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These running shoes by Saucony are now mine:

Picture by Saucony

Saucony Guide 6 in blue.

With a new goal: running a half marathon in December 2013.

And a training plan for my old pair, my natural running shoes:

Picture taken from AnyonesRunShop.nl

Training plan to start barefoot running.

I was doing some training on them already, but needed more guideline to increase the mileage in barefoot running that I do.

Students at the Technical University of Munich have a fun way of being lazy. They don’t have to take the stairs or wait for an elevator to go to the ground floor. Instead, they use giant slides.

Slides out to the main hall at Technische Universität München.

Slides out to the main hall at Technische Universität München.

For the rest, the building looks slightly like a prison…

Attach a Tile to your keys, wallet or bag and you will never have to look for them again. If you do not know where you put the item, you can make it beep with the Tile app. If it is further from home, it can be located by other Tile users that pick up its signal.


Fulfills some of the whishes I had for the locating technology I set out to create for my HCI class from Coursera.

My co-worker pointed out this genius book from 1962: The executive colouring book.

Is this what important looks like?

Is this what important looks like?

He got me out of my mood of lunch time being almost over with the quote: “Color my underwear important”

A story starts with the roll of the dice. At least it can with these Rory’s Story Cubes I ran into at Blijfwijs.nl. Wonderful idea to stimulate children’s fantasy and get them talking.

Tell stories from the icons on the dice. A spark of imagination.

Tell stories from the icons on the dice. A spark of imagination.

It brings me back to the project at Waag Society to create digital building blocks for stories.

Something that is bound to come in handy one day: paperkit.net lets you customize a printable graph paper template. Print it out and start drawing… anything!

Design your grid paper and print, easy as that.

Design your grid paper and hit print, easy as that.

Give your personal pictures a boost, after they are shot, from your computer. Go to pixlr.com, choose “Open Pixlr-o-matic” and play!

Pixlr-o-matic

Screenshot of Pixlr-o-matic, the playful photo studio online.

Go to the Wayback Machine, fill in an old internet address and discover websites that you thought were long lost. Or try it with a still existing site, and see how it evolved during the years. Only text and lay-out was saved, pictures were too space consuming.

Screenshot from web.archive.org.

Go back in time with the Wayback Machine.

 

Just shows how internet history is archived. Making it hard to remove mistakes, but also an infinite treasure.

Storify is a great tool to help you tell stories by grabbing several tweets and storing them together.

Picture by topbconsulting.com.

Storify lets you collect scraps from social media and store them together.

I am following the Coursera.org course Human Computer Interaction offered by Stanford University. It is taught by Scott Klemmer and is giving me very useful insights in interaction design to improve user interfaces.

The course consists of weekly video lectures and quizzes and a practical component in the form of assignments that are peer graded. I found these very helpful, to get feedback and inspiration from the work of others.

I started a project to find out how technology can help people to pack their bags. Inspired by my own fear to forget my keys when I leave the house. I want to share with you some of the fun I had in the early brainstorms and prototyping:

HCI Assignment 1 – NeedFinding

Packing a bag is something we do so often, that it turns into a routine, but one we are not very focussed on. Leading to doubt over whether we packed a certain item or forgetting to grab that important one item in our hurry to get going.

My goal is to find out how technology can help us to pack our bags.

I observed people packing their bag for a certain occasion to learn about the activity and possible breakdowns and workarounds that technology could play a role in.

Inspiration I found for developing a technology that could help people:

  • Key finders
  • Generate packing list online
  • RFID tags and readers (possible technology)
  • RFID reader for iPhone (possible technology)
  • X-ray baggage screening (inspiration for artwork)

HCI Assignment 2 – Prototyping
Storyboards had to be pen drawings. For digital storyboards, I prefer the Comic Life software.


I then built a sketch prototype with Balsamiq Mockups, a rapid wireframing tool.

HCI Assignment 3 – Start Building
Things started to be more serious and I had to build two versions of my app with Just in Mind
I learned the hard way that this was a lot of work. And that the hours you put in don not always get the reward you hope for. The peer-grading system disappointed me.
I spend hours grading and giving feedback to others, and received only very low grades for my own project. From which I learned one thing: not only in user interfaces, also in assignments you need clear design for the users. I failed to state my goal and background for my app, so my graders did not understand the point.
Luckily, I received great feedback through the coursera forum. I did decide to stop with the assignments and continue only with the quizzes and lectures, because I started my new job as a content manager.

If you want to know more about this Coursera HCI course, read Jodie Locklear’s blog article ‘H.C.I. – Honored, Compelled, Inspired.’.

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