fellow team mates all seem to be on the same page regarding the desired outcomes of the project and this has meant that we have been able to work together very well so far.

I will keep working on the proposal video, however, I don't want to set many concrete tasks as there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the upcoming semester and what it will hold.

Week 3 - Team Formation

Jessica Jenkinson - Sun 15 March 2020, 5:29 pm
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 1:03 am

On Wednesday we finally were allocated our groups for the project. I had come in to the course with a few people I had worked with in previous courses that were interested in the same topics and themes as me. Unfortunately I did not end up being allocated with these peers and was assigned my second choice, creative learning. Due to previous experiences with group-work-heavy DECO course where I ended up having to pick up a large portion of the work because of absent or unmotivated team mates, I was hesitant to work in a group with people who's work ethics and aims may not align with mine.

After meeting my group, I am pleased as after discussion we all aim to achieve the same result and have similar opinions on time and effort input. My group members are Michelle, Chuike and Autumn. Autumn was absent for most of the contact but arrived as we were discussing our plan for the next week. We initially read through the notes written on the butchers paper from world café and looked through the related concept posters. We all were drawn to the project inspiration idea, "Chroma" and decided we wanted to go in the direction of creative learning through body movements and potentially also focus on teaching colour theory if research support this decision. We decided that our target audience would be primary school children and the intended setting would be a classroom - this will be dependent on if we find supporting research however. Whilst discussing potential concepts, Michelle mentioned incorporating a 'Twister" mat. I loved this idea as it would foster a fun and collaborative environment. As we all liked this interaction mode, we continued to ideate how we could expand upon it. This sparked the initial inspiration of the game Twister. I am drawn to the playful manner of the game and feel that there is much potential for tranformation into a tech concept:


Chuike suggested we complete an initial probe by casually interviewing people we know that would fall into the target audience. Michelle, Chuike and I all have multiple cousins that are primary school aged. I spoke on the phone to my two young cousins and received the following results:


These reponses seem quite limited but actually provided me with valuable information about whats interests primary school students about learning and how concepts should be designed to cater towards this demographic. The main themes evident include "play", being with "friends" and doing physical activities such as "running and jumping" and "glueing stuff". These themes will be used to guide the designs going forward.

I also conducted some research into the area of creative learning and its benefits. I looked into the benefits of learning colour theory and teamwork at a young age. I found information that strongly supported our current loose concept that focused on teamwork, colour theory and creative learning. Using technology to teach creatively is extremely effective as traditional methods can actually restrict learning, especially for those with different learning styles. Learning colour theory is a very valuable topic for young students as it helps to build cognitive links between visual cues and words. Teamwork is essential for early development as it helps with communication, social and emotional skills and can improve self-esteem in children. Therefore, these will also be topics considered throughout the design process.

Imgur Imgur


I feel that I have already learnt quite a lot about our team theme and designing for the target audience, however, I understand that this is just the tip of the ice berg and these topics are all very nuanced and complex. I look forward to exploring the domain and problem space further throughout the semester.

I am also really happy with how the team allocation turned out and am glad that my team members expectations for the course seem to be inlign with mine. This is really important for me as I have had negative experiences in the past where team mates have lower expectations for course outcomes which ultimately means that my grades are impacted.

We plan to meet next Monday for an hour to finalise our concept and prepare our pitch before the initial proposal deliverable.

Week 3 - World Cafe & Bash

Jessica Jenkinson - Sat 14 March 2020, 10:00 pm
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 1:12 am

On Tuesday we completed the world cafe activity. World Cafe involved multiple tables, each with a different theme that a group of us sat at and discussed. The themes on the tables were the themes derived from previous themeing activities that we did in week two. There were multiple rounds involved in world cafe which each went for 15 minutes. At each round people would move to a new table with a new theme and different peers. At each table there was a host who remained from the previous round to inform the new group of the discussion and ideation that occurred in the previous round. The aim of each round was to think into the theme and ideas from the project inspiration and further develop potential concepts under the theme.

The themes I worked on included:

- Musical things

- Creative learning

- Altered landscapes

- Body as controller

- Change through discomfort

The themes I enjoyed working on most were creative thinking and altered landscapes as I found it easiest to come up with creative ideas and potential modes of interaction. For creative learning, my group came up with ideas involving interactive maps, playdough as an interaction mode and using body movements to learn Asian languages. For altered landscapes, I liked the idea of a greenhouse dome to be placed in busy CBD areas with high stress environments where workers could come to spend their breaks and somehow interact with the peaceful environment.

Imgur Imgur

Although I wasn’t able to work on mundane spaces, this is the theme I most want to work on as I am interested in creating a large project using lights and sound - which would enhance any mundane space. Due to this I put my first choice on Mundane spaces. I put creative learning as my second and musical things as my third as I would be keen to work with sound.


In Wednesday's class we listened to a presentation by Bash Isai, a UQ alumni currently working in product development in the UK. Bash talked about various experiences he has had throughout uni and in the workforce he provided valuable tips regarding how to gain employment once you finish your degree. Bash also made us complete an activity that required us to write 50 words about ourselves and what makes us unique. We then went through in rounds and crossed out words that did not describe us eventually being left with only one word. My word for this activity was creativity. I believe my word is an accurate representation of me. Bash asked us to explain why we believe our word represented us, and I believe that this is because I think of everything in life in a creative manner. I enjoy using my creativity and applying it to situations in my social, work and university life to improve everything I am doing. I think this characteristic will also be directly applicable to the processes I will conduct in this course.


This was a really interesting and engaging week in terms of the activities and studios we partcipated in. I really enjoyed the World Cafe as I have been struggling to ideate concepts that align with the studio domain. World Cafe allowed me to just brainstorm my thoughts for each theme without judgement which I feel helped me a lot in ideating new concepts and interaction modes. I actually surprised myself with how many ideas I came up with and even found myself thinking of concepts throughout the week.

I mentioned that I was eager to work on 'Mundane Spaces' as I want to create a really exciting and engaging concept. This is mainly due to my inspiration from a Team Lab exhibit I was able to view while in Tokyo recently. I was intrigued and amazed at their use of light and colour to create beautiful environments in simple, plain, black rooms:


Week 3 - Critiques and Innovate Induction

Jessica Jenkinson - Thu 12 March 2020, 2:39 pm
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 1:19 am


This week we worked further on ideation with a stricter focus on the themes extracted from the theming exercise we completed last week. We also received our project inspiration grades and critiques. I received a pass which I am obviously pleased with. My critique from Lorna was: "I can imagine this being used proactively as well as reactively (mindfulness and meditation). Sound could be an addition to explore". This gave me some food for thought about how I could develop the idea to increase the situations in which it could be used. As in my pitch, the interactive stress ball was intended to be predominantly used when the user it prompted. This could be altered so that it can be proactively used as well when the user recognises that they are stressed and wants to calm down. The other comment mentioned the exploration of incorporating sound into the concept. In my presentation I did include that there would be sound emitted from the ball when it starts pulsing although I didn’t go into much detail about this. I intended this sound to be similar to the soundtracks used in meditation and mindfulness tracks to assist with the goal of relieving stress.

UQ Innovate Induction:

At the start of the week, I completed the UQ Innovate induction. This was good for me as I now know the equipment available to us for the semester and can better understand what my capabilities and limitations are for constructing the project. First we went through the hand tools and learnt how to operate the bandsaw, drill, sander, bead blaster etc. We also were shown the paint shed which will come in handy as I am sure I will have to paint some element of my project. Finally, we completed the laser cutting induction and learnt how to upload the files and print on various programs such as CAD, Illustrator and Carell draw. We discussed some of the safety concerns such as what to do if a fire breaks out and which materials to use.



So far I have actually found it quite hard to come up with concepts that use novel forms of interaction. The studio activities have definitely helped me in broadening my ideas of potential phys comp concepts. I also gained a lot of help looking through some of the concepts posted to the #inspiration channel on slack. I had a lot of fun looking into sci-fi technologies that made appearances in TV shows and movies.


I will continue trying to find sources of inspiration to aid in the ideation process over the next couple of weeks.

Week 2 - Ideation & Critiques

Jessica Jenkinson - Wed 4 March 2020, 11:02 am
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 1:26 am

This week we presented our project inspiration concepts. I did some preliminary sketches when coming up with and developing my idea. This initial design was inspired by the resources I linked in my project inspiration post. I did not make many changes from this design as I liked it and could not see any issues. The initial idea did however have more focus on the light element, with the ball intending to project light around the room creating images on the walls and ceilings. While I think this would be cool, there isn't much justification for it and there is already a lot of sensory aspects:


Throughout the week we watched the rest of the presentations and critiqued each one based on the idea and the presentation. There were many projects which I thought were great ideas and hot the brief, however there were also some that missed elements of the brief. I will think further about some of the ideas I liked and how I can build upon these interactions modes and themes:


After presentations wrapped up on Wednesday, we did some exercises to determine overarching themes that were evident through the ideas generated.


We began by writing ideas that fell under certain themes and stuck these on butchers paper. This provided an overall view of the main reoccurring themes.


After this process, main themes were derived from the listed themes and written on the board. We then wrote ideas under the theme it best matched.

Imgur We then has to place the posters under the theme they were in on the board. My concept fit under the theme "stress relief through physical movement": Imgur

This activity uncovered the prominent themes among the generated concepts and will be used for further ideation. Over the next week I plan to do some brainstorming into the themes and potential concepts that could be developed from them.

Area Induction:

This week I also completed the area induction. We went through the safety information, rules and how to use various pieces of equipment. I have signed on for the Innovate induction next Monday but am yet to find a soldering induction that I am free for. I hope to complete this next week as well. The area induction helped me a lot as I was initially unsure as to the limits of what I could produce with the provided resources. Now that I know what materials and services are available to me, I can better understand what I will be able to create, and enter the ideation phase with a bit more clarity on this matter.


The work done this week was really engaging and provided me with a wide range of diverse themes that I could potentially focus on. Whilst the determination of certain specific themes may be 'constraining' the possibility of concepts, I actually feel that it has helped me a lot to brainstorm for concept idea or interaction forms when I have a defined theme. Over the weekend, I will revisit the photos I took and look into what themes excite me the most, apart from the ones that my interactive stress ball fell into.

Project Inspiration

Jessica Jenkinson - Mon 2 March 2020, 10:14 pm


Stress is an issue that is affecting society more than ever. 72% of Australians admitted that stress affects their physical health and 64% admitted that it affects their mental health. The interactive stress ball is a concept developed to combat this growing issue. The concept involves technology that can detect the stress level of a person in its vicinity. The idea was inspired through research that uncovered the growing prevalence of stress as well as various technologies that focus on stress relief such as "calm technologies". I was also inspired by a current installation called TeamLab that uses sound and light to create a "body immersive" experience.

The stress ball is to be positioned on a surface close to the user and when triggered, through increased user stress levels, it will glow red and vibrate until the user holds the ball. The user can then use the ball as a normal stress ball due to the squishy exterior of the device. On top of this, the ball will emit pulses, noises and light at a certain tempo which the user will have to match their movements and breathing patterns to. Through the stress detecting feature, as the user interacts with the tempo the ball will eventually decide when the users stress is at an acceptable level and return to its normal state. This will continue every time the users stress reaches a certain level determined to be too high.

Stress and Australians - WayAhead. (2020). Retrieved 2 March 2020, from

teamLab Planets TOKYO | Toyosu, Tokyo. (2020). Retrieved 2 March 2020, from

This Interactive Stress Ball Is Better Than Valium. (2020). Retrieved 2 March 2020, from

Written by Steve Veltkamp on September 4, 2. (2020). [Video] Designing Calm Technology in IoT. Retrieved 2 March 2020, from

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:


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.