Documentation & Reflection

The final post

Kasey Zheng - Sun 14 June 2020, 7:06 pm

Finally we made it!

The online exhibit has been successfully holding on this Wednesday night. It was really great and exciting to all the works that have been done in this course bi either individual or team. And the whole online format of the exhibition was also surprisingly fun. Because we can quickly join and check other people's work and demonstrations without any physical restriction and extra waiting time by just join the team channel. In this aspect, the online exhibition has its own strength.

There were several crises when I prepared for the online exhibit. First, when I did the final testing of the code to check it every function works well. The servo was falling down from the stand. I quickly found a glue gun, heated it up, and trying to glue the servo back to the stand as soon as possible. After I managed to put the servo back to the stand and make the drop-down and lift-up function finally working. Then the LED lights just stopped working. After a quick check of the breadboard, I figured out it was because the cable of the LED lights connected to the breadboard has been broken. It might happen when I try the glue the servo, cause I kind of twist the stand a bit too much. So I quickly peeled off another 1cm of the cable's coat to make enough room for it to connect to the breadboard. Believe it or not, when I fixed all the hardware parts, my Arduino software on my laptop crashed. I attempted to restart and reinstall the software, but it still didn't work. It was just 15 minutes before the exhibition started. I finally borrowed another laptop and install the software to make sure the prototype working alright. So here's another lesson I learned from the exhibition, always prepared for the unexpected situation happen and always prepared to solve the urgent issues calmly and quickly.

Exhibit set-up

When looking back at the design process step by step of what I have been done throughout the past 13+1 weeks. I feel really grateful that I got so much support and helps from the teaching team and friends from this course. Indeed it is definitely not easy to work on a physical project like this at home without professional tools and equipment. But we tried our best to get all the material by posting, online shopping, and DIYing. That was a challenging and exciting journey for me.

Exhibit set-up

In the end, I want to wish everyone all the best with either uni study or the next new stage of life after graduation. It was great to meet you all in this course! See you!

Week 13

Kasey Zheng - Sun 7 June 2020, 9:49 pm
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 12:01 pm

Studio Session

Finally, we made it to week 13 of this semester. I can't believe this is officially the last class of my master's study. I really enjoy the last report back session not only I get the chance to hear everyone's working progress, more importantly, but it's also nice to see everyone's doing well at the beginning of June.

Report back questions:

Q0: A lot of restrictions were lifted 1 June, what are you most looking forward to doing?

I don’t think I have more leisure time at the moment and until this, I finished all the assignments. But I'm looking forward to go back to Brisbane at the end of this month to meep up with my friends because we are going to graduate this semester.

Q1: One sentence recap of concept.

The Earth Globe - an interactive globe aim to help children develop good habits for the care of the environment and arise their awareness of sustainability, especially focusing on garbage recycling.

Q2: If you had a magic wand and could wave it over your project, what would you want it to do? (Be specific here, I know you all want it to be “finished” - what is that ONE thing that you really want it to be able to do?).

For my own project, I really want to make the smell function come true and present it to the visitor on a real exhibition so that they can smell it in person. That will definitely make the globe to be more interactive and also gave the user a better immersive experience.

→ I got the suggestion to use something similar to a perfume spray or a mini watering can with fragment liquid in it. Then a motor could be used to trigger the container to release the fragment mist into the air. (Or it can be done manually by adding the fragment by the operator.)

Q3: What is your burning question right now? (Doesn’t have to be project related, could be more broadly related to the course, uni, life & the universe).

For burning question for me is to finish all the assignments and thesis in the next 3 weeks. That would be really challenging for me. But since this is the last semester in my student life journey, I will try my best to have a good ending of it.

Final product building progress

Based on the feedback from both team appraisal and individual user testing, several changes have been made for the final product. First of all, not new function including the Smell function has mentioned above has been added to the globe due to the technical constraint. But the whole circuit system has been optimised and adjusted since it wasn't really stable before when shooting the demo video.

system diagram

For the first output of Sight, the LED lights in the globe have been rearranged to try to match the different places on the map. To be more specific, I tried to put eight lights more close to the surface to they would be representative of the major big city in Australia. However, it didn't work as expected. The LED lights keep moving while the position changing. But in general, the LED lights order and colour changing pattern have been finally decided and finished the code part.

Output 1

The Hearing function was keep the original design for the demo prototype. The suggestion form the feedback is to use a DFPlayer Mini MP3 Player to play a better quality of melody so that the user could understand the meaning of the music notice better. Indeed the Piezo buzzer could make only a simple melody, it did cause a little confusion for one user during the evaluation. But it did meet the success criteria and did not affect that much during the evaluation. So the only thing I need to fix is the problem of two parts of the melody code accidental connected together in the last line. After checked a few times of the code, I found there's an error that occurs at the end of the positive melody for the positive garbage point reading process.

Output 2

The Touch output has been made some changes at the stage. The vibration effect wasn't obvious during the prototype evaluation. Mainly because of the position changing of the by the servo motor is causing the shaking effect as well. That's why the vibration making by the motor has been covered by the servo motor. Here I make the decision to remove the vibrate function and the code from the final product. The other issue I fixed is the unstable shaking effect caused by the rubber bands are not elastic enough. In the last week's workshop session, I got the advice from Clay to replace a bigger servo motor if the shaking is still happening. But luckily this week the issue has been solved after I replace it with a more elastic rubber band.

Output 3

At this stage, the remaining issues have all been tackled and found the solution to respond to users' feedback. The rest of the work is to prepare the text and visual material for the portfolio website.

Annotated portfolio building progress

The text content and the media material have been generated in the process during this week. However, it has been working a bit slower than I planned since I've got my thesis demo presentation and web poster to submit in this week as well. It was quite a tight schedule for me this week. ut anyway, there will be only three days left for me to complete all the tasks and get ready to present my final product for the visitor online.

Week 12

Kasey Zheng - Sun 31 May 2020, 10:49 pm

Studio & Contact Session

During this week's class, we reported back the current progress and the plan for the next two final weeks. We also tested our team channel on Discord to make sure the communication will be taken smoothly during the online exhibit coming up. Besides the testing session on Discord, our team didn’t take any further communication in the past two weeks. As the "team leader" of the team, I set up the Team final delivery report on Google Docs for the team. However, at the moment everyone is busy with their own work, so we haven’t come up with a team strategy for finalise the assignment. I hope we won’t get into the same traps as before, finished the assignment only 1 hour before the deadline (finger crossed).

Q1: One sentence description of concept

The Earth Globe - an interactive globe aim to help children develop good habits for the care of environment, especially focusing on garbage recycling.

Q2: Show us what you’ve been working on

Since last week, I've been working on the design on my portfolio website.

In the past two weeks, I tried to more participants to help me with the evaluation, but it didn’t work as well as I expected. So far I get 2 teams and 3 individual feedbacks.

Link to the Evaluation doc

Q3: Exhibit in 2 weeks - main priority to make it feel “finished”?

  • I'll fix the little problem in my prototype next, but I'm not planning to add further function to it.
  • no colour detection feature will be added to my final prototype
  • the material preparation for the online exhibition (create a logo for the project)
  • portfolio website design and building
  • write the content for the website

Q4: Questions about the annotated portfolio?

  • About reference: I'm using the bootstrap template for the structure of my website, should we put all the reference regarding code snippet on our website as well? Put reference at the bottom of each page or gathering them together on one page

→ put framework and code snippets references at footer; other image/video, just put as source next to them; academic paper, could be reference together or at the bottom of each page

  • About link to the main channel and team: Since our team has been shifting into individual project, do we still need to include the team members information and the link to other team members portfolio page on our website?

→ not necessary, but need put the link back to the exhibition page - maybe on the banner

Annotated portfolio building progress

As I mentioned in the report back session, my focus is on the website building during this week. After choosing a Bootstrap framework, I attempt to make each section fit into my needs to present my work. I have picked the colour scheme and fonts for my website. Although the details still need to be adjusted in CSS and some parts by using JavaScript still need to be fixed. Generally, I'm quite happy with how my portfolio website looks like at the moment.

Here is what the website looks like so far:

Portfolio website building process 1 Portfolio website building process 1

Portfolio website building process 1 Portfolio website building process 1

As be shown in the images, the content hasn't been generated this week. The main body content and media material will be started to make and add to the website step by step from next week. Hopefully, by the end of next week,I’ll be able to finish the website building.

Week 11

Kasey Zheng - Sun 24 May 2020, 1:59 pm
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 4:36 pm

Recap & Refresh

I cannot believe it is already week 11 now, personally I am still not that into full study mood compare to the days we can still go to campus. But now since it hasn’t got too much time left for this semester, I need to refresh my mind and be ready for the final delivery. At the end of last week, I talked with Alison about my concerns about the following works in this course, and especially the final product we will present at the end of this semester. I feel a bit disappointed with the work I've done so far, although I do believe I have tried my best to make the prototype as much as I can. But I'm still not satisfied with the work. That’s because I have been to the exhibition last year to see other teams' final product and the way how they presented their work. Compared to their work, I fill my individual work is too shallow, and childish couldn’t reach the standard of this 4 unit course. The other reason is my last semester of doing the Master of Interaction Design course, I really want the outcomes of this course to be the highlight in my portfolio. Alison helped me to go through all the situations we are facing now and give me some faith to carry on the work from now on. Here is the reflection of what I did for the previous weeks (from week 7 to week 10) throughout the prototype development process:

The objective conditions are:

  • team-based project switched into an individual project
  • the workload to accomplish a whole project increased significantly without a functional team
  • the difficulty of conduct user research especially with the user group of children (although the other team member made the commitment to conduct the interview with their family members, for some unknown reasons it didn’t happen)
  • the limitation of materials and tools since we cannot get to the workshop on campus

My personal issues are:

  • bad time management when work at home, especially procrastinate the documentation and demo video making works to the last three days of the deadline
  • suffering demotivation during the prototype making progress, and being passive about the final product result
  • feel helpless without working with peers in the same physical space sometimes, because peer pressure is one of my energy sources

In order to prevent myself fall into the loop being self-doubt and passive about the following works and challenges. I attempted to separate things I'm currently worrying about into two big categories, 1) the things I can do better or make changes from now on; 2)the things I cannot control or fix with my own capability and knowledge. By doing this, I have a clearer goal of what I want to achieve and improve the skill throughout, and by the end of this course.

Since there are two weeks left before the final delivery and the online exhibit, and four weeks before my thesis delivery. I would like to allocate my time into three parts:

  1. the prototype minor functional changing and details improvement, to make sure the prototype could be prepared in its best state for the online exhibition
  2. annotated portfolio website design and making
  3. process documentation and try to include a bit more academic aspect into the project, keep journal writing(especially add more details into week 9 & 10 journals) and verbal material for the portfolio website as well

Studio & Contact Session

During this week's studio session, Lorna took us to have a quick look at the rundown for the final delivery. After the class I went through the brief again carefully by my self, and made a plan for what I need to in the next two following weeks. Here is my response to the activities in class.

Q1: What is one good thing you can say about lockdown?

To be honest I’m not able to think about anything good for my course and thesis. Since they have been affected a lot from many aspects, and those things directly resulted in unsatisfied outcomes. But for my personal life, there’s something I really appreciate and feel lucky about. Which is I could spend much more time with my boyfriend and his family at a farm. Which is a brand new experience for me.

Q2: Based on feedback to date & what you have left to complete; What are your key priorities?

I'm not really sure what I can do more for my prototype since I almost finish all of the parts of my prototype. But for sure, I will do some minor adjustments and improvements for my prototype to get prepared for the final delivery and exhibition. But at this stage, I don’t think I can do much more about my prototype under the current situation.

Based on two team appraisals I've got on Miro so far, both teams brought up the major problem that the input might cause confusion for the user. Since it became a good/bad choice question, that throw garbage into the recycling bin is good, and throw garbage into the general waste bin is bad. And they suggested me to add garbage distinguish or classify function to my prototype by using camera and machine learning skills.

For the function of garbage distinguish/classify, suggestions from Ben is to utilizs the colour tracking and detection feature. However, I believe it is kind of challenging and difficult for me to implement this feature from the technical aspect. Also, I need to consider my budget spending on this project, I don’t have much left to complete this as part of the final delivery, to be honest. I hope some of my teammates will have the chance to implement this interesting function ion their work. And I'm really looking forward to seeing the final results of their final product as well. Here is the source: webcam colour detection and processing (what that video is using) to Arduino

Finally, I believe the key priority for my own project is to put more focus on communication tools preparation and practice for the online exhibition rather than the prototype. The communication document for the last time was not finished properly and with pretty low quality from my own aspect. Therefore, in order to have better communication with the audience to understand and interact with the prototype online, I will try my best to do a better job of demonstrating the final product.

Q3: What concerns/questions do you have? (doesn't have to be directly project related)
  • Again, the biggest concern from the beginning of this project and still hasn’t been solved is the lack of children's engagement throughout the whole design process. As a team, we only got one children's interview so far. And I couldn’t be able to get any child to watch the demo video or actually interact with my prototype. I will not continue trying to tackle this issue from now on, because this is beyond my capacity. No matter how hard I try, it still cannot be solved. And it is taken too much energy from me as well.

Alison gave me the suggestion on last Friday that I could add some supplementary information to complement this drawback. The first thing I can do is add more academic research including theoretical frame, principle of children education, and school and family settings. For instance, positive reinforcement to help children learn better and teach/train children in patience. The second thing I can have a look at is the children’s teaching television programme. Seeing how the TV shows teach/introduce concepts to children is also a good way to know more about children’s mindsets under the creative learning theme.

  • The final team report is another thing I'm worried about at the moment because it is really hard to work as a team based on previous experiences. It is even difficult to get all the team members together to talk about the assignment.
  • Time management for both thesis and the rest delivery of this course is another thing I'm worried about. Since the deadline for the critical reflection essay is the same day with my thesis, I'm a bit worry about if I could finish it with high quality. So I asked Lorna if it is possible to get an extension for the last assignment given this certain situation.

Feedback from the individual prototype evaluation

At the end of this week, I received three feedback from the online individual prototype evaluation. Not as I expected, I didn't manage to get five users to participate. And there's only one user who has teaching experience with children in third grade at a public school in the US. For the general experience, all of the three participants could understand the intended experience the concept is trying to deliver. Some of them showed strong empathy through the changes especially when the “tragedy” happening on the globe. And they are" looking forward to seeing the enhanced version of The Earth Globe in the future. Here are the valuable constructive suggestions from the individual participants.

For the visual aspect, the user hopes the globe could show the environmental changes be more vivid, more like an immersive experience. They would like to see if the best result and the worst result that happens to the globe become more dramatic. This will need to include an extra LED screen or projector to show more visual changes. Although this is a good suggestion, it will not be considered to be added in the next stage since the initial concept is not to use a digital screen in the physical installation. But the issue that the user is having a bit of a hard time telling which was supposed to be the bad bin and which is good has been solved. The big signs for the rubbish bins have been made and added to them to show the user clearer distinguish between them. In terms of hearing, the melody is chosen for the prototype to meet the baseline that understandable for the users. However, they are a bit ambiguous, not clearer enough for some users to distinguish the positive and negative notice by the globe. The exploration and improvement of the sounds used in the final product will be carrying on in the next developing process. Finally for the touch, according to one of the users, the buzz and shaking function will be reconsidered and make adjustments in the next step. One serious issue is that it did not noticeable enough compare to the dropping down and lifting up features. It is cannot be fixed, then this feature will emerge with the other one together.

The Sight Function

The visual effect of LED lights colour changing and shifting received all positive responses from the testers. The dropping down and lifting up the function of the globe also draws enough attention from the user. They did feel an emotional connection with the globe and be reminded that every action counts when it comes to environmental protection.

One of the users says:

“With the music, color, and the lifting and dropping of the globe, it is a very straightforward way of showing whether the earth is doing well. When the globe is “dropping his head”, it feels heartbroken for me.” - Participant 02

The other user also states that:

“The colour change on the globe reminds me of global warming. Since it was triggered by an action, I would associate the action done to the outcome displayed on the globe. I felt like I was curious as to how much “worse” the globe could get and also how much “better” it could get depending on what I do. I think it’s good that eventually, the whole thing turns red indicating an irreversible kind of damage.” - Participant 04

The Hearing Function

The melody be chosen for the prototype meet the base line that understandable for the users. However, they are a bit ambiguous, not clearer enough for some user to distinguish the positive and negative notice by the globe. The exploration and improvement for the sounds used in the final product will be carrying on in the next developing process.

One said:

“Accompanying music would be better if it’s a sigh voice from an older man gradually… you might do some research about how music prompt behaviours change.”- Participant 01

The other user also mentioned:

“I want it to be more fancy! Like a magic ball can see the future or it can talk to me or it can sing a song to me not just music… but with lyrics and easy for me to remember and sing to other kids.” - Participant 03

The Touch function

The buzz and shaking function will be reconsidered and make adjustments in the next step. One serious issue is that it did not noticeable enough compare to the dropping down and lifting up features. It is cannot be fixed, then this feature will emerge with the other one together.

One of the user expresses her concern that:

“…Can make it more smooth, it shakes so horrible…”- Participant 03

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

Version for parents:

Are you having trouble to teach your kids about how to do a better job in recycling the garbage? Do you find it is hard to keep their interest for a longer period so they can develop a new habit to protect the environment? Either text-based or oral introduction is not attractive enough for children to keep them concentrating on the topic. Therefore, we present an alternative solution for teaching children about environmental protection through their everyday life at school. The interactive globe earth will give children a multiple digital sensation interactive experience when they throw away the garbage. Next, the children will get feedback from the earth by how the globe changing in real-time. In this way, children will understand that every decision they made in daily life will have an actual impact on the planet we all living together.

Week 10

Kasey Zheng - Sun 17 May 2020, 10:29 pm
Modified: Sun 21 June 2020, 4:26 pm

Tuesday Studio Session

During the whole studio session on Tuesday. Our team spent 5 hours together watch the prototype demonstration video(also scanning the document as supply material) to discuss and give critique for the other three teams. Here are the details about how we conducted it and how I feel during and finished the whole process.

Team Apprasial

How we did it?

We first set up a Google doc as the place to write individual critique while watching peers; demonstration video. Then we watch the video individually but at the same time while writing down the personal thoughts and suggestions in the doc. After that we go back and discuss our thoughts as a team on Zoom. The discussion usually lasts for about 10 minutes for each project. We manage to gather thoughts from different aspects since we all have different specialists. For instance, Jay is more confident to give suggestions from the technical aspect. Listening to what he said definitely helped me to look at the same project from different points of view. As for myself, I tried to give advice from user experience aspect. Which including how could the intended experience could make more sense in that using scenario and how the technology is used could serve the concept more precisely. After the studio session, each of us assigned to summarise each individual’s critiqure together and pull it up as a collaborative team appraisal.

What do I feel?

The process of giving appraisals for the other three teams' works probably is the best teamwork we have done so far. We got all the four-team members together working on something together during the whole studio session. And we finished watching all the demonstration videos and write the critique in a really efficient way. Personally, I did with 2.5 team appraisals summary tasks assigned by Wednesday noon. I feel really good that I was finally have done some work without any procrastination these days. This is mainly thanks to the endeavour when we are working as a whole team. I wish we could work as a team efficiently, not only for this time but for more time in the future. Watching other teams' and individual's work is also inspired by me. Because I wasn’t really know about what other peers prototype building process and final result before. This session really gave us a good opportunity to look through other's work and rethink about how the work has been done so far of myself.

Individual Prototype Evaluation

I have also conducted an individual online evaluation. The complete evaluation document could be found here(→Prototype Evaluation doc:, four participants have been involved in this process. Five feedback questions have been created for the evaluation. I'm aiming to collect five user evaluation feedback form people who may have experienced being with children from grades one to three in primary school.

Individual Prototype Evaluation

Friday Workshop Session

On this Friday, I got the opportunity to talk about my own concerns about the process of building the prototype and the next movement for the following weeks. I did feel much better after share my feeling and got many advices from both Alison and Clay. Thank you both a lot! :)

Week 9

Kasey Zheng - Sun 10 May 2020, 10:14 pm
Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 12:03 pm

Tuesday’s studio session

A brief recap:

Theme: digital sensation(5 senses) + creative learning

Goal: Aiming to teach primary school students to learn about environmental protection and sustainability in their everyday school life by a playful, open-ended interactive way.

One sentence: create an interactive globe to help primary school students develop a habit to classify garbage in their everyday school life.

  • What have you achieved in the last week towards your prototype goals?

After gathering all the materials and electrical components, I started the prototype building process. I have developed it separately

With the help of my friend, the diagram of both system and circuit have been done. It really helps me to have a general idea of how should those sensors and wires should be link together and how I should organise everything tidying on the breadboard.

The interview with the primary is about to happen this week. We have gathered 20 questions so far. Hopefully, three user interviews will be finished by Friday. Then we can get the insights/outcomes to include in our prototype document.

  • What are the last-minute tasks you need to complete before prototype submission next Monday?

It is still building in the process. I've tested each part of the sensor and components last week. So I just hope everything will work well together when I finish it, especially for the code part. Also, I need to work on the report and video.

About the user research, since it hasn’t happened so far, it didn’t actually affect on the design process. So I wanna ask how should I describe this part in the prototype document?

  • What are you concerns/needs in regard to getting those done?

How to put everything link together and write the code are the two biggest concern for me at this stage. I'm worried about that I would spend on too much time on those two, but don’t have enough time for video making and document writing.

Prototype building process

The first thing I do at the beginning of this week is to improve the aesthetic aspect of my globe. Since the material of the globe is paper, that makes the LED lights easily can get through the surface and be seen quite well from even one meter away. So I decided to draw the brought outline of the shape of each continent so that the user could have a direct impression of the earth when they first see the prototype.

How to connect so many wires, cables with the breadboard was a challenge for me. So I found cardboard and cut it to fit the room under the globe stand. Then I used double side tape to fix the main breadboard and DC-DC module together. It works pretty well.

Prototype making progress1

Next, I started to solder the wires and connect each individual part together according to the circuit diagram I created from last week. The soldering process was quite difficult for me because some wires couldn't get attached to the part I wanted it to go easily. Some parts spent me over 10 minutes and 3-5 times trying to get them done. Then I started to figure out how to attach the servo motor to the globe stand. I used a glue gun to glue the main body of the servo to the platform designed for the servo first. And used a wire to link the servo and the arm to lift the globe together.

DC motor was used here to perform the vibration for the globe shaking effect. I decided to use a little box aa the container of the motor so that it won't hurt the paper globe when it started to vibrate. After soldered wires to the motor and connect it to the power, it vibrated pretty well.

Prototype making progress1

The design of the LED lights was quite tricky for me at the beginning. Because I need to find a colour wheel for the RBG colour code. Then I need to set the colour code changing corresponding for each different position of the globe. Since I'm using the existed Neo Pixel library, the basic LED changing patterns have been setting up for me. So once I figured out what LED changing effect I want to the user and the colour changing code for that part, it is started to make sense for me of the code.

Prototype making progress1

The core of the code is to figure out how to record the input data from the ultrasonic sensors and transform those data into different outputs in the next step. Here I decided to make it easier to consider all the data get from one set of ultrasonic sensors to be the positive input. And the data get from the other one set of ultrasonic sensors to be the negative input. I used the garbage point to represent this data set. In such, all the positive input will correspond to the opposite output, and vice versa.

Prototype making progress1

By the end of this week, al the outputs I wanted to add to the globe are basically working. However, there're still some functions not really stable and have error occurs during the testing. But it is ready for the video shooting at this stage. Since I have only a few days to make the prototype video and write the prototype document, I will leave the prototype making progress to stop here.

Prototype making progress1

The diagram for both video and document is making at this point, although I'm still a bit confused with the difference between the interaction plan and the user journey map. I will make sure the delivery due next Monday could be done on time.

Concept overview statement

Kasey Zheng - Mon 4 May 2020, 2:49 pm

What is your concept / individual focus / individual responsibility for the project? Include a text-based description and imagery to support (sketches, photos etc).

Since our team didn’t have a really clear collaboration strategy, I switched my concept completely to an individual project. My individual concept will stay with the team concept and has three digital sensations functions as output of the globe in this prototype.

The educational content about to pass to the users would be the recycling education at school. Teaching primary school students the importance of recycling at school in everyday school life; helping them to have a better understanding of what can be recycled and what can not be; what are the benefit of recycling to the community and to the earth.

I hope by this new creative learning form, children will be able to have a better understanding of: why recycling is important to be conducted every day at school; how it will affect the community and the earth; every single action they take does matter and it will eventually have an impact to the earth. And the ultimate goal of this project would be helping children to develop a recycling habit in their daily life and pass this notion to their family and more people in the community.

Interaction plan 1.0/project overview illustration

What is the ideal finished product? (not what you think you can implement, achieve, but what you would like to be if you had all the resources/skills you need?)

Ideally, the interactive globe I’m building should be able to respond to users behaviour instantly and express its feeling by utilising the “digital sensations“ it has. To be more specific, the user's input would be throwing garbage into two rubbish bins, the general waste bin and the recycling waste bin. Then an instant response would be given to the users to let them know what they just did, has what effect to the earth. Three main interactive methods with the globe are:


  • the user could see the light and colour changing inside the globe (neo-pixel LED ring will be used here)
  • also the globe will be able to shift different height by the lever which hang the globe, to lift up and down (Servo motor will be using here as the lever to rotate ≤180 degrees)

2.Hear-able: the user will hear the positive/negative sounds/tones as the feedback(emotional expression) of the globe (the piezo will be used here to create simple tones)

3.Touch-able: the user could put their hands on the globe to feel it (DC motor will be used here to create vibration/shaking effects)

Week 8

Kasey Zheng - Sun 3 May 2020, 11:15 pm
Modified: Sun 3 May 2020, 11:15 pm

Tuesday’s studio session

A brief recap

Theme: digital sensation(5 senses) + creative learning

Goal: Aiming to teach primary school students to learn about environmental protection and sustainability in their everyday school life by a playful, open ended interactive way.

One sentence: to create an interactive globe to help primary school students develop a habit to classify garbage in their everyday school life.

  • NOTE: everyone should start their report back with a quick description of their concept (individual concept or focus in team project)

my own project is focus on creating a interactive globe to help primary school students develop a habit to classify garbage in their everyday school life.

  • What is the one BIG question you have about the Prototype deliverable?

Since it has become completely individual project, I'm not sure the prototype I'm working on is enough or not to meet the standard/requirements for the prototype demonstration due on next week.

  • What is your one key aim for your prototype (or part of the prototype)? This is the main thing that you want to have working or completed or figured out for your prototype.

The key aim for my prototype is to test the basic function and make sure the key interaction methods actually work. And the user could get the idea and concept that I try to pass to them.


  • by using ultrasonic sensors x 4 (2 for each of the bin)


put everything in a plain white paper lantern (diameter=20cm):

  • 1 neo-pixel ring will enough to reflect the light on the whole globe
  • vibration sensor(motor and motor controller) - to stimulate the shaking of the globe
  • piezo(sound sensor module) - make simple tone to play

  • What concerns or needs do you have for getting it done?

I still need sometimes to figure out all the sensors and components need to be used for the prototype. And the code also need sometime to figure out how to put every single part of the code I have so far together and make sure they can work pretty well together.

The user research is another I am worry about. The team haven’t been response to the solution to this crucial part in out design process. I will try to ask everyone again this week to see what we do about it.

  • Show us what you have been working on - this can be via the video on Zoom or a photo/video into the studio channel on Slack.

I just got the Axilary kit delivery yesterday afternoon, so I haven’t started to give it a go for the components I want to use yet. But now I have got all the basic materials and sensors, so I'm about to start building the prototype from today.

Prototype building in progress

After getting the Auxilliary Kit delivery on Monday afternoon, I started to try different sensors and components in the kit after the Tuesday studio session. I first gave it a go to the Neo-pixel led ring, which will be used as the main visual expression tool for my prototype. By utilising the Adafruit NeoPixel Library, it turns out pretty good. But I still nee to figure out the suitable light design for the earth. I will keep trying to code my own light design for the paper globe next week.


As for the main body part of the prototype, I tried to find the existing product form the shops. However, I didn’t find out the suitable one to work as the stand/support base for the globe. Therefore, I decided to seek the help from my friend who own the 3D printer to build my own stand. The bottom of the stand will be able to hide all the wires and Arduino and breadboard parts. The top of curve part will be able to hang the paper globe. It took almost one day to finish these two components by the 3D printer. It was quite fun to design a 3D design by using the software.


After gathering all the materials and electrical components, I started the actual prototype building process. With the help of my friend, the diagram of both system and circuit have been done. It really helps me to have a general idea of how should those sensors and wires should be link together and how I should organise everything tidying on the breadboard. The image on the middle is the final result of the prototype building process at the end of this week. The aesthetic of the globe will be add next week. At the moment I'm thinking of draw the rough shape of the continent on the globe to give the user the basic idea that this globe is the representation of earth.


User research up to date

On Fridays workshop session, Eddie, Kuan and I decided to conduct the initial inquiry in the next week. This would be included as the main part of the user research, as a team- based process and result. Since it’s difficult to get access to the primary students at the moment, Eddie proposed that he could conduct the user interview with his little sisters and cousins back in home. The details regarding to ethical issues with conduct interview with children under 18 years old will be confirmed with the tutor before any further action being taken. During the team discussion session, we set the primary goals and questionnaires together as a team. So that the result of user research may cover both team concept and individual project's scope, and each team member could use include the user research as part of their "user research" in the prototype document.

I did a bit more research on the current situation of recycling work at school in Queensland.

Works have been done in Brisbane:

Waste Smart Kindy | Brisbane City Council

Waste programs for schools | Brisbane City Council

Teacher resources - recycling and reducing waste | Brisbane City Council

Instructions for conducting a solid waste audit | Brisbane City Council

School waste audit bin descriptions | Brisbane City Council

In Mackay region:

Mackay Regional Council - Information for schools

Mackay Regional Council - Household collection

Based on the team discussion, I set up the document of user research for the team. Other team members also contributed to add questions into the document. By the end of this week, we've gathered 20 questions. Jay also volunteer to conduct an extra interview with his younger sister. That's a good news for the team. However, those are definitely too much questions for a child interview. And some of the questions are too much or too difficult to answer even for adults. Therefore, before next Tuesday's studio session, we will try to filtrate the interview questions again. Then the interview should be carry on according to the team schedule.

Link to the Google doc

Aim: to discover primary students' knowledge and attitude towards garbage classify system in Australia

Questions: 10 questions have been come up with by me during this week.

Initial inquiry document

Week 7

Kasey Zheng - Sun 26 April 2020, 11:25 pm

Tuesday studio session

At the beginning of this week, I finally got my laptop repaired so that every work could get back to the track. Although besides exploring the very basic usage of the component in the first Arduino kit, I didn’t make much progress during the mid break. I came up with a clearer individual project concept by talking with some of my friends who get better technical backgrounds.

What did you achieve over the break? (this does not have to be course related)

  • Went through branch of Arduino videos on both YouTube and Arduino Project Hub. Did the activity/tutorial on different sensors in the kit to get familiar with the Arduino sensor.
  • Did some basic function and coding exploration by following the tutorial provided by Ben and the sources on Arduino's official website. Which, including:

LED lights: to show the visualized changing(Colour coding/combination and area changing) Only for visual assistance, since the visual part is not the main focus for the prototype to fit in the theme of digital sensations

Piezo: make vibration and noise and express the negative feelings of the earth

Servo motor: consider using the indicator to show the statement of the earth

  • Team Miro board: Keep adding to this & developing it over the course of the project.

I'm not really sure what to add at the moment, since the other two team members didn’t involve in the board creating at all. At this stage, our team strategy turns out more close to the option 3. We are not clear about what other team members are working on their own projects. There's almost no communication taking even in the weekly regular meeting session.

What is your main task for the next week?

  • Wait for the Auxilliary Kit delivery arrived then start to start the building
  • Planning back based on the three weeks prototype building plan
  • Start to look at libraries could be used for my own project
  • Consider using dummy data for the input part rather than the real user input
  • Keep exploring the possibility of using a different sensor for the project

What concerns do you have about completing it?

  1. How to do the globe thing? Found a glass globe, consider putting all the equipment into the globe.
  2. Don’t how to apply Smell and temperature at the moment; Don’t know what to used for detect and release the smell, need help for this part.
  3. Let the user to hold the globe, so that they could feel the temperature changing of the earth. Don’t know how to make the temperature changing inside the globe.
  4. The biggest concern at this stage is we could not get participant for the user research. Since our target users are primary school students or teachers : no access to them, don’t know the kids would like it or not, if our concept is really a good idea to help them learn about environmental protection and sustainability? How to conduct the interview and users testing? Is that ok to conduct the user testing of the prototype with adult?
  5. Worry about the data input, consider might just use some dummy data for the user input. Since the input is not the core interaction part of our concept. Want to ensure if this gonna be OK?

In the report back session, both Kuan and me brought up this concern up and talked with Lorna. The solution Lorna provided for us is to create a Facebook group, trying to ask parents and teachers to get involved in the user research. So during this week I will try to figure this out with Kuan. (Also during the group discussion session, Eddie mentioned about that he might be able ti ask his younger sister to answer few questions remotely. But I'm not really sure if this would be worked for all of ours user research session. So this will be looking into more details next week.

A brief recap

Theme: digital sensation(5 senses) + creative learning

Goal: Aiming to teach primary school students to learn about environmental protection and sustainability in their everyday school life by a playful, open ended interactive way.

topic choosing process

Changes for the Individual concept

  • a paper based artcraft globe (paper lanterns)
  • a plain white paper lantern🏮, or could be painted into green blue coulored lantern🌏instead

Lanterns - White

Fun365 | Craft, Party, Wedding, Classroom Ideas & Inspiration


Rubbish classification would be the specific topic I am going to choose for the students in primary school. Since this mainly concerning put different garbage into either general waste bin and recycling bin, the demonstration prototype would be suitable for this topic. Therefore, Ultrasonic sensor would be a perfect sensor detecting if there is any object approaches/put into the bin.

Interaction ways with the prototype(Main functions):

At the moment this three ways of senses are considered to be used for the #### Outputs:

  • Visual-able: the user could see the light and colour changing on the surface of the globe
  • Hear-able: the user will hear the positive/negative sounds as the feedback(emotional expressiion) of the globe to undersrand either they have done right or wrong.

Vibrarting/Shaking: the simulation of earthquake and land slide by utilising vibration effect:

  • Touchable: the user could put their hands on the globe to feel it

Temperatures changing: heat to represent the global warming happening

  • Ordour-able*: the user could sense the smell of what happening on the earth Gave up the initial idea of embedded smell into the prototype.
interaction ways

Friday workshop session

One of my thought during the report back session during the workshop session is that I feel very fruitful to pay attention to others working process. Because apparently I'm not really familiar with all the components of Arduino and I won’t be able to use more than 5 sensor in my own project. So it is really a good chance for me to see what other peers are attempting to use different components for their projects. If this happens in the normal class, I won’t get this much opportunity to look what others are doing and learn that much about how they actually are trying to make it. For me personally this is a nicer way to learn more about Arduino in a quick efficient way.

I went through the brief and prototype template thoroughly during the Friday's workshop session. I tried to break down each session into smaller parts so that I can have a better idea for what I need to do in the next following weeks. There're several points I didn’t really about, so I discussed with Kuan to share our thoughts after the session ended. That was quite helpful and I got some idea of how to out the documentation all together. During the week I also had some conversation with other friends from the course. It's definitely a good idea to share ideas with others rather then being completely alone. And it's also feeling pretty good to have some friends around and know that we're there to supporting each other during this special time.

Arduino exploring process

Until the next week studio session, I will keep looking for possible solution for my concept so far while waiting for the Auxilliary Kit to come to my place. So that I can start build the prototype as soon as possible.


Kasey Zheng - Sun 12 April 2020, 4:41 pm

Key achievement for this week

The major complement of this week is that we finished both team and individual proposal report for the project. During Tuesday’s studio session, we reported back as a team of what we’ve done for the last week and further plan for the upcoming mid-break. Also, in the workshop session on this Thursday, we officially got a hands on Arduino Kit.

Here's a little bit of reflection on the report writing progress. For my individual part, after I decided to go for the idea of focusing on smell-based interaction last weekend, I started to write the document. I wasn’t really satisfied with the project planning section, because to be honest I didn’t come up with a comprehensive prototype building plan at this stage.

As for the team-based part, I wouldn't say that a pleasant team collaborate experience. We are really disappointed and be tired of the absence of other team members. We could not gather the whole parts of the report until few hours until the deadline. And some team members didn't bother to read the whole report at all, that caused the consistency of the report became terrible. Now I'm a little bit glad that we've got the individual project instead the team one. Otherwise, the teamwork probably couldn't be carry on at all. So at this stage, I'm not hoping the get efficient support and backup from the team at all.

Tuesday studio session Tuesday studio session

Methods for discovery

The first thing we did is to “conduct” an observation on trains. So I tried to bring all the memory back based on my last train riding experience. That was quite different from the observation we have done before actually, because it was based on my memory. But still it helps me to go through the methods to conduct a study. After my own part, I also got the chance to have a look at others observations result. The same setting on train has totally different contents and insights. After the exploration of different methods, I picked up three potential methods could be used for my individual project. Those are phone call interview after showing user the demonstration video; Informal cultural probes by asking the user to take pictures following the instruction; holding an online discussion/workshop by using Miro and other collaborate tools. Of course, it might not be that easy to get the data, feedback we would like to collect that easy. Therefore, me and my team will try to employ multiple methods by individuals to find out which is the most suitable method from our team-based project.

There are also some concerns come from the situation we are facing at the moment. Since our target user is primary school students, it would quite difficult to get access to them. It may require special advocacy/gatekeeper approval to observe and interview children in class. But we had the similar issue when doing the Introduction to Web design course. We were designing a website contains interactive educational context for children. Without the direct contact with actual children, we conducted methods with peers and other adults. It still works for most part of the user experience build and improve parts. However, there are still limitations and issues didn’t solved without field investigation.

As for my personal project, I decided to use online interview for the evaluation session. I’m consider to show the finalized prototype video to peers and friends(who might have access to the children), the asking them to do a short interview(might be either formal or informal) with me. The method of google forms we used to used for the Digital Prototyping course would not be consider as a formal research method for this project.

Tuesday studio session

Breaking down a project

The other in-class activity we did in the class was trying to breakdown the massive project into small parts so that we could have a clearer idea of that we are going to do step by step. This mapping result definitely helps me to come up with the whole project plan for the next upcoming weeks. We started at the "Context of Use", which put more focus on the usage scenario of the concept. It involves three big aspects of location, people and time. However, it was a bit hard to finish the mapping by only two team members. We are really disappointed and tired by the absence of other team members.

The second one we tried to fill in and finish is the "Thing Itself" mapping. It focus on the prototype we are about to build itself. Form and Function are the two big parts we attempt to dig into. I tried to figure out the main function of the prototype. However, I still haven't figure put what the specific modules I'm going to use to build the prototype. Also the material be choose to demonstrate the globe will be considered more carefully.

Link to our team's board

Plan for the Easter break

As I mentioned in the report back session on Tuesday, there are still many unclear and uncertain issues have not been resolved in my proposed idea. I’ll use the break to look at Issues regarding:

  • What sensor could be used to detect the input and release the certain smell as output?
  • What container/fragment box for the smell could be use for my prototype? Are they going to be able to storage and release the smell smoothly?
  • What visual components do I need to build for the prototype? Could I collaborate the visual part together with the team? If yes, how are we going to build the visual part together?

The self-learning and processing the things we've learned in the last workshop session will be the main goal and practice for me to do during the break as well.

Week 5

Kasey Zheng - Sun 5 April 2020, 11:59 pm

Teamwork Progress

On Tuesday, we had the session about how our team is going to work for the prototype. Finally, we decided to go for the option two, which is team concept will keep developing collaboratively while we were working on the team proposal report. At the same time each of us will consider our own specialist/particular interesting point from different aspects.

During the Report Back session, we summary what we have done in the past week and talk about the concerns and plans for the future plan. This session really help me keep motivated because I can see all other peers are working hard on the course and we can also have emotional support from each other.


On Friday's technical support session, we keep exploring the possibility to use some unusual interactive way to express our concept. And as a team we decided go for option 2 to carry on our team concept and individual prototype building part.


In this week, I also started to working on team proposal report. Since I'm in charge to the part how we deal and respond to the feedback in the pitch. I chose to use affinity diagram creating by new team collaborative tool Miro to organize them. It went pretty good; it gave us a clearer view for all the different focus advice and suggestion for our concept. I also tried to read more peer-reviewed paper regarding smell-based interaction to fulfil the theoretical aspect of our proposed concept. I believe the team proposal should be completed in a few days.


Individual Exploration

In this week, I keep searching for an interesting project applying smell as the key interaction way between human and object. One of the Japanese project uses a special smell QR code to distinguish/organize different smell of food and wine draw my attention. I'm thinking of using different smell code to represent different human behaviours affect the globe. Further research to support my personal proposal report will be carried on in the next week.

Since Lorna gave us a new direction to look at how current Australia primary school educate children on sustainability and protect environment. I went through some curriculum materials and introduction in that area and found an interesting project report focusing on such theme we're looking at. I went through it and got some interesting data to support my idea. From next Monday I'll start to writing my individual proposed idea part of the report. (Arduino auxiliary kit exploration is still keeping going, but I will need for some support in the next coming workshop session.)


Week 4

Kasey Zheng - Sun 29 March 2020, 10:45 pm

Prepare for the Pitch

In week 4, we delivered the concept pitch by a recorded video during the class zoom session. It was new and challenging for all of us for the first time. Once I get used to the pace, it gets easier to carry on. Compared to listen presentation in a class, it's actually more easy to concentrate on the actual content and giving more thoughtful feedback.

The exploration for the globe is the first thing I did in the week, by searching and looking at the different projects by utilising the same object "globe", I got some basic idea of how could the prototype could be build look like.

Globe Inspiration part1 Globe Inspiration part1

We had two meetings before the pitch. The first meeting shared everyone's idea for the concept, discuss the details concerting three main parts of the concept. Then the second meeting to make sure everyone get ready for all the material we need for the presentation. It's a bit stressful for me at this part because the individual part should be finished by some of the team member could be done in time and keep putting off for about two days. This defiantly affected the whole process of the presentation making. And result in the last minute work done, and some mistakes appears in the video. I learnt from this time and hope this situation won't be happen again in the future.

I'm part of the duty for slides making, script writing, voiceover recording and the video editing. To be more specific, Kuan and I were working on bringing all the content together to make sure our concept could be converted clearly and comprehensibly into the audience. After finished the final draft of the illustration, we had a finalized version of our concept. We spent 3 hours working on the slides and scripts together to structure the whole presentation. After that I collected the individual part video and audio from Jay and Eddie to pull all the materials together. I did the overall job of voiceover for the video and it's still a challenge for me. I hope I did communicate our idea clear and sounds attractive for the audience, although I still doubt it and know that there are something I could improve and well for the next time.

Concept further exploration

After the pitch session, we got some feedback directly from Lorna and other tutors on Zoom. We also discussed further more in a private zoom meeting with Alison and Clay right after the class. Based on the feedback from both teaching team and peers, we had three major concerns for the further concept developing.

  1. input - how could the user's data input be more interactive and entertaining
  2. expression ways of the globe - how could the impact of the input could be shown more directly on the globe, then give the user an impressive feeling
  3. output - a summary result of the collaborated work all users get involved, an actionable advice/suggestion for the behaviour changing in future daily life would be ideal

At the meeting on this Friday, we shared about the basic understanding of concept and discussed further more of how wee going to be work as a team in the next step. We went through the team proposal report doc I setup on Google drive together, to make sure everyone understand what we are about to do. We went through the feedback altogether again to make understand what parts haven’t been consider thoroughly in our concept. Although we tried to have another round of brainstorming at that time, it's difficult for everyone to have some new ideas from new angles. We kind of stuck in the loop that could think out of what we had so far. At here, I suggested we have a pause at this point, to let everyone have some new input during the time before the next meeting. The tasks for every team member were: think of two possible interaction way to let the user input their daily behaviour/habit; find two peer-reviewed academic research papers related our concept. Then we will have another meeting on Sunday to hear everyone's report back then move forward. The particular I make those tasks for everyone is I found it's hard to work remotely from home and doing the team meeting online. We a;ll tend to be demotivated and lose the focus on the concept developing progress. It's also difficult to narrow down into certain area that each individual will focus on(at least for myself when I tried to do the further research). I wish by doing these tasks, all team members will have a more clear goal for both team proposed concept and their individual concept exploration.

input exploration

Lastly, we had another meeting at Sunday afternoon as a report back session. Each of us shared the outcomes of the two given tasks and discussed a bit further. According to the research paper each individual chose, I can sense the different focus that everyone's currently get more interested in. For the input methods everyone came up with, I could also have a rough understanding of everyone's preferred interaction mode. This is a good exploration for everyone I would like to say. Personally I found one papers researched on multi-sensory flavour perception and one project regarding designing a smell-based interaction. Therefore, at this stage I'm more interested in build the smell/flavour feature or function for the globe. In next week I will still looking at different aspects to see what other functions have been explored so far in the current research and practice area.

Finally, at the end of this week our team allocated every breakdown section in the team-based proposal report and set the proof-reading time one day before the deadline. It's not like we are going to focus completely individually for our own project, we are still going to keep the communicate channel open and support for each other. On the Tuesday session next week, we are planning to ask the teaching team the implementing details of our concept especially asking for the technical support. Then the regular team meeting will be held right after the session.

Hopefully in next week, I could decide which certain are I would like to put the focus on and have a rough idea of what kind of prototype I'm going to build for the rest of the semester.

Week 3

Kasey Zheng - Sun 15 March 2020, 11:59 pm

World Cafe

I was looking forward to attempt a World Cafe session which is an interesting way to generate new ideas by using the existing concepts. After have a quick look at peers’ design concept posters have already be categorised into different themes on the table, we start to do the brainstorming and idea generation based on those ideas under 3 rounds: context, audience/domain and refine. The whole process for me is like “standing on the shoulders of giants” to discover the unexplored area of those themes.

I do like the structure of the event; it has been divided into three big sections. So that I have the chance to go through six different categories of ideas in an hour. At this point, this an efficient ideation for a medium/large group in a short time. The first sections of Context and Audience are not difficult for me, I could quickly drill the key points from the pitch poster. Then based on what we have got from those ideas and combining with my own thoughts, some really great new ideas have been come up with. That was exciting and a cheerful process. But when it comes to the last section of Refine, I found it is difficult to generate new ideas especially for myself. However, being a host is quite challenging for me, because I need to quickly get understating and summarise the previous discussion, then explain and pass the key message to the next coming new group of people, and again choose some certain angle to have another turn of brainstorming.

I summarise some inspired takeaways I got from each round, and will try to combine them into our team's concept ideation process.

World Cafe 1 World Cafe 2 World Cafe 3

To sum up, during this one hour World Cafe session, I was inspired by some interesting interaction ways and other data display possibility for my previous pitch idea. In addition, I also get some ideas for other datasets I have not been looking for but have a similar concept on mine. I will try to organise those exciting new ideas and see how the group project can use those ideas the generate new ideas.

Ideation Process

Activity Activity

Team forming

I'm really excited to be on the team with Eddie, Jay and Kuan. We come from different backgrounds, degrees and skill sets, I believe we'll work together to create something cool and novel. During the contact session, we shared about each person's expectation, working preference and concerns regarding group work. We also discussed about the team basic working strategy and some rules to make the make work efficiently and joyfully. I'm quite honoured to become the leader of our team, I will try my best to make sure everyone could use the best of their expertises and have a wonderful memory of this course. But I'm still bit worried about my team leading skills since this is my first time to play a role of team leader. I'm confident in my task management and organising skills, but I'm not sure I could divide the workload and different types or work in the way that everyone will be happy about. To sort out this problem, I will keep frequent communication with everyone in the team and listen to there advices for me as well. Other details regarding our team rules will be discussed together during the following team meetings. And I will complete the team charter then send to the teaching team. (P.s Although we haven’t came up with a rock team name yet, we will figure it out soon.) We had two meetings on Thursday and Sunday for 2 hours respectively. We had a short ideation regarding possible interaction ways and locations of the problem space.

Team work 1 Team work 2

Week 2

Kasey Zheng - Sun 8 March 2020, 8:42 pm

In week 2, two milestones have been achieved successfully. First, all inductions required to get access to room 207 have been completed, so I'm officially be ready to get the work done in that room. However, I believe I still need to lots of practice and help from the pro before I could confidently to build something. The other achievement is that I presented my concept idea developed in the past two weeks to the class.

Idea Generation Process

Since last Wednesday I had a rough idea of an "idea generator", I tried different angles to look at this idea, trying to find other meanings of this concept. Here’s the exploring and developing process:

Idea generation process1 Idea generation process2

Inspiration hunting

This process has been carrying on from the first week, the more existing projects I saw, the more I get understanding of the purpose for designing different physical interaction way rather than the digital interaction way. I find a few existing products similar to my idea, so I created a new category for them to see the common and difference between those ideas.

Inspiration wall in week 2

I'm the link to Qisi's Inspiration Wall

Research area

It starts from defining a certain research area, then dig deeply into it to see what I can get inspired to my idea. I was quiet interesting by the Learning and Creativity challenge from the 7 grand challenges. I went back read the paper about the new challenge in this area when digital technologies become ubiquitous in education and lifelong learning process. In this section, they point out that technology should be works as creativity supporting tools to support human creativity. It could assist users to develop their imagination and extend their capabilities in making discoveries or inventions.

I choose "little C" creativity to be the domain area for my concept. Compared to the "big C" creativity achieved by those geniuses to make huge, excelling, wonderful invention and changing movements, it is for everyone. "A behavioural and mental attitude or the ability to find new and effective solutions to everyday problems" which I believe is the key value of my concept. When facing the challenges, creativity, imagination and innovation would be the keys to help us overcome the difficulties.

Idea generation process3 Idea generation process4

In addition, I also tried to find the connections between value/ ideology I already known, to my current concept.

  • The concept of universal connection

Nothing in the world stands by itself, thus everything new appears in our lives has a connection with something we already know. They will combine together to generate something new, again and again, form a cycle. This gives me the idea to explore the connection between object and object, human and object, then try to generate new connections.

  • "Hygge" - a Danish lifestyle

This word means "something nice, cozy, safe and known, referring to a psychological state" in Danish. I really like this life attitude that to let people more focus on the moment right now. Try to make the daily life ordinary things extraordinary, to make the normal thing become special. This is the message I would like to pass to the user who's interacting with my equipment. In addition, it also about to make people become more open to each other and get much closer to each other.


The next step I took to dig deeper into my current concept is to divide it into two part as "inout side "and "output side" then do the brainstorming to find different possibilities for each of them.

I first narrow down the potential container to hold & process the items to two equipment.

Idea generation process5

  • "Gashapon" - the capsule toy machine

“Gachapon” refers both to vending machines and the capsule toys they spit out. When you crack open one of these plastic eggs, you’ll never know what you’ll get even though it’s part of a defined set of toys. They are, by nature, a "blind purchase"; people insert coins and hope to get the toy or figure they desire. Such an amusement element may become frustrating, as one risks obtaining the same item repeatedly.

  • Blender

Every time when I saw the blender machine in a store like Boots or Starbucks, I'll staring at the machine to see the whole process from the ingredients have been out into the container to they finally blend together pretty well and become a new colour of drink. This is the process to resolve the fruit into small element and then let them mix together to form a brand new stuff. Blender could be consider as another container to place the items people put in because it could simulate the process of extract the essential from the items. But it might be too cruel to see your personal items be chopped into chips...So I'll abandon this idea for now.

Next, I begin to search for the possible carrier of the "fortune" to let the user could read, store, and even be able to review the content later.

Idea generation proces6

  • Fortune Cookie

What if the fortune cookie has different flavours/smells, shape with entertaining context inside it? An identity fortune cookie generated based on your personal life experience and personality would be much more fun then the current one. A vague prophecy may works sometimes for somebody, but it is still too general. Different format such as a poem, a guess game, a myth from different cultures would be engaging text based content for the user.

  • Omikuji - a piece of fortune telling slip/paper

It is a kind of ancient wisdom to help people to make big decisions among different opinions. Nowadays people could find it easily at Shinto shrines or Buddhist temples in Japan. It usually includes the content to predict the fortune for the future, showing a person’s overall fortune and detailed categories including health, study, work, love, business, and travel. It will also give you some suggestions for how to improve the fortune. The fun fact is each Omikuji has different specialties and characters based on the shrine and temple it belongs to.

Personally I will go to draw one at the beginning of the year or when I'm struggling with something and need some third opinion to give me some guidelines. You could say it is kind of superstitious, but it did give you a new aspect to see your life. This "spiritual experience" is the another hing I would like to put into my concept, to give people some inspirational information when they interact with the installation.

Finally I decided to go with the Gashapon vending machine and to be the main body of my concept. Because most of us are familiar with it and may had experience it before. This would help my audience to get the idea faster and easier when I explain the new concept to them. The other reason is I want my audience to remember the feeling when waiting for the capsule egg come out of the machine. This would be the exact same feeling I want them to have when they imagine themselves using my fortune ball generator machine. For the "fortune ball" itself, I will go for the multiple sensational experience for the user. A capsule ball (will think of other shape of it later) including special smell, taste, different texture and format of the object to let people use their imagination to get the message from the ball.

Theming Sessions

During the end of contact session each day this week, I worked together with the the class try to find the common thing from each idea and category them into some certain themes. This process is quite challenge for me to bring back 50+50 ideas that have been introduced in the past 2 days in a short time. my strategy is to wondering around the table to search for concepts using the similar element under a big topic, then take out the most special thing of that idea to write down on the post-it. It getting more difficult on Wednesday session, because there’s more themes appears at the last sessions of the presentation. All in all, this is a good thinking progress to both get more understanding of others idea and try to figure out what is the theme most attractive for me.

Theming process and result

Presentation Reflection

During the contact session this week everyone presented their unique idea to the class. Some of the concepts are really surprising and interesting, they also gives me some new angle and aspect to reconsider about my idea.

I tried to give some valuable suggestion for everyone's concept, but it's difficult to come up with more than 50 suggestions constantly...So I hope I can give at least some of you guys good advice. If you found them stupid or unreasonable, just ignore them. I've really tried...

Feedback giving

I was a bit of nervous when I was giving the presentation, I can hear myself with shaking voice at the first sentences. And I know it wasn't a really engaging speech, I couldn't demonstrate all of the fun parts of my idea. :( But I shot all the important thing about how does it works and why people need it when I was preparing for the pitch within 2 minutes. I received 17 comments from the class after the presentation. Thanks for everyone who gave me valuable feedback :), I know it's hard to keep concentration for the last few presentations...Anyways,I tried to response all the questions and record the valuable suggestions form the comments.

Response to the feedback

Some questions are about the root of my concept. Since I didn’t introduce any of my inspirations context, it caused some confusion for the audience. Next time I'll remember to add simple pictures of the inspiration works in my poster to make it clearer. The other thing I would try to improve is that I might accidentally made my idea seems to be too "abstract" and spiritual. Because I saw some confusion faces during my presentation. I should try to use easier example to explain my idea to the audience (like some common knowledge everyone knows), my example be used this time is kind of too personal and vague.

Finally, I'll put the poter of my concept here again to help you remember what is ;) Also remind myself to do the proof reading every single time before submit it! Because I found several spelling mistakes and weried expressions after the pitch...

(submitted version vs fixed version)

Submited version Final version

Project Idea - Fortune Ball

Kasey Zheng - Tue 3 March 2020, 6:41 am
Modified: Tue 3 March 2020, 6:42 am

Fortune Ball

Project Idea - Fortune Ball Poster

Research Area

"little C" Creativity from The 7 grand challenges


  • raise the awareness of emotional/physical/psychological well-being
  • engage people to embrace little happiness in everyday life
  • develop ability to find creative new solution to everyday problems


We as designers are frequently searching for inspiration might provoke amazing creative ideas. However, it’s not that easy sometimes. We may struggle with the lack of creativity. My solution for this situation is to browse the shelves in the library, visit a museum, in a word to look for anything I didn’t notice before. What we see, read, watch, experience in everyday life kind of decide the way we see the world, but sometimes it may restrict the creativity.

Here, I propose a Fortune Ball machine let you put everyday items that have already taken for granted. Then the machine will extract the essential of these stuff and provide you a Fortune Ball. It contains audible, eatable, tactile... something will definitely surprise you and may bring something new to your life.

People love unexpectedness, surprise and uncertainty sometimes happen in their life. Personally I enjoy seek those chances occasionally when I feel my life is a bit of conformist. “Gashapon”, Fortune Cookie and “Omikuji” are the examples fit into this category, they make people be both exciting and nervous at the same time before see the result.

Trust your intuition, take the Fortune ball as the life guidance at that moment. There might be something special is about to happen in your life!


creativity #selfexpression #littlehappiness #well-being

Week 1

Kasey Zheng - Sun 1 March 2020, 11:43 pm
Modified: Sun 1 March 2020, 11:50 pm

About Me

Hi there! I am Kasey (Qisi) Zheng, I am in my last semester as a Master of Interaction Design student. My previous academic background is Bachelor of Commerce, but I'm not really a fan of the finance industry after done my internship at a reinsurance group. So I decided to put my passion into something could help people to live a better life, to increase the humanity and little happiness in their daily lives when using something I designed. Therefore I wish I could pursue a life long career to achieve these goals, as a UX designer, product manager or whatever the job title will become in the following decades. Because I believe this is the kind of job could never be replaced by AI, robot or any future technology.

I have been being a "vagrant" living in Japan, England and Australia since I was 18. After experienced different culture environment and working with great people from different backgrounds, I appreciate every single chance here at UQ to design something for different group of people. Although I hate to describe myself in a short sentence, I will try to write something to help you know about me. Since I'm a Capricornus(sorry to bring up horoscope here), I consider myself as a detail-oriented, practical person. I might be a little bit conservative or put too much attention on details sometimes, but I'm totally open to listen to different opinions from others. I'm also a self-discipline, determined person when it comes to work. I have a strong sense of responsibility for both individual and group work, I will always make sure finish the work assigned to me with high standard of quality and help other team members of they need help to work together on our project. Finally, I might be a little bit quiet sometimes, it probably because I am searching for something or having a little debate in my mind (definitely not in a daze or don’t want to talk with you).

Expectation of this course

I've been to the exhibition last year, it's really entertaining, exciting and inspirational. I wish when it comes to our turn, we will be confident to let our "baby" to make the debut. Sine this is going to be last semester and also only course besides the thesis. I'm all in and I want to make the best of my talent, skills and everything I've learned so far into it. I'm also being exciting for the craft work. So far I've got the chance to make something by either laser cutter, 3D printer and other wood working machines in my life. In the previous DECO courses we were more focusing on user interface making on digital screens. So this would be a good chance I finally could combine those skills all together.

Here's a list of what I would like to challenge myself in this course:

  • Try my best to think out of the box. Since I am a detail-oriented, practical person, sometimes my ideas are restricted by certain rules and frameworks. Therefore I wish I can constantly breakthrough myself during the whole process in this course.
  • Keep struggling with the coding part. To be honest coding the most weak part among all my skill, but I never give up on it. Although I'm a slow learner when comes to coding, I'll keep pushing myself to learn as much as I can to contribute to the team.
  • The sufficient task,time and team management skills, to minimize the gap between anticipation and action and conquer the procrastination.
  • The communication skill, not only for oral pitch/presentation, but also for essential documentations to let audience understand the thing we are creating. While I was doing my internship during the summer holidays as a product manager in a start-up, I first actually feel the important role of a essential, clear PRD(Product Requirement Documentation). Because this is the bridge communicate my design among different departments with software engineers, business analysts and everyone is going to work in the project. It's my responsibility to make sure everyone read this document will get the same vision and understand what they need to do for their job.
  • Keep working on overcome the confidence gremlins. Although I'm not a people person and be more comfortable in a small group of people, I will try to become more confident when speaking in front of the crowd. Also I'll try to speak out more for my opinion and different ideas when it comes to a discussion for important decision.

All in all. I am looking forward to work with brilliant people who want to put their hearts in the project, working hard as a team to build something innovative, amazing and hopefully could provoke some rethink of the world for the people who’ve been interacting with it.


It might be lots of personal thoughts and experience here in the journal post throughout the course. Because I find it's quite useful for me to organise my thoughts during the design process. And when I look back the journal posts for the Studio1 course in last semester, I can see the growth of myself. So just skip all those things off you find they are boring. ;)

#The 7 grand challenges

On our table, we were focusing on Challenge 7: Social Organisation and Democracy. Following the discussion questions we had discussion cover each subtitles in this chapter. Here's the reading notes I made while reading append the group discussion outcome on the table:

Reading notes for Challenge 7.

Some of my ideas: I agree with the active citizen participation and open data are the important factors we need working hard with to achieve the goal of design a system for all citizens and even non-citizens to be usable, accessible and useful. However I don’t think equal fully access to engagement is only barrier here. Because it is impossible to reach equal engagement, equal access to all the source. The people who make decisions for design can hear the different voices from different groups of people. But apparently they choose to ignore these voices and still work for some certain classes or interest groups. The news stream we read, the information we received everyday has already filtered by algorithms based on certain standard and purpose. Even we got the full access to those information, we are still not 100% information freedom. Here as a design challenge, I believe design is the only answer to solve or at least to narrow the gap by designing product for certain group of people to solve their problems. Just like there is no cure for all the people on the earth, we cannot design something to benefit everyone on the earth to achieve "design democracy" in one step. But we could try our best to help as much as people to design something based on their needs and expectations to Infinite close to "design democracy".

# Ideation activity in the class

This is a brand new ideation method for me, the idea of utilizing poker is a brilliant fun idea!So far we've been trying so many different kinds of ideation methods, but sometimes they didn’t work and get really bored...But this method is both entertaining and sufficient, I would like to use this for the team brainstorming next time.

Here are ideas generated during the session in class:

Card Ideation notes in class.


- Theoretically there should be 13x13x13x13=28561 possibilities by utilizing the poker to generate random key words for ideation, it gives us more choices to filter a great idea.

- This ideation method is much better than some methods I've been trying so far. There's one method called “semantic intuition” is similar to this method. It asking participants to put words together from each of the categories to think differently. However, that method doesn’t give meaningful definitions for each categories. That makes it different to com up with ideas based on the given words. But this method gives specific definitions for each kind of card "design for/to", "place", "interaction mode" and "interaction quality" to form a complete meaningful sentence. This makes the brainstorming much easier for us.

- this ideation method is perfectly for a group of people conducting brainstorming together. I got inspired other people's ideas and helped myself to come up with more ideas from different angles. Some of the ideas I might never come up with only by myself. This is process each individual get affected by the other and affect others again by their idea.


- The group brainstorming session by using this method is more beneficial for me than the individual one. Because I was kind of trapped in my mindset instead of jump out of the box to think from different aspects. It's hard for me to break down my original recognition of the world and objects to think of something completely different. So form my perspective, this method is definitely not a good one for individual ideation. It did help me a little at the begging when I got the cards, but it didn’t help me much in the following process.

- The semantic representation for each card is totally based on personal understanding of that word, which based on very personal experience. By this I mean I am deign something for myself to solve the problem I met in my life experience rather than design for a certain group of users for their common problem in life. For example, when I get the cards stands for "design for conceal/concealing from the amphitheater" my first understanding for this is "to help someone run away from the awkward social situation at an amphitheater". Apparently this assumption is based on my personal experience that easily getting nervous, anxious, uncomfortable when being at a new social environment. On the other hand other people at our table may consider it as "to get rid off someone annoying at the amphitheater", based on their memory when attending the last social event.

- Personally, I would suggest to give the background information including target user, goal, pain point and other essentials for the group before the ideation. In this way, participants will have a common vision of what they are aiming for, so that they can go wild within a shared framework. It's better to have a goal to do anything, right?

#Progress in inspiration hunting

I choose to use Notion as the tool to collect the project I'm interested and may affect my design concept. I have categories them into 8 themes so far, and I'll continue searching for more inspiration during the following weeks. I'll also post some interesting inspiration video directly in next week's journal.

My Inspiration Wall in week 1.

I'm the link to Qisi's Inspiration Wall

See you guys soon! :)