Documentation & Reflection

Exhibition week

Jiexiang Xu - Mon 22 June 2020, 2:14 pm
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 2:20 pm

Before Exhibition

We arrived at the library three hours in advance for testing. Sure enough, as we predicted, there have been many problems. First of all, due to mistakes in the handling process, a part of the line and the breadboard were disconnected. In addition, there are some wires that have poor contact (because we used to wrap all the wires together for aesthetic reasons, which prevents us from quickly and accurately finding which line has a contact problem), so we spent a long time To solve these problems (disconnect all the wires and recheck the circuit and tape them together). In the end, all preparations were made ten minutes before the exhibition began, and the product was run smoothly.

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Overall, the project is still very successful, because it was affirmed by most people when the final product was displayed. But there is still room for improvement throughout the design phase. Because we have more functions and greater flexibility in user participation (they may not follow the process to operate, such as pouring music from Flask back into the Test Tube/adding the sound from the Dropper directly to Flask), At the current design stage, the user can only operate according to the designed use flow, otherwise the system may not recognize the user's operation. In addition, it is also because the content of the project is complicated. In the design stage, we put a lot of energy into how to rationalize and unify the processes and operations. There is a lack of research on user experience (although we have done some user research. The amount of data we have collected is not sufficient). Research on the user is very important, because it determines whether the product is accepted by the user and the user's preference for the product.

In addition to the improvements at the design stage, there are also areas for improvement in the final product, such as the use of wires and sensors. According to user feedback, the Test Tube cannot be in contact with the dropper during the operation of a regular chemical experiment. However, in order to perform the transmission function, we use a pressure sensor on the Test Tube. The transmission function is triggered when the user touches the inner wall of the Test Tube while holding the Dropper. The operation is obviously inconsistent with the operation of chemical experiments and needs to be improved. Also, we should reduce the use of threads as much as possible, such as the wires in Droppers and Test Tubes. The presence of the wires not only lowers the aesthetic standards but also restricts the user's operation (for example, the presence of the threads in the Dropper prevents the user from holding the Dropper to go outdoors), although we have changed the appearance of the wires (After finishing all the threads, tie them into a bunch with tape).

Although Sound Lab still has many problems, it fits the studio theme. Our products are interesting and have relatively high requirements for users' innovation skills. According to the feedback from the showcase, users feel that it is highly playable. It is a very novel idea to edit music with a combination of sound and experimental equipment. And the process of music creation can really keep them focused, thereby reducing their sensitivity to things that make them feel stressed. In addition, the dim environment and colorful lighting effects make them feel very relaxed.

Concept and Actual

  1. The user can control the length of the recording by pressing the length of the Dropper tip.
  2. Each time the sound is recorded using the Dropper, the lights in the Dropper should be randomly colored. And during sound transmission, the color in the Dropper should be the same as the color in the Test Tube.
  3. The dropper has the function of shielding noise and selective recording
  4. There are multiple melodies within a Jar. The user can switch the melody by tapping Jar.
  1. At present, we can only complete recording within a certain time, such as 15 seconds. Because this part of the code requires deeper logic and stronger programming capabilities, this module cannot be completed.
  2. The random color function in the Dropper can be achieved, but there is no guarantee that the color in the Dropper and the Test Tube will be the same after the transmission is completed. So for the time being, the colors in the dropper and test tube are both red by default. And after completing the transfer process, the light in the Dropper goes off, and the light in the Test Tube lights up. This can also reflect the directivity of the transmission function.
  3. This feature requires third-party music editing software. At present, there is no software on the market that can delete the background sound by a simple operation in a short time, so the simulation scene is applied. During the test, if the user is in a noisy environment, they will be prevented from recording. This means that the recording function cannot be called in a noisy environment.
  4. The function of switching songs is temporarily unavailable, so a melody is stored in a Jar. Multiple Jars can also provide users with a variety of choices.

Product description

The team assignments for this semester have been completed and the functions of the product have been basically completed. Thanks to the team members for their efforts and cooperation during this semester.

Week 12-13

Jiexiang Xu - Mon 22 June 2020, 1:18 pm
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 1:18 pm

Reselection of materials and appearance

Because in the previous feedback, users felt that the wires were too many and unsightly, we tried to hide all of them. But the current equipment is not big enough for us to make more changes, so we try to buy larger materials. Finally, we found the glass test tube in Science Essentials at West End. Because it is a company specializing in the sale of chemical equipment, it offers more choices of test tubes than toys. We put all the wires and sensors that may be used to see the effect and finally decided to buy the one used now. Its size is just enough to put all the wires and sensors inside and there is enough space for us to make changes.


Also because of the beauty and lighting effects (in the last feedback, users said that the lights in the dropper and test tube were not obvious), we tried to paint the test tube wall and the dropper wall with white paint. First of all, compared with other colors, white has better light transmittance and will not appear after the paint is applied, so the user cannot see the situation of the internal lighting. In addition, we also decided to turn off all lights during the show, so that the lights can be relatively more obvious.

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As mentioned last week, we also need to make test tube racks. We found a box. Three holes were buckled on one side of the box to put the test tube, and a whole side of the cardboard was removed to present the test tube. In order to hide the development board and breadboard, we also placed a box behind this box. In this way everything is hidden.

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The remake of the dropper is also a problem. Because we used larger test tubes, flasks and Jar, the original dropper is no longer applicable. I watched it for a long time in Daiso and tried to find a round material that could be pinched as a dropper tip. In the end, I found this cleaning tool. Its head is very similar to the head of a dropper. After removing the brush and putting on the eyedropper (dividing the previous eyedropper into two and leaving only the lower half), it looks very much like a real eyedropper. I moved all the lines from the previous dropper to the new dropper. And an opening was made in the part of the dropper head for the cable (it also looks cleaner). Because the space inside the dropper head is relatively large, and the button is difficult to be fixed, I put a lot of sponges inside to fill the gap. In order to keep the color consistent with other devices, I also painted the dropper white.

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At Jaycar I bought a development board with more interfaces. After changing, we can merge the two boards into one.

Addition of sensors

In the previous prototype, there was another function that was not completed. Play music by shaking. Although Clay said that the same effect can be achieved through the tilt switch (using the number of times of shaking to trigger the function), there is still a difficulty in the actual operation process that cannot be overcome (the secondary trigger cannot be achieved). So I decided to use a shock sensor. A related sensor was searched on Jaycar's official website, and it was bought at Jaycar in Woolonggaba. But whether in the design of the circuit or in the process of writing the code, I tried many ways to achieve the function, but unfortunately all failed. I tried to return to Jaycar and asked the clerk if there was an instruction manual for this module, but the feedback I got was that there was no clerk who knew Arduino could help us. In my opinion, its circuit connection method and code are not different from ordinary tilt switch, but for unknown reasons, it can not be used (I was looking at the shake module in an Arduino sensor kit, its use The same is true). The following is the tutorial URL I refer to


In addition, I also tried to add a buzzer as a reminder tone. For example, when the user transfers the sound from the dropper to the test tube, a beep will sound to indicate the completion of the transmission. But this is also an example of failure. I can't make it sound only for one second or only for one second.

The following is the tutorial I reference

In addition, we also completed the video commentary and the production of the first version of the portfolio.

Next step

  • Prepare for exhibition
  • Portfolio

Week 11

Jiexiang Xu - Mon 25 May 2020, 12:59 am


This week's work seems to have stalled because I and other team members were confused and slacked off after handing in the first prototype. But in fact, the deadline for the next assignment is coming. So next week we need to re-plan future work to ensure efficiency. There hasn't been much work progress this week. We just planned for new materials.

Because the chemical equipment we used in the previous prototypes were all children's toys, they are small in size and not easy to distinguish in appearance, such as beaker and jar. So we discussed whether these materials should be replaced.

For the dropper, because we had expected a similar situation before, we bought more droppers in advance. But after we received the goods this week, we discovered that its volume is smaller than the dropper we are using, which means it is not suitable. But we don't have more time to buy new ones.


In addition, we also tried to find bottles similar to beakers in Kmart and Target, but they were not suitable. We also try to search some professional chemical equipment made of glass on the Internet. But they are all sold in sets (we don't need so many identical experimental equipment). So after the discussion, we decided to give up replacing the equipment and still use the equipment from the first prototype.


As I said in the previous journal, we also need to purchase vibration sensors. We have found the right one.


And, we also need to replace a development board because we need more I/O interfaces. When searching, there are two development boards that meet our needs, but we don’t know what is the difference between these two boards. We asked Clay on slack, but he did not reply. So we will ask others.

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For the beauty of the equipment (this is also our future design consideration), a customized box will be made to place the experimental equipment. It looks like a shelf, but there is space inside for the breadboard and the Raspberry Pi (we will borrow the Raspberry Pi from Lorna to replace the computer, because this Raspberry Pi is similar to a microcomputer). In addition, for the wires installed in test tubes, droppers, beaker and jars, we plan to use tape to wrap them into a thick wire, so that the appearance will not be particularly messy.

Next step:

  • Planning for future progress
  • Purchase the necessary materials
  • Design the appearance of the shelf and try to make it

Week 10

Jiexiang Xu - Wed 20 May 2020, 5:24 am
Modified: Wed 20 May 2020, 5:27 am

The first prototype was completed. I conducted a detailed analysis of the prototype, including video and text. And got some feedback.


Feedback from Demo

After organizing the feedback, I came up with some useful points of information below.

  • Team 1: Noise issues; dripper needs wireless transmission; dripper and test tube avoid contact
  • Team 2: Intended experience not identified; few ways to stimulate user interaction, making the prototype more attractive; pressure sensor not suitable for transmitting sound, and it can be changed to capacitive touch; pressure sensor can be used for volume; LED lighting based on recording time; light color and dimness indicate the type of sound
  • Team 3: Concept of individual contribution is unclear; use of scenes and everyday sound sources is unclear; single sound editing feature does not meet user needs; suggestion to let people take melody from something that is stressful

1. Functionality: noise/more editing

The issue of noise has been mentioned in previous feedback. Our group also discussed this issue and found it to be a difficult one to address. Neither of the previous solutions (using third party software/editing audio files with Python) seemed to solve the problem in terms of implementation (if editing with third party software on a computer, the process wastes too much time and the simulation of the real product is poor / if editing audio with Python, this is a very complex feature as it needs to identify noise and useful sounds, we don't think we can do this with our coding capabilities, perhaps a similar feature or module can be found online), so we put this solution at the end of the project and if there is time we will consider how to implement it.

More editing functionality is also within our design considerations, but this is in the test tube part, not the recording and transmission part. Since this part of my content is basically done (with a very little left to improve), I'll help other group members with their complex content, such as the sound editing features of the test tube. According to the previous concept, the user was basically unable to edit the music. But we'll try to accomplish some simple editing functions, like volume. Hopefully, it will help users have a better experience.

2. Physical interaction: wireless transmission / capacitive touch

One person mentioned that a wireless transmission module should be used in the dropper section. There are 2 questions that get pondered ahead of time: whether it can be put in and whether it's necessary. Because the dropper we use is particularly small and there is no room for other sensors after the buttons and LEDs have been placed (another option is to tape the sensor to the outside of the dropper), there is a need to consider aesthetics as well as necessity. Because the LEDs and buttons must be connected to the development board, this means that it is impossible to be truly wireless (the storage of recordings has also been discussed before and this problem cannot be avoided). In terms of specific productions, we've thought about portability. Using a long line, rather than a short line, enables the user to hold the dropper and move within a certain range. So unless we can address the audio storage and aesthetic issues, wireless transmission will not be considered again for inclusion in our project.

We don't know much about capacitive touch yet. Discussion and research with group members is needed to decide whether to use the feedback. On top of that, there was feedback that the dropper should not touch the test tube for triggering sound transmission (this is standard chemical procedure). We didn't think of a better way to do this, so we used a pressure sensor. But the feedback still raised the issue, which made me need to rethink how to implement the transmit function again.

3. Visual feedback: LED

LED lights were really my next focus in the design direction. The feedback says that the number/brightness of lights on is used to indicate the duration of the recording. It's really one of my future design directions. Because we use a relatively small physical dropper, it's difficult to fit all 3 lights in, so I'm talking to the group about how to solve this problem. My current idea is to swap the LED for an LED strip, but in a previous operation I found that both LED strips could not be used at the same time (I tried to swap the LED in the jar for a strip, but failed. We don't know what it is yet, but it's safe to say that the code part is not a problem. Then it could be a circuit problem). If it is not possible to use multiple LED strips at the same time, we need to think of other ways. Another reason for me to stick with the LED strip is that the color of its lamp is richer, more varied and brighter, and from all aspects, the effect of using it is much better than LED.

4. Concept description: intended experience/personal contribution/use of scenarios/daily sound sources

It's true that the description of these parts was overlooked. Originally, I thought that the introduction of domain space, target audience and sketch of the project at the beginning of the video would give the viewer a general idea of what the whole project is about, but the use of scenarios and intended experience still needs to be introduced. This leads to a bias in the group's understanding of our overall project. They didn't know what everyday sounds were (in the video, we used pictures of birds in place of real natural environments, leading the other group to think we were getting the sounds from the pictures). And through analysis of their comments, it appears that they misunderstand our concept (their comments are also very succinct and do not explain the specifics. I'm confused and unsure about some of the comments), so I'm hoping to have another discussion with their group members to clarify their views on our project.

5. Conceptual change: taking melody from something that is stressful

The suggestion was made to be able to capture the sounds of objects that can cause stress. I don't quite understand why this group would come up with such an idea. First of all, stress normally comes from studies, work, family conflicts, etc. Would it make users feel more stressed and annoyed if they had to listen to these sounds over and over again? (e.g. parental bickering and decorating sounds) (which is not what our project was designed to do. Our design is to hope that through the use of users, their pressure can be relieved). Beyond that, we have literature and app support (certain light music and nature sounds can reduce the user's sensitivity to stress and the user can also choose sounds that make them feel at ease), and is there theoretical support for their idea (I'm guessing it could be that frequent exposure to unpleasant sounds can reduce the user's sensitivity and increase resistance? We may need to do more research on this direction before changing the concept).

Overall, except for the concept change part, the other feedback was all in my expectation. What we accomplished this time around was just the core functionality (collecting, passing, storing, mixing, and deleting music), so there wasn't a lot of sophistication in terms of more visual and sound editing features (which was planned to be refined and designed in the next phase).

Next step:

  1. Discuss the feedback and change some of the concepts
  2. Design for more complex visual effects
  3. the physical part needs to be redesigned to reduce the wires (for now, a box is designed as a test tube holder to hold all the wires inside. The aesthetics of other equipment need to be discussed further)
  4. Purchase vibration sensor and development board with more interface
  5. Discuss feedback with the group EMS

Week 9

Jiexiang Xu - Wed 20 May 2020, 5:22 am
Modified: Sat 23 May 2020, 5:40 am

I have been working on the physics part for the whole week. Because we chose to complete the project in a cooperative manner, we carried out physical construction in the library every day.

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Software part:

Last week most of the problems were solved, after asking other students with IT background. In the original plan, we will create a lot of folders to store audio, but in the actual process of writing code, this step is too much. The audio file generated by the recorder can be stored in a variable, and we can perform user operations by setting instructions. For example, the transfer is to transfer the file stored in the variable A to the empty variable B. In this way, the name of the audio file can be omitted, and the storage location of the file becomes no longer important. For controlling the recording duration by pressing the button duration, this function cannot be solved temporarily, because this student does not know how to implement it. In addition, for the keys that have been said to control the recording function before, the Space is used. However, in the actual design process, the commands output by the Arduino control the execution of the function, so we don’t have to cling to the space bar or ctrl + c to control the execution of the module


In order to make the logic of the command output more clear, I made a table. This table also marks the sensors we will use. The highlight part is the component we need to order.


Physical part:

The entire construction process was fairly smooth. But there was a problem in this process, and let us have no progress for at least 2 days.

After setting up the basic circuit according to the requirements of the design, Lorna said that there are too many wires and they need to be organized to meet the aesthetic requirements. After Clay helped us rebuild the route, a serious problem appeared. He used pull-up resistors to replace some physical resistors, in order to reduce the number of resistors and wires, but there were always some components that did not respond when running. After we checked the circuit and the code, nothing special was found (we tested each sensor and component separately to find the problematic part, but during operation, each component can operate normally, only when combining them together, the problem appeared). After we searched the Internet for a long time and ruled out many possible causes of this situation, the cause of this situation may be due to the addition of pull-up resistors. Some components can only use physical resistance, such as sensors that output analog signals, because it may interfere with other sensors. So after adding a part of the physical resistance, the circuit can run smoothly.

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In addition, we also tried to use the tilt switch to trigger the playback function (originally intended to use the vibration sensor, but Clay said that similar functions can be achieved through the tilt switch and hope that we can try to complete. Based on budget considerations, we also agree to the method). The method given by Clay does not fully meet the needs of our project. In his code, shaking more than a number within 10 seconds can trigger a function. But when the tilt switch is shaken to the second time, it will trigger the transmission function, which is not what we expected. For this problem, it can be achieved by counting, but the code part needs to be changed a lot. We expect this may take a lot of time and it is not suitable to be implemented at this stage (our time is only 2 days left and there are still many parts that have not been completed, such as reports and videos). So this part was abandoned by us, and we still keep reading the value of the pressure sensor to trigger the playback function. Vibration sensors may be used directly in the next stage, because this method seems to be faster.


Report and video section:

Because we are a cooperative project, some content is shared, such as interaction plan, background, domain space and introduction of Sound Lab. The interaction plan for the team and the individual has been designed.

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Next step:

  • Complete report and show video
  • Collect feedback and analyze

Week 8

Jiexiang Xu - Wed 20 May 2020, 2:33 am

Software section:

Last week, I finished the recording feature. But because the code was copied directly from the web, some of its functionality was not met by our project and some of the code needed to be changed to implement other sub-functions that we had planned.

  • Naming of audio files. I found that the name of the audio file generated in the original code was a long string of letters. After looking at the code, I found that only the first few letters of the filename can be changed. For example, the part of the diagram that can be changed is "rec_". The next eight letters are randomly generated and the letters are different each time the recording file is generated. But after looking at the code I didn't see that the relevant information was describing how to generate random numbers.
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  • Storage location of audio files. We have set up a number of folders to store audio, such as "dropper", "test tube", "beaker" and "jar", to make the process easier to understand. This part of the code does the following: (a) store the resulting audio files in "dropper"; cut the audio files in "dropper" to "test tube"; cut the audio files in "test tube" to "beaker"; copy the audio files in "jar" to "beaker". These file moving features are what I need to be done in the next phase.
  • Button controls. The original code was set to CTRL+C to pause the recording. To make it easier and more controllable to connect the Arduino later, when designing the keys, we need to change two keys to the spacebar to control the recording function. After I looked at the corresponding code, I did not find the relevant code. After querying the relevant code, I suspected that the MODE parameter might be related to user control, but after several attempts I did not find a relevant solution.
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  • Duration of recording. In our original design, the duration of the recording was determined by how long the user pressed the dropper. In the code section, however, there is no relevant code found about how the user can control the recording duration by pressing a button. So, after our discussion, this part of the code design will be deferred to the next iteration of the process, where we first default the sound recording time to a fixed value (temporarily set at 10s). This will not affect subsequent development progress.

In addition to these software features, I had some problems with the module installation. pyaudio could not be installed. The reason for this problem is that "portaudio.h could not be found". After I ruled out a lot of possible reasons, it turns out that it might have something to do with the way I installed portaudio. I installed it according to the method given on the official website (via visual studio) (, and the downloaded files are placed on the desktop, so if you install it via the pip command, your computer may not automatically recognize the relevant folder. I later saw in a user's comment that being able to install the WHL file was a good way to do so directly. Since the latest version of the official WHL file is currently 3.6 and my Python version is 3.8, this means that the latest version is not supported. I later downloaded the available WHL on an unofficial channel, but the installation still failed because the WHL file could not be recognized. Eventually, I found a Chinese version of the explanation document ( and went through the installation according to its flow, but it also wasted a lot of my time.

During the installation period, I also tried to use other development environments PyCharm, the previous ones being Python IDLE, which was recommended by lecturer during a previous course of Introduction of Software. However, at this point in time, it's not the most ideal development environment because:

(a) it can't automatically identify and adjust errors/part of the code, which results in wasting a lot of time looking at the wrong code when rewriting it;

(b) it can't collapse the function content, which is also the most painful part for me because the software part has more functions, so it's hard to find a function quickly;

(c) it can't install some special modules, if I need to use a special module, such as pyaudio, then I need to search the tutorial and install, which wastes a lot of my time, but there are many ways to install these modules quickly in PyCharm.

But in the end the reason I didn't use Pycharm was still because I couldn't search for the corresponding WHL, but based on reason a and b, I generally use a combination of the two for development. Write the code in Pycharm and copy it to IDLE to run. Although this approach is more complex, it has helped me to some extent to improve my success rate in writing code.


Physical section:

We met and corresponded with each device, function and sensor. Since in the first phase we only needed to complete the core functions, we removed some functions for the time being (play and delete functions in the test tube) because the type of sensor we had didn't allow us to complete all functions. Although we also tried to replace these two functions with other sensors, such as photoresistors, we decided to drop them for now after some discussion (the reason: in concept we use vibration sensors, but we don't currently have them, and in the future we could use tilt switches instead of vibration sensors - this is still being discussed)


Next week:

  • Combine with software parts written by other team members and complete the main() to mobilize all instructions
  • Clarify the arduino's instructions
  • Completion of physical connections
  • Completion of documentation

Week 7

Jiexiang Xu - Sun 26 April 2020, 11:25 pm
Modified: Sun 26 April 2020, 11:59 pm


During mid break, each member of our group read a lot of tutorials about implementation methods and modules (but these did not involve specific physical implementation), so at that stage, we focused on the input of knowledge and the way of implementation. After we clarified our thinking, we decided to start with the recording function.

Prior to this, we also spent a lot of time discussing what kind of cooperation method to adopt:

  1. Everyone is responsible for their own parts and finally put the work together;
    • Advantages: no teamwork, the project progress is self-controlled;
    • Disadvantages: When you encounter difficulties, you can only solve yourself, because other team members have not learned this part of the knowledge, and they have a low possibility to be able to help yourself.
  2. Discuss and collaborate on different parts of the same function together.
    • Advantages: For the same problem, everyone has different views and solutions, and the conclusions drawn after their respective studies and discussions are often more reasonable;
    • Disadvantages: It takes a lot of time to discuss.

Finally, considering that everyone has no engineering background and skills, we chose the second method. Throughout the last week and this week, as we expected, we spent a lot of time discussing more detailed processes, explaining ideas and communicating understanding. Finally, after discussing with other UQ student with IT and EE backgrounds and tutors, we have a basic understanding of our project implementation, including the sensors used, the language of coding, the design of Arduino, and a general imagination of future works.


Our implementation is divided into two stages, the software stage and the hardware stage.

According to all the functions of our project, we need to first implement the software part with code (Python), and the interaction mode among them is replaced by keyboard. And if you enter the hardware stage, you can use different signal input methods in Arduino to replace the buttons (this is the most reasonable way we currently think of). In addition, we have realized the function of sound recording, and can record sounds of different lengths according to the user's operation.

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Function and key introduction:

  1. Dropper
    • R: The computer automatically records after pressing. Keep
    • pressing and holding until recording is released, which means that the recording ends; the generated audio file is stored in the dropper folder; the audio file is named raw sound
    • Note: Only one audio file can be stored in the dropper. If there is a new recording file, the original file will be overwritten.
  2. Test tube
    • M: The audio file in the dropper is transferred to the test tube folder, and the audio file in the dropper is deleted; the audio file is named sound
    • T: The audio file in the test tube is transferred to the flask folder, and the audio file in the test tube is deleted
    • D: delete the audio file in the test tube
    • P: Play audio files in the test tube folder
    • Note: Only one audio file can be stored in the test tube. If there is a new recording file, the original file will be overwritten.
  3. Flask
    • Space: Play all audio files in the flask folder at the same time (simulate the effect of mixed music)
    • S: delete all audio files in the flask folder
    • Note: Multiple audio files can be stored in the flask; simultaneous playback means overlapping playback of multiple sound tracks
  4. Jars
    • C: copy the music in the jars folder to the flask
    • Note: The music in the jar is preset with 1 audio file; named as music frame


In the discussion stage, we have the following two problems in total, and provide different solutions.

Change in recording method

At the beginning of mid break, we planned to set the recording module on the dropper, but after understanding that the Arduino circuit board only has a few tens of K of storage, the solution we came up with was to add an SD card as a reservation. However, if you use this method, music files still need to be transferred to the computer for music synthesis (music and synthesis must be used in a laptop), and later need to be transferred back to the speaker. This method seems to be superfluous, and we do not know of any suitable transmission method (WIFI or Bluetooth?). At this time, we already have the idea of using the computer directly as a storage. After discussing with the tutors, we are more affirmed with this idea (developing a small program; the user's actions can trigger the program to achieve a certain operation purpose). In order to perfect this idea, for recording and playback, we plan to connect the Bluetooth headset / Bluetooth speaker to the computer in advance, and place the headset in the dropper / Bluetooth speaker under the table (although the sound is not from the test tube or flask , this method is feasible and able to simulate the real use environment. If the speaker is placed in a test tube or flask, the increase in material costs and whether it is necessary to become additional content we need to discuss).

Add jars

In the initial stage of designing project facilities, we did not have jars. Because there is a need to obtain a music frame from user feedback, we designed an interactive way of tapping to switch the default set of music frame. But when designing the buttons, the same interaction method and sensors have been set on the same flask (shaking to mix music and play music; because they all use the tilt switch. According to the design principle of the tilt switch-- it calculates the number of impacts of the two steel balls included to trigger the signal, this means that although the sensor can be used to customize the number of impacts to trigger the switch, there is only one chance. Set the number of impacts to 2 and 3 to trigger different functions cannot be achieved), so we will extract this function and put it in the jar.

At the beginning, we also tried to set up multiple music files in a jar, and tapped to achieve the function of switching songs (similar to the music player function). However, when discussing the technical implementation, we found that if there are multiple songs, it is difficult to determine which one needs to be transferred to the flask. We are still discussing this technical difficulty, so as far as the current project progress and progress are concerned, we temporarily decided to keep only one default music frame in each jar (the user still has the right of choosing whether to use jars and which jar they are planning to use), so that we will not waste a lot of time on this function, but focus on our core functional task flow.

Changes in sensor selection

It is precisely because of our further understanding of functions and triggering conditions that we found that there are two interaction modes that coincide in the implementation phase (tilting and shaking). When we don’t understand the design principle of the tilt switch, we think that it can achieve different effects according to identify different impact times, but the fact is not what we expected, we have to change the sensor for detecting shaking to vibrating mini motor. But after I inquired about the principle of this sensor, I still have doubts in understanding, and I am not sure whether this sensor can help us achieve the final effect, so I need to read more related materials.

In addition, because there are many interactive methods in our project and many sensors are used, we have not been able to find a usable sensor to implement the delete function (originally it was a tilting action on the trash can, but this action has been related the corresponding operation: music is transferred from the test tube to the flask), so we need to design a new interactive method as the delete function. We currently have no good ideas and need further discussion. At present, we have temporarily designed this function to use a button as a trigger. If we have time in the future or come up with a better idea, we will change it (also because this is not a core function, and if you use a button, it will not have a great impact on the final result).

Next week

  • Continue to design and programing
  • Consider the material of the physical equipment. Our original plan was to use cardboard, but light will be added later, and cardboard is not the best choice; the tutor recommends that we use plastic chemistry experiment equipment specially designed for children, so we will go to the website to evaluate its feasibility

Week 6

Jiexiang Xu - Tue 14 April 2020, 9:14 pm


A total of two activities were done in the studio. The first activity is Observation. I chose to find related videos on Youtube for observation and analysis.


After I checked the content written by other students, I found that most people chose the video like me, but there were still a small number of people who chose different ways (text descriptions or reports on trains on other social platforms).

Reason for choosing video: Compared with the other two methods, video is the closest to the naked eye. Because the video is displayed in the form of video, you can collect the corresponding data according to your needs when conducting the observation experiment, and will not be affected by the subjective point of view (text reports are easy to carry personal tendencies, such as increasing, deleting and distorting the intention and behavior of the interviewee, so additional judgment and screening are required when selecting. If the data is analyzed only by audio, because of the absence of images, the occurrence and interpretation of emergencies can only rely on imagination and speculation, this is not conducive to the restoration of truth.) In addition, most of the video contains audio. Therefore, the combination of video and audio is the main observation method, and the text description is used to supplement the details. This is the best observation method I think.

According to the documentation provided by Lorna (alternative method), I found several online survey methods that we can use in the future for user evaluation. Although these methods are not the most ideal (the most ideal is face-to-face interviews), they are currently the most suitable methods for us and can be used. At present, my idea is that during the testing phase, we put our equipment in one place, and then obtain user data through video recording and remote online access. After our discussion, we found that the most suitable way is to record based on the camera. The reason is the points I mentioned earlier.

Break down

The following is the cooperation content of our team

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Individual progress

This week my main job is to write individual and group reports. There is no great progress in learning Arduino and familiarizing with kits. But in order to understand the sensors that may be needed in the future, I watched several videos to help me understand.

In addition, I read a few Arduino's official use introductions to understand the specific use method. Although I have been in touch with the Arduino digital prototype before, it was almost 2 years ago, so I am still very new to the use of Arduino.

Work to do

  • Collect the material used to make the dropper and try to make it
  • Determine the required sensors and place the order
  • Learn a few Arduino tutorials (about lighting, sound collection, and storage)
  • For the details of my personal direction, I need to further improve the design

Week 5 - Reflection

Jiexiang Xu - Sun 5 April 2020, 3:20 pm
Modified: Sun 5 April 2020, 4:41 pm

Group Process

This week we had a total of 2 additional group discussions.

The first time (Tuesday)

According to proposal requirements, we have redefined concept and feedback in more detail.

Team domain (which is not yet decided):

  • Modern pressure is great, it will have a great impact on people's lives
  • Give non-professional users the possibility to create and give ordinary people more opportunities to contact music (crowd: non-professional music lovers)

Target audience:

Removed a persona (music producer), because for professionals, they have a more accustomed way to collect sounds that can be used (because during the collection process, the surrounding noisy ambient sounds will be added, thereby the collected sounds cannot be used in music) and they have a high dependence on the music editing function (professionals and ordinary people have a large gap in the demand for music editing, and it is difficult to achieve functional unification)

Feedback and solutions:

  • F: Multi-person participation S: The original plan can achieve the effect of cooperation, collect sounds separately and arrange music together
  • F: Noise problem S: Detect the number of decibels and only collect sounds above a fixed decibel
  • F: Nice music S: Provide some main melody in the beaker, change the melody by knocking the flask (Inspiration: Airpod)
  • F: More functions for editing music S: Does not meet the user characteristics of persona, for ordinary users, the operation is too complicated
  • F: Collection of multiple pieces of music S: Add multiple buttons on the dropper / decide the number of recordings according to the number of presses (add a cue light)
  • F: More visual effects S: Increase the smoke effect and use the brightness of the light to indicate the upper end of the recording time
  • F: More experimental equipment for interaction S: It is difficult for users to heat and cool, and equipment interaction is already very complicated

Technical problem:

  • Transmit the sound from the dropper to the test tube
  • You can use Makey,Makey as an aid to start touch interaction
  • Light up by judging the duration

Proposal report (Team part):

Break down and understand the requirements of the proposal, and determine the content of everyone's work in the team report


The second time (Friday)

Team domain:

Eventually we decided to use option1 as our domain. Reason: enough board to start the discussion

Proposal report structure (Team part):

Reorganize and distribute the content of the proposal, because if the report is completed according to the order of assignment, it is logically difficult for people to understand us, and the feedback part will involve not only the video presentation part but also after the part of user research conducted. Therefore, after the discussion, we decided to reorganize the structure of the report in the form of stages.

  1. Team domain (regarding the current situation, sources, influence and resolution possibility of stress)
  2. Concept + context (functional design and the reasons behind it)
  3. Research stages (related work, methodology, feedback)
  4. Audience & intended experience
  5. Relevance to theme
  • Stage1: Music helps relieve stress (literature review)
  • Stage2: Some people will prefer a certain daily sound, such as earsore / ASMR / nature ’s sound sleep aid (a sleep aid app + literature review + online survey)
  • Stage3: Self-made music is the most helpful to relieve stress (literature review + online interview + card sorting)
  • Stage4: Paper prototype (online + video presentation) + evaluation (TAM) + Honeycomb (desirable + usable)

What have I done in team report?

The reason why we use TAM as evaluation method

TAM is the abbreviation of Technology Acceptance Model; it is proposed by Davis (1989) aiming at measuring the user’s acceptance of a new technology. It is measured by 4 dimensions namely perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), attitude (ATT), intention to use (ITO). Usable: The functions in the system can well meet the needs of users. Desirable: Aspects related to emotional design, such as graphics, branding, and image.

TAM questions:

(PU: Perceived usefulness; PEOU: Perceived ease of use; ATT: Attitude; ITO: Intention to use)

  1. PEOU1: I can produce music more quickly using Sound Lab.
  2. PEOU2: I can capture surrounding sounds easily using Sound Lab
  3. PEOU3: I can playback generated music easily using Sound Lab
  4. PEOU4: Learning to use Sound Lab is easy for me.
  5. PEOU5: It is easy to use Sound Lab to do the sound processing.
  6. PU1: Sound Lab reduces my irritability.
  7. PU2: Sound Lab enables me to enjoy the process of creating music.
  8. PU3: Overall, I find Sound Lab useful.
  9. ATT1: Overall, I believe Sound Lab is easy to use.
  10. ATT2: In my opinion, it is desirable to use Sound Lab.
  11. ATT3: I think it is good for me to use Sound Lab.
  12. ATT4: Overall, my attitude towards Sound Lab is favorable.
  13. ITO1: I will use Sound Lab on a regular basis in the future.
  14. ITO2: I will frequently use Sound Lab in the future
  15. ITO3: I will strongly recommend others to use Sound Lab.

Individual directions:

  1. According to roles (designer / researcher / programmer)
  2. According to perspectives (domain: music and stress / interactions: music-related interaction methods / target audience: people and music without a music foundation)
  3. According to devices (the dropper / the flask / the test tube)
  4. According to functions (record and capture sounds / playback and manipulation / mixing)

In the end we decided to use option 4 as the final direction. First of all, it is unreasonable to classify by role. As far as designers and researchers are concerned, their workload is relatively small, and the output content is mainly in proposal, and in the later stage, our main content is to use Arduino and Makey Makey to produce the equipment. In other words, if this is allocated, everyone's workload will be much different.

Secondly, because we have decided that three people will work together to make the sound lab, so if we follow this classification method, we will need to do background research and user research again at a later stage, which will produce three new concepts. This is different from our expected development direction.

Third, Lorna has suggested that the direction of development can be determined based on the device, but in actual discussions, we found that such a classification listing is very similar to option4. Because the main function of the dropper is record and capture sounds; the main function of the test tube is playback and manipulation; the main function of the flask is mixing. So fundamentally, option 3 and 4 are essentially the same. But when making a dropper, you need to collect and play music; when you make a flask, you need to play, operate, and mix music; when you make a test tube, you need to operate and play music. Although we will have a common code base, when assigning and carrying out work, complicated methods and online communication modes make our cooperation more difficult, so we chose option4. Clear classification can help us understand the project schedule and work content more easily.

Although our classification is based on function, it includes: visual / physical interaction, design, technology, and fun in each small classification. For example, the radio includes: how to collect multiple sounds, how to reduce the collected noise, the light display, etc .; the sound playback function includes: how to play regularly, how to control the playback time, how to choose to play tracks, etc .; including in the mixing function : There is a smoke signal when the mixed sound is completed, how to debug a certain sound in the mixed sound, etc. In this way, everyone's workload is very even.

Work to do:

  1. Proposal partial completion
  2. Consult tutors about additional sensors and equipment needed for our project
  3. Look for some tutorial sites to get familiar with the components in the Arduino kit (what are they and how to use them)
  4. Start thinking about how you need to complete the function you are responsible for

Week 4

Jiexiang Xu - Sun 29 March 2020, 8:28 pm
Modified: Mon 30 March 2020, 2:36 pm

Project Process


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  • Recording equipment
  • Playback device
  • Infrared sensor
  • Motion sensor
  • LED lights

Recorders and speakers are used to collect and play music.

The infrared sensor is used to measure the distance between the dropper and the test tube. When the dropper is lower than the test tube, and the user presses the rubber tip, the sound can be transmitted from the dropper to the test tube.

The motion sensor is used to identify whether the user shakes the flask or the test tube to determine whether the sound should be mixed or played. The number of shakings also illustrates the different needs of users.

In addition, we also need LED lights that can change different colors. It may be installed in all equipment except the trash can to indicate whether there are sound clips in the container.

Feedback from contact

Through classmate feedback, several questions and suggestions were repeatedly mentioned, such as mixing problem, interaction, and visual feedback.

  1. How music/sound is added. Importantly, many people have doubts about the synthesis of music. They want to know how to synthesize music so that the synthesized music pieces do not become noise. We didn't think about it at first. After the reminders and suggestions from classmates and the group discussion on Friday, we decided to set some background music or music frames or beats in advance. In this way, based on the original, and then create, then the music obtained can be relatively artistic.
  2. More ways to interact. Classmates and tutors gave more innovative ways to interact. For example, heating/cooling can speed up / slow down the speed of music playback and some ways to change the sound effect (the type of liquid/chemical properties can represent the combination of music). Of course, after this group discussion, we will decide whether to add these effects according to the specific project process. Because in fact, our concepts are relatively complete and difficult to complete, we are not sure that some of the functions we set up can be completed within the prescribed time. If we are in the process of production, the completion of the facility is high, and we have not encountered a particularly difficult problem, we may add more interesting interactive methods.
  3. More visual feedback. Ben gave us a suggestion to add smoke effects in the process of mixing music. This suggestion made our members surprise. And according to Ben, this effect is not difficult to complete, just buy a device that can release smoke. So we will add this suggestion to our concept. In addition, another student suggested that the volume of music can be indicated by the brightness of the light. After discussion, we should be able to achieve this effect, and in our imagination, this effect is not difficult to achieve, and it will not add special difficulty to our project.
  4. There is another problem that made our team members realize that it is a serious problem. Sound Lab is a relatively complex and process-intensive device, which means that users may feel confused and not know what to do next when using it. So some students suggest adding some tips or tutorials to guide users on how to operate. From the perspective of user experience, this is necessary, but I don't think it is a good way to write the usage process on paper, because based on the experience of previous trade shows (once made instructions), few people read the instruction before participating in the game. So we are still discussing whether there is a way to understand the operation process without text reading, or how to further simplify the process. Although we have no idea yet, this is an important issue that we need to resolve before submitting a proposal report.

Work to do

Instead of turning teamwork into individual work, we applied to Lorna to work together on a project after class. The next step is to focus on writing the report. The report will need some information about problem space and identification, so I will have a deeper understanding of some problems in this field. In addition, there are some points that are not considered in our concept, such as the way of combining and collecting music (the order of two pieces of music or sound / the environment and natural sound will be added when collecting the sound, how to reduce The effect of noise on music). In view of these points, we need to have a more detailed discussion to determine that the music produced is not unpleasant. Of course, we will also discuss the novel interaction methods mentioned in the feedback and evaluate their difficulty (may be screened out a few easier ones, and if time permits, design them in detail to use as a backup options).

Week N/A - project process

Jiexiang Xu - Sun 22 March 2020, 6:49 pm
Modified: Sun 22 March 2020, 7:10 pm

Project Process

After the team formation completed, we came up with 4 ideas. Homemade sound mixer and punching bag with sound. In addition, music can be combined with shadow and color. On this basis, we have many new ideas. Finally, based on voting and analyzing the integrity of ideas, we chose sounds lab as our project.


Sounds Lab

It consists of several test tubes, a flask, a trash can and a dropper. The dropper collects sound and stores them in a test tube. If you want to mix the sound, you can pour the sound from the test tube into the flask and shake it. The role of the trash can is to remove the sound from the specified test tube or flask.



The idea came from a video. Both of the songs mentioned in the time commentary used some of the voices around them.

In addition, this idea also comes from the project content of other groups in the HCI class. Their project is to help users get better sleep through custom music.


Target Audience

  1. Music lovers and producers.
  2. Those who are interested in daily sound.
  3. Those who are sensitive to sound (Good at discovering the sounds around him; the sound of a particular segment will be associated)

Storyboard and Persona

Amy (normal user)
  1. She is having a picnic, lying on the grass and hearing the sound of the wind blowing the leaves. She feels happy and calm inside
  2. Record the sound with a dropper and stores it when she goes home
  3. lie in bed and she can't sleep. She wants to go back to that day and feel calm
  4. Mix sound and uses it to fall asleep peacefully
Dennis (Professor)
  1. Dennis is a professional music producer. He is out of inspiration while composing
  2. He is walking on the road and suddenly attracted by a voice. He thinks the sounds can be used in his music
  3. He records the sound
  4. At the studio, he tries to blend new sounds with songs he has already made.
  5. The new tune makes him very satisfied

Work to do

Although we have held 2 group meetings this week (determining the concept content, presentation content, and distribution of everyone's work content of presentation), and have made and filmed the paper prototype of the concept. In the next week, we will focus on the presentation. After the presentation, the concept will be modified based on the feedback given, if there are problems. After that, we need to discuss with the team members how to divide the large project into several small parts, how to implement them, and the assignment of tasks. The main purpose is to make a reasonable time and project schedule. Of course, in this process, constant discussions with tutors are needed, so that at the end of the period, the finished product can be made on time.

One of our group members has dropped out because of the effects of the coronavirus, and one of the group members is still thinking about the same issue. So in the next projects, we may face huge challenges. Therefore, next week's work is the top priority and must be taken seriously.

Week 3 - Contact Reflection

Jiexiang Xu - Sun 22 March 2020, 6:18 pm

In this week's contact, we carried out a total of two activities.

Connection with Bash

First, Bash, a graduate from the United Kingdom, introduced us some tips about job hunting, such as the interview process and some precautions. And after that, he also gave us an event, which left me the deepest impression. He asked us to introduce ourselves, starting with "My name is XXX. I am a XXX. I am unique because XXX". After completing the filling of the words and sentences, the unequal number of words were crossed out multiple times, leaving one word in the end. The word I left is my name, because I feel that if you introduce yourself, then who you are is the ultimate one. At least someone else must know what your name is before you can understand you. But after I saw some results from other classmates, some of them left their names like me, while others left their professional (designer) and some personal characteristics, such as personality and strengths. And in the following description, the personal characteristics (the last word left) will be described in the form of storytelling.

However, I had a confusion after class. As the introduction in the class said, there should also be a key word in the portfolio, but I found this to be difficult to achieve in the actual implementation process. In the process of preparing materials in the early stage, because I have to show my previous projects in all aspects, I chose a lot of different types of materials to demonstrate my capabilities, such as UI design, User research, Prototype, and Evaluation. According to the words from Bash, it is difficult to summarize so much material into one word. So I'm thinking about whether to show it as a module. For example, pick a key feature in UI design and expand it. Of course, this expansion will not only be mentioned briefly in the portfolio, it should be more comprehensive and mainly described in the interview preparation. In this way, not only the content of the interview can be increased, but also the topics of each module can be well expressed.

At the same time, it also made me think that there should also be a keyword in the overall interface of making portfolios, such as simplicity and intuitiveness. You can make more use of the progress bar. But there is still a problem here, everyone feels differently about the progress bar. For example, I think that when a person can make a website independently, the progress bar of the webpage production can reach 4/5; but others think that the technology and language used in the process of making webpages This is the main criterion for scoring. What criteria should be used to spend the progress bar is a question. I think of a way to make a web page and show the technology and the effect it has formed. But if you do this, the content of the entire portfolio will be particularly large. There is a lot of content in this introduction, which is not particularly important. So in the future, I should find a better way to show the intuitiveness and simplicity of portfolio.

World Cafe

Before class, all the students' creative ideas were divided into 17 groups, and I participated in 7 of them in this event, namely beautify the self, emotional totems, musical metrics, guided movement, digital sensations, creative Learning and ability-centric interactions. During the discussion, some of my classmates' creative ideas made me particularly interesting.

In the guided movement, we discussed that there are two types of guidance, voice and limb. The development of voice guidance is very small, while the guidance of limbs has a great potential development trend. The limb does not necessarily represent the body, it may also be an extension of the limb, such as the shadow. We discussed a game-based concept that requires multiple players. One person moves and the teammates step out of the maze through shadows. Although this idea doesn't involve any special interaction method, it really makes me like it. This reminds me of a game that people in China often play. The participant was unable to speak, expressed a word in body language, and tried to get his teammates to guess. This type of interaction between two people through actions can not enhance the interaction between the two people, but also make the whole process very interesting. If this method is applied to technology, the overall user participation will be greatly improved. For example, a participant passes on the words that his teammates use to his body in the same way, until the last person is displayed in front of a machine. This machine can recognize the similarity of actions and score based on the similarity (the higher the similarity, the higher the score).

There is a concept in "beautify the self" that is similar to the function of getting up the alarm. But this approach is really disgusting. Another annoying way is that you can't turn off the alarm. For example, there is a device that can run long when you are about to touch it. This can not only be applied to getting up, but also very helpful for changing habits. For example, you can't eat some food while you are managing your diet. So put these foods on this device, and when you can't stand to eat, the device will run around with food, so you can't get it. Although the experience of this device is not good, it is the most effective way. Based on this problem, I was thinking, when users feel obvious discomfort and disgust about a certain behavior, what are the ways to balance them, or just give up. As far as getting up, some time ago, there was an app on the market to help people get up. After setting the alarm, you cannot turn it off when the alarm goes off. You can turn off the alarm only if you answer 5 math questions consecutively. This idea is really good, but when I use it, I definitely feel bored, although I am completely awake after turning off the alarm. Therefore, I was thinking that there might be a way to awaken people more gently, such as through physical conditioning or physical habits. Although I don't have any good ideas yet, using the original physical habits to change another one is a feasible direction that can be expanded.

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Jiexiang Xu - Sun 8 March 2020, 8:14 pm
Modified: Mon 9 March 2020, 1:17 pm

Work done

This week I had three activities, concept demonstration, soldering course and 78-208. In the demonstration, I not only received other people's opinions on my concept but also got some inspiration for improvement from other people's demonstrations. This has a huge effect on the development of my idea because everyone's opinions are very special and gave me a great shock.

In the soldering course, I used LED, resistor, breadboard, switch, and wires to make a simple light control device. Although I encountered some difficulties during the production process, these difficulties were all overcome. For example, the switch cannot control the light bulb (it was found that all the contacts under the switch could not be welded, but only two were selected); all components could not be inserted into the breadboard according to the circuit diagram (It's really simple). Although I have been exposed to Arduino in the previous course (Digital Prototype), because this is a long time ago, and in the previous course I did not understand some knowledge points, so I think it will be practiced more in the future and it is also a thing that requires a lot of time and energy to complete the work.

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Finally, in the 78-208 course, I learned something about safety and laboratory management such as laboratory rules and how to deal with emergencies.

Reflection on the pitch

Based on the feedback written by Lorna and my classmates on the paper, I found that everyone understands my concepts well and can accept them. This is one of the main purposes of the pitch. However, there should be more specific content after more innovative content. For example, according to the feedback of a classmate, similar items already exist in real life. Although I don't know which one he/she was referring to, it was clear that the idea was not appealing to him/her.

In addition, the same problem was found in the feedback of other students. A major problem is that their gesture interaction is not particularly new. And there is still a big problem with gesture interaction, the recognition problem. I also thought about the same problem during the design process, so someone suggested that voice interaction could be added. But I think that in addition to voice and gesture interaction, there may be more attractive ways to interact, such as using sound or temperature. In addition, how to pattern different recognized gestures is one of the difficulties in future design.

However, it can be seen from the feedback from classmates that they all think that this is a very novel way to express emotions and can be widely used. It can also be seen from everyone's comments that they prefer real buildings with lights over a building-shaped lamp or toy. When I first heard this idea, I was really shocked. It was indeed a more interesting idea. However, if the desk lamp in the concept is turned into a real building because the building itself is large, the interaction method needs to be changed (the crowd gathers downstairs, and the accuracy of gesture recognition is even lower).

I currently have an idea, according to the number of people around the building or they make some of the same actions, forming different levels of patterns or text on the building surface. At the same time, the buildings in the two cities can also be connected (the long-distance interaction across the city is a great point).

In addition to the feedback on the concept, I have some shortcomings about the poster and the presentation itself. The most important point is that I ignored the problem space in the lecture and journal. This is an important part of the design process. Under the premise of not consulting relevant materials, it is unreasonable to design an idea, and then add meaning to it. This process is very informal, and it should be avoided as much as possible in subsequent designs.

In addition, I also have some problems with the presentation. First, the timing limitation. During the simulation exercise, I was running out of time, so I accelerated my speaking speed. However, on the day of the contact, I saw the short descriptions of other students, so I deleted the original content again, so the speech time was too short. Although there is a comprehensive description of how to use this device, it does not give a comprehensive explanation for some information.

After thinking about it, I would prefer to add some descriptions of the scene to enrich the concept and content. At the same time, such a design can also allow the listener to enter the scene, thereby creating a stronger sense of identity, and also facilitating the communication and expression of the presenter.

Inspiration from other concepts

In other people's presentations, I was particularly impressed by a point of view. It is to install induction lines in the bus, passengers can control the different music according to heartbeat and body temperature. This view is particularly new, and it can make the whole boring class/work journey fun. But I thought about a few questions.

The first is security. The concert in the car will not distract the driver, and if the music is too loud, the whistle may not be heard, thereby increasing the probability of a car accident.

Secondly, if the line hanging in the air can be used as a handrail, how to involve the person sitting in the seat? And if a sudden braking situation occurs, the passenger's heartbeat will inevitably rise, how to control this sudden change in volume/tone?

Third, if everyone can control a musical element, but without the design of professions, the generated music may be very difficult to listen to. So how to ensure that beautiful music is produced instead of unpleasant noise?

But it is undeniable that this idea is particularly good. If it can be installed on a bus, I would be happy to try it. And this interactive way to control music based on heartbeat and body temperature is also particularly novel.

If I can add heartbeat and breathing sensors to my concept, then the shortcomings of the single interaction method will be complemented and more gameplay can be generated.

Work to do

In the third week, we will play the World Coffee game in class for further idea generation and forming group. So what I have to do in the future is to listen to as many other students as possible, and to choose a project I like according to my interests.

Project Concept-Skyscraper

Jiexiang Xu - Mon 2 March 2020, 8:41 pm
Modified: Tue 3 March 2020, 2:25 pm



What is Skyscraper

Skyscraper is a desktop lamp. It looks like a tall building with lots of windows. Behind each window is an LED bulb. Skyscraper is able to record gestures made by users and convert these gestures into electronic form, and then present them on the surface of the desk lamp. In addition, the user can also control the state of the light emitted by each window, such as the brightness, color, flicker frequency and chronological order of the light grid. After the user completes the innovation, Skyscraper can connect to another one via the network, and can project the produced pattern on the second device. Since the device is mainly based on gesture interaction, the innovative form has a strong appeal. Moreover, for users, the patterns of each work are unique and will not be repeated.

In essence, Skyscraper is an interesting table lamp. In addition to the basic functions (lighting), the desk lamp can customize and transmit information to help users express their emotions and convey love, thereby enhancing the relationship between people.

Target audience:

Any people with intimate relationships (parent-child / couple / close friends) can use Skyscraper as long as they want to express their emotions in a special and romantic way. In addition, People who are shy at accepting and expressing love can also use it to relieve anxiety, improve empathy, and increase their sensitivity to other people's emotional responses.


  • There are words on the tall buildings in Shanghai
  • "Human body printer"


skyscraper gesture intimate relationship lamp emotion lights

Week 1-Reflection

Jiexiang Xu - Sun 1 March 2020, 11:00 pm

Examples of physical computing

In the class on Tuesday, according to the needs of the course content, I found a website, (, which contains 7 physical interaction cases. One of the things that interests me the most is a musical glove. After users put on this glove, when they make different gestures, different music will be produced. In addition, you can control the pitch, frequency, and volume through gestures. To a certain extent, this is a complex and complete physical interaction project. If the user is proficient, this will be a great composer.


7 HCI grand challenges

After class, I also read Seven HCI Grand Challenges and took some notes. I found that among the 4 different challenge directions I read, several challenges are repeatedly mentioned: users' over-reliance on technology / emotional issues that may arise; paying higher learning const to master the technology; human individualized demand for technology. In addition, in each sub-theme, there are also some directions that have potential and need to be explored. At the same time, these development directions are also relatively lacking in current technology.

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In class, I was assigned to a discussion about Well-being, Health & Eudaimonia. Our group discussed the positive and negative impacts that challenges may have on people and technology development. In addition, we also proposed some changes that we thought might exist, but the article did not mention the changes.



After the group discussion, we brainstormed in the form of a card game. This game is the hardest way to generate ideas I have ever done because in the process it is difficult to connect 4 different part-of-speech words together to form an interesting idea. For a long time, everyone's minds were blank, or they were always limited by some ideas that they had previously thought of. Another reason for the difficulty in generating ideas may be that the ideas generated in this way are often difficult to apply in practice, or there is no realistic contrast, so the ideas that are generated are often wild.

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In the third round of the game, since we have had another silent time to think for ourselves, everyone shared different ideas in this session. Some of these ideas are very interesting. For example, in a gym, the emotional connection between two people can be enhanced through movements. This really gave me a lot of inspiration and made me understand that the design needed for this course does not necessarily need to be confined to real life, but it needs to be sufficiently innovative and interesting.

Work to do

I don't have any inspiration for the project at the moment, so I'm going to look at a lot of creative examples on Monday and use some methods that can stimulate ideas. I found some methods online (, hoping that it can help to generate ideas. After I got creative, I planned to use the mind map method to combine all the bits and pieces that flashed in my mind and display them in the form of pictures. More importantly, listening carefully to the opinions of other speakers in the next Tuesday and Wednesday speeches is very useful for me to develop ideas.

Week 1- Introduction

Jiexiang Xu - Sun 1 March 2020, 7:38 pm

Hello everyone, my name is Jiexiang. This is the last semester of my studies at UQ. I am doing the master of interaction design. As far as my professional background is concerned, I am good at some researches related to users, such as research methods and evaluation. In the course of the previous year and a half, I also master some basic front-end programming skills, such as HTML and CSS.

But I found that I still have a lot of skills that need me to cultivate, such as back-end programming and the ability to express my opinion. I hope that through this course, these capabilities can be further improved. In addition, I am also very interested in the composition of some manual tasks and physical components, because my own ideas can be turned into reality through my own efforts, which will help improve my professional self-confidence.