Documentation & Reflection

Final Journal

Nick Huang - Sun 14 June 2020, 6:08 pm


• Monday

On Monday, I filmed the demonstration video of my project, in which showed the brief introduction, design motivation, the physical form and interaction means of my concept. In order to avoid some misunderstanding of my explanation in the video, I also added the subtitles to my video (English is my second language :) ) Also, I identified two primary success criteria used for gathering audience’s feedback on my prototype on the exhibition, which was:

  1. Providing users with intuitive practice feedback
  2. Offering users playful (gamified) practice guidance

• Tuesday

On Tuesday, I conducted a test run of my prototype with my roommate to ensure all the functions work for the upcoming exhibition. Also, I revised and practiced the 1-min pitch for introducing my concept on the exhibit. It is:

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

Final exhibition

During the final exhibit, the audience interacts with my final product both in an online manner (via Discord) and in person. My engagement with each participant commenced with introducing my concept, and then I showed the functions and user experience (if online) or asked them to interact with the prototype to practice the abdominal breathing technique. Finally, for people interacted with my prototype in person, I also conducted informal user testing with them by using the semi-structured interview and observations.

Final product user one user two user three

Overall, users gave positive feedback on the physical form and the interaction means of my concept and believed that the final product met the theme of the course, which is designing playful interaction for everyday life. Some of the participants were interested in why our team chose the design space of breathing. My response was as follows:

Many people think they have mastered the basic breathing skills an even don’t know there are different types of breathing techniques that can be used for different activities. So, our team thought it would be interesting to explore how we could use the parts of the body that people use for breathing as playful controllers of interactions. Also, it will be meaningful to combine novel interactions with seemingly simple things in our daily life.

In addition, participants’ feedback also proved that my final product has met the success criteria mentioned above. First, they reported multi-sensory feedback makes it is easier for learners to practice this breathing technique, and the qualified lighting up effect enhances the intuitiveness of interaction. Also, by providing users with gamified exercises, users also thought that they were able to get playful practice guidance.

Also, Wally, Paula, and John presented their concepts at home, and some participants jumped in our team channel to chat with us.

wally showed his concept wally showed his concept

During the exhibition, I also experienced other team’s prototype in person and via Discord, which was also a great opportunity for me to get to know some interesting designs.

going to other team's channel


Through the development and design of my project, I got a better understanding both for the broad domain and our team design topic. First, for the Body as Controller, a lot of existing devices in this domain mainly use the hand gesture, hands, or feet as the part of controller, but they less focus on other parts of users’ bodies. Our team’s exploration proved that it is interesting and worth exploring that combining different parts of users’ body to trigger the interaction, which can further provide more design possibilities in this domain. Furthermore, for the Breathing for Wellness, when learning and practicing the breathing, it is valuable to have some interesting ways to visualise abstract breathing activities into concrete interactions (for me, I visualised that by the number of LED lights on the breathing tree).

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to the teaching team. Thanks for all you guys’ help and support for the completion of my final project in my degree. All of you are very adaptative and supportive for helping me get through this tough semester. Also, I’m very grateful to my peers in this course, especially my teammates, thanks for the help and encouragement. Guys, see you again (alright, I’m gonna sing on Queen Street with my microphone)!

Week 13 - Journal

Nick Huang - Sun 7 June 2020, 7:17 pm
Modified: Sun 7 June 2020, 11:10 pm


In the last contact session, Lorna gave us a brief introduction about uploading the portfolio to this course host through FileZilla. And then we started the report-back to discuss ideal physical forms and user experience of our project and some burning questions for the preparation of the final exhibition. Also, we checked the description and titles of our team’s projects on the exhibition site. My responses to the report-back session were:

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

The thing I’m looking forward to doing is getting all my assessments done, and then take a break, maybe go to Gold Coast or have a picnic with my friends.

2. One sentence recap of concept.

A tree-shaped device can help young singing-lovers practice the abdominal breathing technique used for singing.

3. 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?).

If I had magic, I would like this breathing tree could have a more polished appearance, like having a hook in the middle of the tree to hold the microphone and making all the wires disappear.

4. 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).

There are some burning questions for me. First, final touching up my prototype, making the portfolio, and running a test run for the exhibition. getting myself better prepared for the upcoming demonstration for my thesis project and continue writing my thesis.


For our last workshop session, Clay, Alison, and Ben gave us a nice wrap-up. We shared our online course experience this semester and some suggestions for possible improvements. They also guided us on how to upload files to the exhibition site. Also, we done the last report-back session, my responses were:

1. What do you still have left to do?

For my project, I have almost finished my prototype, including the ‘tree’, ‘microphone’, and ‘belt’ parts. Things I have to work on are making the portfolio, filming the video for a live demo, and running a test run for the prototype before the final exhibit.

2. How are you feeling about the exhibit next week?

Actually, I’m feeling so excited, because I have finished the demonstration of my thesis project yesterday, and the final exhibit of this project is going to be the last demo of my degree. Also, I have spent a lot of time and effort to get this project done during a difficult time, so I’m very happy to share my work with the audience.

3. Any questions for us?

No. I think all of you guys are very adaptative and helpful. Although we have lost the fun of working together in the workshop this semester, we also got a lot of help online and had a great time with you all throughout the semester. Thank you all very much.

4. What are you most looking forward to post assessment?

Take a breeeeeeeeeak! There are so many things to do this semester, and I haven't had many chances to have a meal with my friends, do some outdoor activities, go shopping, etc., so after the assessment is done, I want to take a break and socialise with others. :)

5. 1 way to improve online teaching?

If it was possible, you might have a try to give a funny skit in each session, hahaha.

Team progress

In this week, our team talked about uploading files to the exhibition site and making the portfolio. Each of us shared the basic layout and design of the portfolio and gave some feedback on each one’s portfolio. Apart from this, Paula, Wally and I made our thumbnails of our projects, so that the potential audience can get the first impression of our projects before they browse the whole portfolio in detail. Also, we have assigned the tasks to each team member for writing the final team report.

thumbnail of project

Individual process:

In this week, I mainly worked on final touching up my prototype and running a test run for that, and making my portfolio.

To make wires of my prototype look less cluttered, I fixed them behind the ‘tree trunk’ with transparent tape so that no messy lines can be seen directly in front of the ‘tree’. I then tested the prototype's functionality and was happy to see that it was all good (except for the occasionally unstable values from ‘belt’ :(

prototype_1 the whole tree

Also, I drew a logo for my project and applied it in my whole portfolio. It consists of a tree and a microphone, and some lines represent the ‘breathing’ action. There is a long wire to connect the microphone to the bottom of the tree, which means to light up the tree by breathing into the microphone. For my portfolio, I basically divided that into four parts, which are Product, Process, Build, and Coursework. The product page shows the problem space, intended user experience and actual use; the process page demonstrates how the project was evolved through three design iterations in detail; the build page gives information about the physical and technical components of my prototype behind the scene; and finally the coursework page provides links to my previous deliveries in this course.

project logo portfolio

Agenda for Monday and Tuesday:

  1. Filming and editing the final live demo for my project (Monday)
  2. Identifying success criteria for demonstrating my prototype on exhibition (Monday)
  3. Conveying my prototype to 78-209 for final exhibition (Tuesday)


In terms of preparing for the final exhibition, I think it’s very important to conduct a test run of the project before the exhibition really gets started, since ensuring that each component is working and that the wiring and appearance are as expected is the most basic condition for providing the audience with intended user experience during the exhibition. Also, when preparing for the portfolio, it’s necessary to take the diversity of the audience into account. This is because some users may be interested in the technical parts, while others may be interested in the concepts and how the project is evolving. This means that the portfolio content should be targeted to multiple groups of users.

Week 12 - Journal

Nick Huang - Sat 30 May 2020, 10:52 pm
Modified: Sun 31 May 2020, 10:44 am

Contact & Workshop

For the contact session, Lorna first gave us more detailed information about the annotated portfolio for the final exhibition. Then we started the report-back to discuss our plans to get our project done and express our concerns about the portfolio assessment. My responses for the report-back session were:

1. One sentence description of the concept

A tree-shaped device can help young singing-lovers practice the abdominal breathing technique used for singing.

2. Show us what you’ve been working on Exhibit in 2 weeks - main priority to make it feel “finished”?

At this moment, I have finished the polished microphone part of my concept and have successfully used Python to give the auditory feedback. In order to get all things done, I’ll do more about the LED part, so that I can give users brighter and more obvious visual feedback. Also, I’ll make some further improvements to the ‘Belt’ part of my concept.

3. Questions about the annotated portfolio?

My question is mainly about if the portfolio focuses more on the academic part or focuses on presenting to a wider range of audience. Based on Lorna’s response to other teams, I think it’s more about working as a supplementary tool for supporting the presentation of my work. And my current plan for my portfolio is that first giving a holistic view of my project, and then breaking that down into different design stages where some important design decisions have been made.

Also, we played around the Discord to get familiar with this application.

getting familiar with Discord

In the workshop session, Clay and Alison gave us some valuable suggestions on how to make the annotated portfolio, like writing the reflection in each sub section and giving the general reflection of the whole project. Also, we done the report-back session as usual, my responses were:

1. How are you going with everything? Both phys comp work and otherwise?

Not bad so far, for this course, every week there are some improvements on my prototype, and I think I’m on the track. Like, I have soldered some ‘ping pong’ balls with LEDs and wires for my ‘breathing tree’, and have added some decorations to my concept. For another course, thesis project, I have finished my latest version of the prototype. Everything for me is good at this moment.

2. Is there anything in particular you need help with today?

I haven’t thought about how to make the web-based annotated portfolio for my project, and today I will go through the assessment brief in detail, and plan out the layout and content of my portfolio.

3. Have you had a chance to use discord and get familiar with using it?

Yes, on Tuesday’s contact, I have got a chance to play around with discord. Like our teammates and I jumped in and out around different channels and chatted with other teams in the ‘Lobby’ channel. BTW, I found that when I jumped in the ‘AFK’ channel, I was muted by the default setting :)

Team progress

This week, our team talked with the teaching team in the Discord team channel and shared the design process of each one’s prototype with tutors. In general, each of us was on the right track, and we have stepped into the stage of finalising our prototypes. Wally and Paula have started making their portfolio, and we shared our opinions on the design of that.

Individual process:

In this week, I mainly worked on completing the auditory and visual parts of my prototype.

On Tuesday's session, Ben suggested me to buy some diffused LED lights and table tennis balls to make the ‘Light’ part of the ‘Breathing Tree’, so that it can provide users with brighter visual feedback. So, in this week’s drop-in workshop, I made the latest version of the ‘Lights’.

Balls, 150ohm resistors, diffused LEDs LEDs and resistor

First, I used the knife to draw a cross on the table tennis ball to fit the LED in. Later on, Ben and I found that by using a file to smooth the surface of the LED light and wrapping it with some sponges, it could have a better diffusing effect.

using knife to make the cross using the file to smooth the surface using sponges to wrap the LED plugged LEDs and sponges in balls

In order to better fix the LED light inside the ball, I also used the hot glue gun to seal the connection between the LED and the ball. After all the materials were ready, I soldered a long wire to each ball for fitting different heights of the ‘branches’ of the ‘breathing tree’.

hot glue gan soldering a long wire to the ball soldering a long wire to the ball_2 all soldered balls

Also, I cut some plant strips into smaller ones to decorate each ‘branch’ of the ‘breathing tree’, aiming to give users a more visually appealing experience. By wrapping them around the ‘branches’, the whole ‘tree’ looks better and does not give users the bald look anymore. In addition, I finished the wiring part of the 'breathing tree', so that it would look messy.

decorated breathing tree wiring

Plan for the next week:

  1. Final touch up of the prototype
  2. Start making the portfolio


For the annotated portfolio, I think it's a good way to think of it as a web-based tool to help us ‘sell our products’, so it’s will be effective to consider using more visual content, such as images or videos, to show my work. That also means not just giving users the wall of text, because that will make the whole portfolio more like a blog or a wordy academic report. For the order of content, I believe first giving users the panoramic view of my whole project will help them get to know what the project is and who I’m designing for. And then showing the audience my key design decisions and what kind of activities and findings lead these decisions happening.

Week 11 - Journal

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

Contact & Workshop

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Team progress

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

Individual process:

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

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

Disassembled microphone materials for assembly

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

completed microphone testing the microphone

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

soldered force sensor_1 soldered force sensor_2

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


Plan for the next week:

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


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

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

Week 10-Journal

Nick Huang - Sun 17 May 2020, 6:31 pm

Contact & Workshop

In this week contact session, we started the team appraisal on others’ concepts. By going through videos and corresponding pdf files, we were able to get a deeper understanding of other’s concept. After that, our team shared ideas on their concepts in terms of how well these concepts related back to the course context and team design topic, what strengths and weaknesses these concepts had, and what kind of actionable and constructive feedback we could provide.

In the workshop session, Wally and I were allocated to the breakout room with Qisi to get clarifications on appraisals that our two groups have given to each other. By talking with other team, we were able to better comprehend their comments on our concepts. Also, Clay and Alison gave us the feedback on our weekly journals, which was helpful for guiding me to make further improvement.

Team progress

Our team mainly worked together on watching videos and pdf files, and writing the appraisal in this week. We first wrote each one’s opinions in the google doc, followed by discussing together of our thoughts, and finally each of us were assigned the task of organising our comments and writing the integrated feedback for 2-3 people.

Individual process:

In this week, I mainly worked on getting help from teaching team, analysing feedback I got from my peers and evaluation participants, improving my previous journal entries, purchasing materials for improve my prototype, planning my tasks for the next iteration of my concept.

First, in this week, I headed to campus for getting technical help around soldering from Ben. For my current prototype, wires for the 7 LEDs were a little bit messy, so Ben helped me solder a ‘connector’, which 7 pins were able to be integrated into one. All of the ground pins of 7 LEDs therefore can be organised into one. Also, I got a long wire which has 8 pins from Ben, so when I improve the wiring part of my prototype, the positive pin of each LED and the integrated ground pin can be connected into each of these pins.

A long wire and soldering work Soldered pins

In addition, by combining the appraisal from other team and the result from previous user testing, I organised key feedback into 8successful aspect and further improvement*:

Successful aspects:

  1. The combination of sensors (force sensor and microphone sensor) is reasonable and capable enough to achieve the intended user experience
  2. Multiple feedback is effective on guiding users’ breathing practice
  3. The way to show output of interactions is playful

Further improvement:

  1. Providing users with the continuous visual feedback (gradually lighting up LEDs or using the LED strip)
  2. Using the alternative way to give auditory feedback (using laptop speaker to play music)
  3. Considering more feedback (for example, vibration)
  4. Adding decorations to the ‘breathing tree’

Also, I have made the following improvements on my previous journal entry according to the feedback from Clay and Alison:

  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image.

For improving the appearance of the simulated microphone of my concept, I bought a real microphone from Big W, so that in the following week, I can try to disassemble it and get the microphone sensor module in. If I failed, I would choose to sing with my microphone in front of the Queen Street :)


Plan for the next week:

  1. Improving the wiring of my current prototype
  2. Improving the microphone part
  3. Using Ableton or Python to play music according to the data read from Arduino


In terms of giving others feedback, it’s important to appraisal their concepts in a totally objective perspective. Also, the feedback should be constructive and actionable rather than the ambiguous or unrealistic one. In order to give more valuable feedback to others, our team also search both physical and digital resources they could use online, which not only helped them improve their concepts, but also gave our team more opportunities to get to know different resources.

For my concept, the physical form and interaction means have gained the positive feedback from peers and participants of user testing, proving more obvious and more types of feedback is the aspect worth exploring in the next iteration.

Week 9-Journal

Nick Huang - Sun 10 May 2020, 6:03 pm
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 10:39 pm


In contact session, we started with the individual ‘report-back’ session by talking about what we have done for the demonstration and what were the remaining concerns for getting all thing done, and then we discussed with the teaching team and teammates in the breakout room. My responses for the report-back were:

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

In last week, I have conducted more user researches around the interaction mean of my concept and based on the findings of these interviews, the interaction mean for the visual part has changed from blowing out the candle to lighting up 7 LEDs.

Also, on Monday, I used the kitchen tissue roll, a piece of A4 paper and some foil to make the ‘Microphone’ part, so I can insert the microphone sensor into that, and ask users to exhale out by using the simulated microphone.

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

There are mainly two tasks. The first one is about completing the physical assembly of my prototype, and another one is trying to make the ‘belt’ part of my concept work.

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

The biggest concern is how to use the sensor to detect the abdomen movement when breathing, because such the movement is too slight to be detected and one tricky thing is that people’s abdomen will also have some more subtle movement, even if they don’t use the abdominal breathing technique. Another one is about buying more materials for building the physical part, like I need to get more jump wires.


In this week’s workshop, I headed to campus for getting some technical help from Clay, and I had to say he was really helpful! As the data read from the accelerometer was too complicated, Clay found the force sensor and the flex sensor to let me try whether they were suitable for my concept. In order to make sure the force sensor could get enough pressure in the belt, Clay also got me some sponge and cardboards to clamp the sensor so that even slight abdominal breathing movements could be detected.


The result has proved that this way was effective, and the sensor worked for my concept! When breathing with the belly, the corresponding value could be read in the serial port of Arduino. I also set a threshold value to distinguish whether the user's belly moves naturally or moves caused by breathing.

Team progress

First, our team used the breakout room function to share our design process and provide some suggestions for each other. Like we talked about how to use the ‘millis()’ function in Arduino to replace the ‘delay()’ function in order to meet our needs. Also, during the weekend, we collaborated with each other to film the video for the demonstration.

Individual process:

In this week, I mainly worked on finishing the ‘belt’ part of my concept, completing the physical assembly of all components, making the video for demonstration and conducting user testing of my prototype.

First, by using the kitchen tissue roll, a piece of A4 paper and foil, the close tie, jump wires and a microphone sensor, I was able to make the simulated microphone for my prototype.

microphone materials simulated microphone

Also, I used the materials (sponge, cardboards, soldered force sensor) got from Clay to finish the belt part by attaching the force sensor to one piece of the cardboards and using another one to provide the pressure.

Belt materials Belt part

In addition, I finished the physical assembly by connecting the microphone to the ‘breathing tree’ and putting the audio amplifier to the belt with the force sensor. Besides, in order to better demonstrate how my concept is built, I draw the wiring diagram of my concept.

finished prototype wiring diagram

During the weekend, I filmed the video by following the outline I made: Concept; Intended experience; interactions; wiring diagram; building details; main code. Also, I conducted three evaluations with my target users. The positive results were gotten from these evaluations. Users were satisfied with the physical form, interaction mean and feedback that my prototype provide, and the positive feedback have been organised to the following data points:

  1. Quantifying the breathing time by using time intervals (2 seconds) can help users improve breathing out behaviour
  2. Combining the concept to some daily objects is interesting
  3. The auditory feedback clearly tells the user which part they are using to breathe

In addition, there were also some suggestions on improving my prototype.

  1. Lighting up a LED every two seconds can be changed to gradually light up a LED, so that users can get the continuous feedback.
  2. When users practiced successfully, there could have some more feedback as a reward
  3. Adding some decorations to the clothes stand would be good.


  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image.


Nick Huang - Sun 3 May 2020, 8:14 pm
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 10:28 pm

Contact & Workshop

During Tuesday’s contact and Friday’s workshop sessions, as usual, we started with the individual ‘report-back’ session by giving a brief description of the concept, sharing design process and aims and concerns for building the prototype, and then we discusses with the teaching team and teammates in the breakout room. My responses for these two sessions were:

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

There are mainly two aspects. The first is that I want users to practice deep breathing by slowly and steadily ‘blowing out' the LED ‘candle’, so the realisation of using a microphone to slowly blow out the LED is one of my concerns. The second one is about the assembly of the physical parts. I am thinking of using the cardboard to fix the microphone at this moment.

2. What is your key aim for your prototype (or part of the prototype)?

The primary aim for my prototype is to help those who have the desire to learn how to breathe when singing to practice the abdominal breathing technique through an intuitive and playful way.

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

In terms of getting that done, I need to visualise the breathing feedback in an engaging way, like asking users to ‘blow out’ the LED. I also need to think how to integrate multiple feedback, such as the visual and acoustic feedback.

For Friday’s workshop:

1. How could the class help you?

By sharing my ideas and processes with tutors and teammates, I can get timely feedback to make sure I’m on the right track and also get some ideas about what kind of resources I can draw on for building my prototype.

2. What are your main concerns about the prototype?

The movement of the belly/abdomen is really slight, so I’m struggling with which type of sensor (maybe 3 Axis compass magnetometer or accelerator) is more suitable for my concept.

3. What is working?

Now I can turn the LED on and off by exhaling in front of the microphone sensor and use Tone and NoTone functions to use the audio amplifier to provide acoustic feedback to users.

4. What is not working?

Detecting the movement of the belly/abdomen and converting the data from serial port in Arduino to some meaningful outputs. Also, using the microphone to slowly switch off the LED according the time users exhale out in front of the microphone.

By sharing my process and concerns with tutors, I got some valuable feedback. For detecting the slight belly movement, Ben and Clay recommended me to try to use the accelerometer or force sensor resistor (FSR), so in this week, I tried both of them (will talk about them later in the ‘individual process’ part). Besides, Alison recommended me to use the cardboard or something that is similar to the ‘mic stand’ to fix the microphone sensor and LED (will also talk about them later in the ‘concept’ part).

Also, in this week, I headed to campus for loaning some extra materials for building my prototypes for this course and my thesis project. I got an accelerometer and a Arduino mega, and they were capable enough for moving my project to the next level.

Team progress

Our team also used the breakout room function to share each one’s design process and some useful resources. On Tuesday’s session, we talked about using the map function in Arduino to control the brightness of the LED. By using this function, a range of numbers can be converted into another range of numbers. For example, we can use the data get from analogy pin (0-1024) to control the brightness of LED (0-255). On Friday’s session, we talked about using the close ties to fix some wires and sensors of our prototypes and could also use the insulation tape to connect different wires.

Individual process:

Additional user researches

In this week, I have conducted some additional user researches around the interaction mean of my concepts, and by integrating with the previous user researches, some design insights have been identified and organised below:

• Help focus rather than distract

• More obvious and visually appealing feedback

• Concretise the abstract exercise

• Steady interactions

For the first one, users believed auditory feedback should be appropriate because practicing breathing needs users’ concentration, this kind of feedback should not easily distract users when they practice. For the second one, it informed the iteration of my concept. Participants thought the feedback from blowing out the ‘candle’ is not intuitive enough, and there should be some more intuitive outputs during the exercise to provide them with visual feedback. In addition, in combination with the third insight, users mentioned that practicing breathing is actually a very abstract activity, so I should try to offer some intuitive feedback to the practitioner and make the abstract practice as concrete as possible. Finally, the abdominal breathing technique requires the user to take a deep breath with each practice, so it is important to ensure that users are able to steadily and continuously interact with my proposed system during the practice.

Finalised concept for MVP

So, based on the results of the latest user researches, the interaction mean for the visual part has changed from blowing out the candle to lighting up 7 LEDs. Based on my interviews with some friends who have learned abdominal breathing technique, the rough conclusion is that the time people need to exhale our when using abdominal breathing is around 15 seconds. So, I'm going to offer users the visual feedback by lighting up a LED every two seconds, then finally when users steadily exhale out with 15 seconds, 7 LEDs will be lighted up. And I found that there were exactly 7 ‘branches’ on my clothes stand, so I decided to fix a LED on each ‘branch’. I used the Adobe Illustrator to generate two concept cards of my prototype, where one was the initial idea that users need to blow out the ‘candle’, and another one was the newest idea that informed by my latest user researches. Therefore, the finalised concept for MVP is “Breathing tree”.

Imgur Imgur

Prototype building

In addition, I followed some tutorials to use the force sensor to control the brightness of a LED and used the accelerometer and a running belt to build the ‘Belt’ part of my concept.

force sensor-controlled LED Belt part

Plan for the next week

In the next week, I will use the clothes stand to build the 'tree' part of my concept, so each 'branch' can be used to fix a LED, and i will also use the cardboard to make the simulated microphone. Also, I will make the video of my concept.


  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image

Week 7 Journal

Nick Huang - Sun 26 April 2020, 8:43 pm
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 9:14 pm

Contact & Workshop

In this week, we participated in our allocated contact and workshop session. During Tuesday’s contact session, we first had a general Q&A session and then each individual done the ‘report-back’ session by giving a brief description of the concept, sharing their processes and achievements during the mid-break and concerns about moving forward the project. My responses were:

Quick description of the concept:

My idea is to have a belt (attached a 3 Axis compass magnetometer module) to detect users’ belly movement, then give them some acoustic feedback. There will also be a Microphone sensor to detect users’ exhalation, and users need to exhale out slowly, around 10 seconds, to ‘blow out’ the light (this exercise game is like asking users to blow out a ‘candle’). Therefore, users can exercise the steady deep breath which is required in exercising abdominal breathing technique.

1. What did you achieve over the break?

• First, read some online articles and literature around the breathing issues people have and how to use different sensors to help people do some respiratory exercises. <some of the articles and literature were shared by our teammates>

• Second, followed some tutorials online to make some simple projects to get a deeper understanding of the Arduino toolkits. These simple projects were ‘Temperature Alarm’, ‘Vibration Detector’, and an ‘Auto Light’.

• I bought some sensors that may useful for my project. My focus is going to be teaching those who are interested in singing the ‘Belly or Abdominal breathing technique’, so the sensors I bought are ‘3 Axis compass magnetometer module’ can be used to detect the belly movement, and ‘Microphone Sound Sensor Module’ and ‘Temperature and Humidity sensor module’ can be used to sense the breathing behaviour.

• Also, I completed the breakdown of the project by finishing the Miro board. By doing that, I get more ideas about how to move my project into next level.

2. What is your main task for the next week?

• For the remaining of this week, I’m going to conduct some online interviews to get more data from users

• Based on the research results from desk and primary research, finalising my concept

• Finding some useful resources that generate acoustic feedback on Arduino

3. What concerns do you have about completing it?

Some technical issue, like I’m not good at using different libraries and functions in Arduino, so that’s what I need to learn and seek help from tutors and my team members.

For Friday’s workshop:

1. What tech are you using?

I’m using the Arduino beginner toolkit as well as some sensors bought in the local store, like ‘3 Axis compass magnetometer module’, ‘Microphone Sound Sensor Module’ and ‘Temperature and Humidity sensor module’. As for functions, I will use the Tone and NoTone function in Arduino IDE to generate the acoustic feedback; and for detecting the breathing exercise, I will use some ‘if else’ loops to control the light effect based on users’ exhalation duration.

2. What do you need help on (Tech + Concept)?

At this moment, things need help are more about the coding part. Maybe around how to use the different functions and loops to achieve my desired results.

3. Have you made any progress on the physical build?

I have created some simple projects by following some tutorials to explore Arduino but I haven’t built the physical part of my project.

Team progress

During this week, our team had some online meetings by using the breakout room function in the allocated contact and workshop sessions. On Tuesday’s meeting, we shared with each other about physical materials and digital resources we can use to build our project. For example, Paula shared with me that I could use the running belt to attach the sensor, so that to create the belt part of my project. On Friday’s meeting, we talked about how to use the microphone as the sound detector to sense the breathing behaviour.

Individual process:

In this week, I conducted three interviews with my target users. By doing that, I got to know more about their goals and motivations.

In addition, I followed some tutorials online to explore different sensors by creating some small projects. First, I used 7 buttons and a buzzer to create a very tiny piano to explore the Tone and NoTone function, which can used to create the acoustic feedback of my project. I also used the ambient light sensor, a LED and a buzzer to explore how to use the light parameter to control audio output. Besides, I used the ultrasonic sensor and two LEDs to create a distance-controlled light, and also used the ultrasonic sensor, a LED and a buzzer to explore how to use distance parameter to control audio output. Finally, I used the microphone module and a LED to explore how to use the microphone input to trigger a light (the LED will light up 2 seconds after the microphone sensor detected any noise). By creating these small projects, I was able to get to know functions of different sensors and different combinations of them to create some interesting effects which may be useful for my project.

ambient light distance-controlled light Mini Piano distance-controlled sound distance-controlled sound microphone-controlled LED


  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image


Nick Huang - Sun 19 April 2020, 9:18 pm
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 8:50 pm

Team progress

During the mid-break, our team spared some time to discuss and share our individual process so far, and what kind of resources we can draw on for each one’s project. By sharing with each teammate, we were able to identify some sensors we could use for our chosen topic. For example, my focus problem is helping those who are interested in singing but don’t know how to breathe correctly to acquire the abdominal (belly) breathing technique. So, detecting the belly movements and users’ inhalation and exhalation is important. By talking with my team members, we found that the ‘3 Axis compass magnetometer module’ can be used to detect the movement, and ‘Microphone Sound Sensor Module’ and ‘Temperature and Humidity sensor module’ can be used to sense the breathing behaviour. Although we focused on different directions, but under the same topic, the sensors we identified can be used cross each individual’s project.

Individual process:

In this break, I followed some tutorials online to make some simple projects to get a deeper understanding of the Arduino toolkits. By exploring the toolkit, I found some materials may also be useful for my project, such as ‘Tilt Switch sensor’, ‘Servo’, ‘Light dependent sensor’, etc. Simple projects I made are ‘Temperature Alarm’, in which use the Buzzer and Temperature sensor to make a temperature-based alarm; ‘Vibration Detector’, in which use a LED and Tilt switch sensor to detect whether the breadboard has been tilted.

Temperature alarm Vibration detector

Also, i made an ‘Auto Light’, in which use a LED and light dependent sensor to make an auto light according to the ambient light. And I also bought some sensors from Jaycar store.

Auto light Sensors

Also, I completed the breakdown of the project by finishing the Miro board. By doing that, I get more ideas about how to move my project into next step.

Breakdown of project Breakdown of project


  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image

Week 6 - Journal

Nick Huang - Sun 12 April 2020, 9:37 pm
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 8:21 pm

Contact & Workshop

In this week, we participated in our allocated contact and due to the Good Friday holiday, I attended the Thursday’s workshop session. During Tuesday’s contact session, we first had an administrivia and then each individual done the ‘report-back’ session by sharing their opinions and answering some questions listed by on the slides.


Plans for Easter break (even if not course related)

They are more about the concept generating and refinement, and the prototype planning. Based on the feedback we received, our team have changed our problem space, initial concept, so in the new problem space, I’m going to explore technologies and resources can be used for individual project, conduct desk research and user research. After that, I can analyse the data I collected and create the conceptual model of the finalised concept for prototyping.

Top achievement for last week

Specified our new problem space, which is “breathing for a better life”, which aims to enable users to acquire different breathing techniques through some playful and intuitive exercise visualisation ways to meet their varied personal needs, such as relieving stress, doing sports, sing songs, and curing respiratory diseases. Apart from that, I done some research around the existing systems in the domain, like waking up and guided meditation, some apps Alison recommended to us, read some health-related articles to get a better understanding of different breathing methods, like chest breathing, belly breathing, lion’s breathing, etc.

Aside from the report what have/will you be working on?

Apart from the report, I will start working on getting familiar with the Arduino toolkit and some other useful technologies in Arduino family, so as to choose the appropriate materials to build my prototype. And integrating resources and data to finalise my individual concept.

Any concerns, ongoing or new?

There are a lot of different sensors or some electronic materials around Arduino, so it will be a little bit time-consuming for me get to know each of them. But actually, I think it’s worth exploring to take a look at them, and if I have any issues for choosing sensors, etc., I will just send emails or post to the slack channel.

Apart from that, we also conducted some activities around exploring the discovery methods. First, we carried out an observation exercise, most people in zoom meeting found some videos to do a quick observation and summarised the insights we gathered from that.

miro board

After that, we explored more methods from the shared document. Here are the methods I chosen, and the advantages of drawing on these methods:

Chosen method

Doing online interviews:

• Seeking clarification and get some responses in real-time

• Checking whether my ideas align with the participants’ ones

• Pre-preparing some interview questions and allowing some news questions to be brought up to the process as a react to their responses

Online discussion platforms:

• Organising discussion and gathering feedback from a group of people remotely

• Each participant can contribute to the discussion by reacting on others’ opinions

• Collecting various data from people with different backgrounds

• Pre-preparing discussion topics and some elicitation questions to stimulate each participant to talk

Using Google form for data collection:

•Gathering the quantitative data

•Reaching a wider range of participants easier

Big Brother Style Observations:

• Gathering the quantitative data

• Reaching a wider range of participants easier

Mobile probes:

• Accessing a wide range of participants easier

• Gathering both qualitative and quantitative data

On Tuesday’s workshop, Ben and Steven gave us some tutorials about Arduino. From introducing the Arduino, the advantages for using that, to materials we need when we try to build our project. They give some explanation about components in our toolkits, like the breadboard, resistors, servos, jump wires, motors, battery snaps (including what are the Arduino libraries, examples). Also, they guided us to go through some Arduino activities, so that we can have a basic understanding on how to start creating some gadgets by using the beginner toolkit.

Teaching Arduino

They also taught us how to read the wiring diagram provided by some online tutorials, and I have to say it is very helpful because we will read some wiring diagrams online when we start prototyping. In addition, they shared some websites that we can use for purchasing some electronic materials, like

Individual process:

In this week, I mainly focus on exploring the Arduino toolkit, so as to get some ideas about how to get started on my individual project. There are some useful materials I may able to draw on, like the Light dependent sensors. In order to build my prototype, I may also need to buy some motion sensors online. My initial idea is to use some sensors to detect the movement of the user's abdomen and chest, and then based on these parameters to give them feedback, so as to guide them to practice abdominal breathing technique in a correct way.


  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image

Week 5 - Journal

Nick Huang - Sun 5 April 2020, 7:39 pm
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 8:06 pm

Contact & Workshop

In this week, we participated in the contact and workshop session we are allocated to.

During Tuesday’s contact session, Lorna first went through some options about how can we move our projects to the next level. After that, we conducted the ‘report back’ activity in our contact session in terms of our feedback on online format, team/individual progress after peer critiques, our plans and concerns. By reporting back and receiving feedback, we got a clearer understanding about our domain, and what help and resources we can get from teaching team, which will be really helpful for us. After the coffee break, our team organised team zoom meeting session to further discuss the plan, concepts and also invited Ben to give us further suggestions. By talking with Ben, he gave us some ideas around how can we work under the same problem space but explore different directions, like targeting at different user groups, focusing on different contexts of use, putting concept into different scenarios, etc. That enabled us to become clearer about working in the team manner but focusing on individual part.

During Friday’s workshop session, Clay and Alison first guided us to do a small ‘stand-up’ session, where we talked about what’s the potential problem space of our team and what’s the progress so far. After that, in order to give us some specific suggestions on refining each team’s problem space and moving forward our project, each team was allocated to different breakout rooms, so we were able to have the opportunity to refine our concept further and get feedback on that. By discussing with each other, the specific problem we decided to design for is ‘Breathing for a better life’. Under this team umbrella, we will explore different user groups/contexts in each one’s possible solution. This research direction also got the approval from Clay and Alison, and they shared some articles and apps around this space for us to refer to, which was very helpful for us.

Team progress

In this weekend, our team had some team chat with teaching team via Zoom and several online meetings for our team members. By discussing with teaching staffs, we got some valuable feedback and had a clearer understanding about what we are supposed to do next. In addition, we also got some clarifications around our team’s and individual’s concerns for moving forward. Combining the feedback and suggestion given by the teaching team and critiques received in previous pitch session, and in order to align with the course project domain, our team decided to move our focus from simple gesture-controlled games to a more meaningful day-to-day environment and object. Therefore, we decided to put this interesting domain, ‘Body as controller’, into a daily context, ‘breathing’.

Many people think that breathing is a simple and common thing, but they don’t realise that it is beneficial to people's physical and mental health, and the way of breathing is required in different situations, such as exercise, stress relieving and singing, also varies. So, our team is going to design some engaging and novel ways of interaction to help people learn and practice different breathing patterns to meet their different needs. That means our team can work in the same design space, but explore different contexts, or user groups.

we decided to move our focus from only ‘hand gestures’ to different parts of our bodies; to go beyond only focusing on game space; to put our concept into a more day-to-day environment; to explore how to apply this technology into various contexts, to reduce the reliance of system on the screen, etc.

For our team’s specific plan for the upcoming week, we decided to first keep searching for some research materials, like journal articles, papers, existing solutions, to get a deeper understanding of our team problem space as well as each one’s specific design context. In this step, in order to keep our team can keep efficient communications, we can create team Miro Mind map board, so that we can share our inspirations, progresses, etc. Besides, we’ll keep writing each one’s individual part of the team proposal.

Individual progress

In this week, it was mainly about negotiating the group and individual aspects around the course project. We also refined our concepts in preparation for proposal report. Since our team have decided our final problem space, in this week, I focused more on exploring a particular user group and context of this space. Basically, I’d like to focus on teaching those who are interested in singing how to master the belly breathing method of singing through some interesting and interactive exercises. So, I searched some explanation videos and articles of this breathing method online to get a thorough understanding of that. In addition, I took a look at some existing apps around helping people learn breathing, which was also helpful to enable me to further explore in this context.

Walking up app _1 Walking up app _2 Guided meditation app_1 Guided meditation app_2

Apart from that, I finished the assigned team part of the proposal report, and in the next step, I will try to finish my individual part as soon as possible, so that we can quicker move to next level of this whole project.


Images retrieved from 'Walking up' and 'Guided meditation' apps


  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image

Week 4 - Journal

Nick Huang - Sun 29 March 2020, 7:20 pm
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 5:05 pm

Online pitch and critique on others’ concepts:

During this weeks’ contacts sessions, we conducted the online pitch activities via Zoom and gave and received feedback via Slack. Although we have switched to the online alternatives, our online presentations have gone well and smoothly. By watching other groups' presentations, we were provided the chance to get a better understanding their initial ideas and concepts. For two days contacts, some novel and engaging ideas were presented! We also gave our critiques to other team’s concepts by trying to give our constructive and specific suggestions.

Critiques on our concept:

After we presented our idea through the pre-recorded video, the teaching team and our peers have given us a lot of valuable and actionable feedback, which was very useful for us to refine our concept. After received feedback from Slack thread, we also organised our team’s zoom meeting to invite Lorna, tutors and our peers to discuss around our concept, so as to provide our team with deeper clarification on what we have and haven’t done well for the initial concept and what can the team concept be further refined. Through this session and these online platforms, and thanks for all the teaching staff and our peers, we gathered a lot of feedback, and detailed summary will be listed below.

Feedback summary:

Some positive ones:

  1. Using human’s body as controller makes interactions engaging and intuitive.
  2. Making the interaction process more acceptable and operational.
  3. Providing users with freedom of control and movement.
  4. Enhancing people’s interests in playing games, especially for those who hate using some physical tokens as controllers.

Some actionable and constructive ones:

  1. Avoiding making users feel fatigued.
  2. Going beyond the screen-based output.
  3. Translating into a non-game space will be more worth exploring.
  4. Exploring other parts of body as the controller.
  5. Considering combining that will educational content.
  6. Combining different gestures to everyday objects and day-to-day life.
  7. Reducing users’ cognitive and memory loads when learn how to interact.
  8. Giving users freedom to select specific body parts to control specific interactions.
  9. Considering physical differences among different user groups.
  10. Exploring to apply same tech and interactions into different contexts.

All the feedback from teaching staffs and our peers have provided our team a clearer way to explore our domain and the problem space. Following the given feedbacks, our team decided to do some desk research around existing solutions and then conducted user research to get to know more about our target users.

Some existing/similar technology in this field we can check out:

  1. Leap motion
  2. Nintendo Wii
  3. Switch Gyro
  4. Xbox Kinect
  5. PlayStation Move
  6. PlayStation Eyetoy
  7. Microsoft Adaptive controller (also gather some ideas around ‘disability support’)

Team progress

In this weekend, our team had 2 meetings to discuss around the feedback we have received and how can we refine our concept as the response to these valuable feedbacks. Based on the feedback we received, we had further discussion about specifying our team’s problem space. After that, we decided to move our focus from only ‘hand gestures’ to different parts of our bodies; to go beyond only focusing on game space; to put our concept into a more day-to-day environment; to explore how to apply this technology into various contexts, to reduce the reliance of system on the screen, etc.

As for our team’s future plan, we suppose to first conduct more research around the related work in our chosen domain, and then go deeper around our team’s domain and individual focus by explore the different solutions under the umbrella of team’s domain and problem space. We also break the team section of the proposal report into different small parts and assigned them to each team member.

Individual progress

Since our team have received a lot of valuable feedback, I spent a lot of time on going through each of them in detail, and discussing them with my team, so as to decide how to elevate our team’s concept to the next level. I organised these valuable feedbacks and summarised them to some implications that we can draw on and take into consideration further.

Apart from that, I also done some research around the existing and similar solutions in our theme. By doing that, I can get a better understanding of our chosen domain, and some ideas about how to make our concept more unique.

leap motion device nintendo wii gyro game console playstation move


img 1. retrieved from

img 2. retrieved from

img 3. retrieved from

img 4. retrieved from


  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image

#critique # online research # refined concept # feedback

Null week - Journal

Nick Huang - Sat 21 March 2020, 7:00 pm
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 5:14 pm

Zoom discussion for the course

Due to the impact of COVID-19, this week was paused to leave time for the teaching team to convert the course to the online one. So, there was no contact session in this week, but in order to clarify the new content of this course and gather students’ opinions on how to better move this course online, Lorna scheduled a zoom meeting for the open discussion. During this session, we were provided with the chance to get to know more about how the remaining academic weeks of this course will be conducted. Also, we received some feedback from Lorna and tutors through asking questions and the chatting room in Zoom.

chatting on zoom

Team progress

In this week, our team first had an online meeting and kept the continuous discussion through our group chat. As we have assigned different roles and decided to present our initial concept through pre-recorded video, each team member made the PowerPoint slides of their part for the upcoming pitch session and recorded their videos. Due to the adjustment of the team project and assessments, we also discussed the initial plan about how we will move forward to the final delivery and how we will take the individual responsibilities for completing the project, but still work in a team manner. That means we could still work towards a same goal, but everyone has a clearer individual role.

Individual progress

Followed the instructions provided by the teaching team, we chose to present our idea through video, so in this week, I mainly made the slides for my designated parts of this pitch: Intended Experience & Operations (Body storming for demonstrating some interactions). For the first part, I made two new images to show the ‘bracelets’ and ‘multi-user mode’ aspects of our concept. In order to offer users the immersive interaction experience, we decided to add the ‘bracelet’ for users to receive the physical feedback (vibration) from the game.

bracelets of our team concept multi-user concept Intended user experience Operation guides

In order to give audience a clearer picture of the interaction part of our concept, our team chose to use the ‘body storming’ method to show some aspects of the interaction. So, for my own parts, I recorded the PowerPoint slides and the body storming part respectively, and then I edited these two videos together to make it easier for our team leader to organise each one’s video.

Video editing


  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image

#null week #zoom discussion # progress

Week 3 journal - Entry 2

Nick Huang - Sun 15 March 2020, 5:08 pm
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 5:23 pm

Team process:

Dur to the rapidly spreading of COVID-19, our team had an online meeting yesterday. During the meeting, we assigned different roles for next week’s pitch, and what should each team member be responsible for when preparing for that. We firstly broke the brief into different components, like design space, concept introduction, goals, contexts, intended experience, benefit, etc. By doing that, we were able to get a better understanding of the key things we should cover in the pitch. That enables each of us to know our responsibilities and contribute to and participate in the first part of team project.

Individual process:

As for the individual part, I was assigned the role to take charge of the ‘intended experience’ and ‘interactions’ parts in this pitch. So, I firstly wrote the script of these two parts, and then drew some sketches to demonstrate the ‘controller’ part of our concept. And also made an aircraft cardboard as the supporting material of body storming in the pitch.

cardboard of the aircraft

Intended experience

There are mainly two aspects that we try to focus on. First, enabling users to directly control and manipulate the digital information in the game by just controlling their left and right hand in the physical world, so that to provide them with the immersive interactive experience. Another thing is that because the interaction is mainly composed of two parts, the left and right hand, so our system also supports single or multiple players modes by allowing a single user to use both hands as controllers, or one user controls weapons and another user controls aircraft. That means we intend to offer users a collective experience.


The left hand stands for the weapon part, and players can choose different weapons (or switch the levels of ‘attack’) by adjusting different finger gestures. For example, the thumb and index finger gesture correspond to ‘Normal Attack’; the thumb, index and middle finger gesture correspond to ‘Power Attack’; and the thumb and pinky finger gesture correspond to the ‘Ultimate Attack’.

The right hand stands for the aircraft part, and players can switch flying modes by adjusting the degree of closure between fingers. For example, if the user's fingers are all closed, then the aircraft is moving forward in the level 1 mode, where the flying speed is slowest, but the attack accuracy is highest. If the user's index, middle and ring fingers are closed while the thumb and pinky finger are open, then the aircraft is moving forward in the level 2 mode, where the flying speed and attack accuracy are moderate. Finally, if the user has all fingers open, then the aircraft is moving forward in the level 3 mode, where the flying speed is quickest, but the attack accuracy is the lowest.

operation guide_1 operation guide_2

Apart from that, users can also use their hand to control the movement and direction of the aircraft. Like if you move you right hand horizontally, then the aircraft will present the corresponding movement in the game, and if you tilt you hand to the left and right, the aircraft will also show the corresponding tilt.


  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image

#initial concept # team meeting #supporting materials

Week 3 Journal

Nick Huang - Fri 13 March 2020, 2:43 pm
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 5:45 pm

World café

In this Tuesday’s contact session, we mainly conducted the world café activity, in which we were offered the chance to get a better understanding of others’ ideas and go deeper into different themes. This ideation exercise was split into three rounds, with some mini-rounds focus on different purposes. During each mini-round, we moved around different tables to make sure we could get to know as many different themes as possible.

Round 1 – Context

The first round was about discussing the context of different themes and related ideas by exploring the aims of these ideas, possibilities of how they could be done, etc. Through the relatively surface-level discussion, we were able to be more familiar with others’ concepts and come up with some new ideas. As we were not asked to take constraints into too much consideration, we really got some good inspirations by putting these ideas into different contexts. In the round 1, I stayed at tables with ‘Emotional Totems’ theme and ‘Musical Metrics’ theme. There were some interesting findings around these two themes:

  1. Combining some VR/AR technology with emotional design to enhance people’s awareness of mental health
  2. Providing portable physical tokens to enable multi-users to collaborate with each other in the music making process.
Round<em>1</em>theme1 Round<em>1</em>theme2

Round 2 – Audience / Domain

The second round was about discussing the target user groups, possible usage scenarios and human values of the ideas and possibilities generated in round 1. By going deeper into these ideas, we were able to identify what the target audience could be, which situations could these ideas be applied, and what was the most important human values they focused on. In this round, I stayed at tables with ‘Altered Landscapes’ theme, ‘Enhanced Mundane Spaces’ theme and ‘Digital to Physical’ theme. There were some insights from the three themes:

  1. Social connection and intimate relationship were things people valued
  2. Enhancing people’s interests in mundane spaces should take their motivations into account
  3. When design the physical representations of the digital information, design panels can consider the age and physical differences of users.
Round<em>2</em>theme1 Round<em>2</em>theme2

Round 3 – Refine

The last round was about how to make these ideas more realistic by bring back the constraints and barriers when designing and developing them. During this refinement process, we were able to consider what the realised concepts should be in the near-future and what kind of technologies could be applied when develop them. In this round, I served as both host and traveler of ‘Change Through Discomfort’ theme and ‘Body as controller’ theme. The implications for these themes were:

  1. We can combine different interaction modes for our potential ‘systems’
  2. When design the ‘discomfort’, consider users’ feeling in different situations is important. (eg: avoid embarrassing them to much in some public places)
  3. Providing users with the direct manipulation can make the interaction process more engaging.

Bash Isai:

In the first part of Wednesday’s contact, a previous Phys Comp student, Bashkim Isai were invited by Lorna as the guest speaker to chat with us through Zoom. He mainly discussed some methods to make ourselves ‘unique’ when we try to find a job after graduation. He guided us to conduct an exercise which aimed to help us identify what is the most unique and distinguishable characteristic of ourselves. I had to say this activity was useful, because that helped me reflect on my most valuable aspect, which was the skill I could apply when i entered the job market.

Team formation:

In the second part of Wednesday’s contact, it was about the team formation and allocation. First, we were given time to get familiar with each team member by following some warm-up questions and self-introduction. After that, we created our team charter, assigned the initial roles in the team project, as well as talking about our working strategies.

Team’s initial concept:

We conducted the focus group to discuss our ideas and what the potential projects could be, so that to decide the form of the initial concept and the technologies we may be able to draw on.

draft of team concept

The design space of our team is ‘Body as controller’. Our main concept is developing an interactive game that enables users to directly control and manipulate the digital information in the game by controlling their left and right hands, thus obtaining an immersive interactive experience. So, this concept is a gesture-based idea. The user's left and right hand respectively correspond to the shooting tool and aircraft in the game screen.

  • For the left hand, users can adjust different types of gestures to adjust different levels of 'attack'. For example, the thumb and forefinger gestures correspond to ‘normal attack’, while the thumb, index finger and middle finger gestures correspond to ‘power attack’, and the thumb and pinky finger gestures correspond to the ‘ultimate attack’.
  • For the right hand, users can control different flight modes by adjusting the degree of closure between fingers. For example, if the user's fingers are all closed, then the aircraft is in the level 1 flight mode, indicating the aircraft is flying at the slowest speed, but with the highest shooting accuracy. If the user's index, middle and ring fingers are closed while the thumb and pinky finger are open, then the aircraft is in the level 2 flight mode, indicating moderate flight speed and attack accuracy. And if the user has all fingers open, then the aircraft is in the level 3 flight mode, indicating the fastest flying speed but the least attack accuracy.


Apart from the ideas generated from the world café session, our initial concept was also inspired by some retro horizontal shooting game. However, when users play these games, they are less likely to directly interact with digital information, and have to control the character in the game by some physical controllers, so we want to provide users with more intuitive operations and more immersive experience by allowing them to use the body as part of the control.


  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image

#world cafe #guest speaker # team formation # initial concept

Summary, reflection & Documentation

Nick Huang - Sat 7 March 2020, 9:54 am
Modified: Fri 15 May 2020, 5:21 pm

Summary & Reflection

This week’s inspiration pitch enabled me to expose my initial idea to the whole class, and I think I have tried to present my ideas clearly and I managed to communicate my concept to the audience well.

In general, most responses for my initial concept were positive, because the most audience thought my idea has responded well to the brief, which was playful, novel, valued human values and focused on everyday life. Some people are also interested in the way in which everyday objects are used as interactive tokens, and they think it is attractive for users to experience the immersive interactions in a playful way. That has been a great pleasure for me, as my initial ideas have received positive feedback from others and may provide some inspiration for their eventual actual projects.

Some of the feedback from the audience also provided me with some valuable and constructive suggestions for further improvement and consideration of my concept, including:

  • Reducing the difficulty of colour matching/choosing for users, especially novice painters.
  • Considering more using contexts/scenarios.
  • Enabling different users to form a closer connection.

I think most feedback provided by them were specific, actionable and objective, which inspires me to a great extent. Like taking above three feedback into account, I could provide some pre-set colour collations to lower users’ learning threshold, and allow multiple projectors to be used to connect different players, so that form a colour matching competition for the same painting. Also, creating a ‘community’ for users to share their own customised paintings for others to download and share their own colouring experience.


For this week, I mainly listened to others’ ideas and was also inspired by some of them. There were lots of really engaging ideas that could be potentially designed and developed to a final project that will be presented in the showcase.

Viewing other's concept Viewing other's concept_2 Viewing other's concept_3

We also gave critiques to others’ initial concepts, which may further provide some inspirations to them about where they did well and where they could improve. In the last hour of each day’s session, we also themed various ideas into different themes. By doing that, we were able to generate the initial sets of themes with the teaching team, which can help us better choose, extend and adapt ideas on the upcoming week’s word café session.

critique_1 critique_2 initial sets of themes

Actually, there were some notable projects during the presentation sessions, and many projects based around music, body control, beautification, etc. In particular, I was interested in:

  • The rhythm of exercise
  • Running hand
  • Punching bag fountain

I was impressed by these projects mainly because they all provided new ways for users to interact with the ‘system’ and take human values into consideration. Although some of them may not totally focus on everyday life, they can consider making further improvements and putting their projects into everyday scenarios. There were actually many more ideas that were inspirational and interesting, so I was very looking forward to seeing them to be translated into some actual projects!


  1. Compressing the image file size for better display in journal post.
  2. Adding the alt text description of each image

#reflection #pitch #critique #feedback #theme

Floor Colouring

Nick Huang - Mon 2 March 2020, 10:12 pm
Modified: Mon 2 March 2020, 10:23 pm

What is it?

Floor colouring is an interactive device, mainly composed of a mobile projector and a bracelet that allow one or more users to interact with the floor in novel ways. This mobile device can project a painting onto the floor, and then the user can adjust the colour of the paint through the bracelet, and then colour the different parts of the painting by mopping the floor.


So when users interact with this device, there are three main parts, paintings, bracelets and the projector. For paintings, users can choose paintings with different difficulty levels through the projector, that means paintings with low difficulty level have fewer colour blocks that need to be filled in, while paintings with high difficulty have more complicated blocks need to be filled in. In addition, users can draw some of their own content in advance and upload it to the projector, so they can customise their paintings. The size of the painting can be adjusted according to the size of the floor to be cleaned, such as zoom in or zoom out. For the bracelet, the user can use the bracelet to select different colours when colouring the painting. The device also allows one or more users to interact and collaborate with each other to complete the colouring process. In addition, when a user finishes the colouring of the painting, they can share their filled paintings on some social media, so that to enable users to socially connect with others. The projector is mobile, so it can be moved around their rooms. It can also show the coloured content onto the floor in real time. In addition, users can also use the records in the projector to print their own work through the printer.

Context of use:

The device can also be used in different scenarios, such as at home or in some public places, like parks. By using it at home, it can increase users’ interest in cleaning, and enable them to cooperate with their families to record the process of cleaning each time and enhance their intimate relationship with family members. In some public places, it can enhance people's awareness of public health and can also serve as a new way of social interaction.


colouring cleaning housework collaborative interaction customisation

Week 1 Intro

Nick Huang - Fri 28 February 2020, 10:39 am

About me

Hello, everyone, welcome to my blogs! This is Menghao Huang, and I usually go by Nick. I am a postgraduate majoring in the Master of Interaction Design. As this is my last semester here in UQ, DECO7385 is about to become my last course in addition to my personal thesis project. The courses of the past three semesters have brought me a lot of new experiences and at the same time, also equipped me with the knowledge and skills in the field of interaction design, HCI, etc.

Frankly, I think interaction design is a multi-disciplinary field, also because of this, I have been provided with more opportunities to acquire different knowledge, such as conducting contextual inquiry, user-centred design principles, graphic design, programming languages, connecting hardware, etc., which enables me to reap some practical and divergent experiences from these courses, I suppose that’s why I’m always glad I’m here. In this 4-units course, I also hope to gain more new experiences as well as new skills, meet some new friends and learn more from people around me.


I have heard something about this course before, such as a great sense of accomplishment, large team projects, hands-on ability and so on. I was also impressed by many of the projects on Exhibition last year, and I have to say they were so amazing. So, I'm looking forward to doing something interesting and impressive with my future teammates in this course. At the same time, I’d like to continue to gain more knowledge related to the field of interaction design, especially physical computing, like how to better integrate the digital world with the physical world by coming up with some novel interaction means. I also want to acquire some new skills related to circuit board and hardware by the project and hope to expand my skillsets. Finally, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to consider more about human value when designing and try to design for everyday life.