Toy Sketches – Katie Fraser

February 26, 2011

6 Rough Toy Ideas


3 Refined Toy Sketches









The idea for this toy came from the digital game that everybody seems to know, Tetris. The concept was to prepare a hands on approach to building your own 3D Tetris right in front of you. A physical Tetris. There was something intriguing about the color, shape and texture of the blocks – but something was definitly missing, and lacking on the “fun” front. After some discussion, I realized I had taken the “fun” out of Tetris.


The same or similar concept but on a much larger scale and for a much more useful, yet “fun”, purpose. I propose a shelving system made of blocks similar to these, but hollow in order to store things in. Colorful, just as these blocks are. Durable. Lightweight. Stackable. Re-arrangeable. Easy to use, lift, and/or move.

Basically, it’s a fun way to shelve your belongings and to be able to easily change up the formation of the blocks whenever you feel it to be necessary.

Exercise 4: Music Video – Katie Fraser

February 26, 2011

Rat and Cat

Ex 7: Photoshop Tennis – Dayna & Tanya

February 25, 2011

1. Photo credits:  Gambar Rumah

2. Photo credits: Dayna Griffiths

3. Photo credits: Dandeluca and Deidre Woollard

4. Photo credits: Dayna Griffiths

5. Photo credits: NASA Goddard Photo and Video and Abulic Monkey

6. Photo credits: Dayna Griffiths

Ainura Nifdalieva – Exercise 6 (part II)

February 24, 2011

My toy is a colourful flower with a flexible stem that could be bend in any directions. It can be placed everywhere around the house: on a lamp, on a table, over a head of the bed, etc.

Observation: In the beginning, person was studying  the object in order to see what function and interaction it has. When observer noticed that the stem of the flower is pretty flexible, he started to bend it in different directions.Then, he straightened the stem and bend it again. After, he was trying to bend the stem by rotating it and giving a spiral look. Later,he pushed his hand through the spiral looking stem and after he was engaged with the object for a while. Finally, the colourful petals and a happy face of the  toy made the observer smile.

An object Reid loves and an object Reid hates.

February 23, 2011

I hate this computer. My “family’s” computer, the one we all use has not been a “normal” or up-to-date version since I was eleven years old. Since then, our family computer has been a combination of hand-me-downs from my father’s office. Once our last hand-me-down PC finally died my dad decided to purchase an Apple computer/Mac. He decided to get a Mac computer but not a whole one just this little disk man size version (Mac Mini). The Mac portion of the computer isn’t that bad but we didn’t get any other Mac hardware so the quick keys and short cut keys don’t work. For example when copying and pasting this is problematic as the user must use the top menu bar or attempt to drag the information. This combination of a keyboard/computer therefore does not afford its intended function, to make information quickly accessible through the use of shortcuts, specialized buttons etc. This problem with the keyboard functions is also a constraint in the use of the computer as it limits the amount of actions that can be performed as some of the keys found on Mac keyboards not only do not work on the non-Mac keyboard but also some don’t even exist. Also the way in which the (non-Mac) monitor is lit is horrible as it puts out this weird glare that hurts my eyes. Because the effects I expect from this computer (like being able to use keyboard shortcuts) are not fulfilled I feel the mapping of this combined Mac/Pc desktop computer is very poor. I am already someone who doesn’t like computers very much but having to use this and share it with my parents really makes me hate them its part of why all my blog posts are always late.

Something I love is my Dewalt drill I bought this six years ago when I started my carpentry apprenticeship. At that time there weren’t really any other drills to compare it to, it was the best. It has regular drill settings and a hammer drill setting, it also has three different gear ratios for screwing and drilling. Everyone told me it was a waste to buy such an expensive drill because on a job site it will get broken or lost and that batteries don’t last more then two years.  The batteries ended up lasting five years and the only problem I had was the trigger broke after four years and it took me all of ten minutes to take the drill apart and fix it myself. That’s something else I love about it is how easy it is to service when cleaning it or when it needs repair. Overall the drill was designed well, and affords its intended function, to work as a drill. The constraints of the drill are primarily physical, the battery life and what I experienced with the trigger, both of which were not seen as particularly “constraining” and were expected after the years of use.  This object is mapped well, when it is expected to work, it does, and it reacts to the commands (trigger commands) as it would be expected to (drilling and reverse etc).

OCAD Student Personas – Tanya, Ainura, Keight, Dayna

February 19, 2011

Britnee: the fashionable person

Age: 20

Location: downtown Toronto

Education: Advertising

Hobby: shopping for clothes and accessories

Clothing: skinny jeans or leggings, high-heeled shoes, jewellery and other accessories, designer labels

Music: pop music

Food: organic food, sushi, claims to be vegetarian

Loves: magazines, standing out, the latest gadgets, facebook

Hates: blending in

(image accredited to flick user manon.paradis)

Project Two: Feedback Post

February 18, 2011

As discussed today in class, your feedback on a minimum of three of your collegues’ detailed toy concepts should take the form of answers to the following questions:

How (or how not) is the prototype fun? Here, discuss the design specifics of the toy–communication strategies, clever mapping, appropriate affordances, etc.–either in terms of design successes, or missed opportunities (and suggestions for improvement). If possible and pertinent, make reference to course material presented to date.

Why (or why not) is the prototype fun? Here, discuss your gut feelings about the toy’s “fun-ness.” This is a more subjective, synthetic and ultimately difficult question than the previous one. Make reference to our Exercise Six deconstruction of fun where possible.

Who (or who not) is the prototype fun for? This last question should be answered in terms of the personas you created in Exercise Eight. In short, list the which persona(s) the toy or game would appeal to. If none, posit a missing persona, or discuss why this toy is inappropriate for the target audience.

Exercise Six, Part Two: What is Fun?

February 18, 2011

Exercise Eight: OCAD Student Personas

February 18, 2011

“Personas (figure 5.8) are a documented set of archetypal people who are involved with a product or a service. . . . To create a persona, designers find a common set of behaviours or motivations among the people they have researched. This becomes the basis for the persona, which should be given a name, a picture, and a veneer of demographic data to make the persona seem like a real person.”

(from Dan Saffer, Designing for Interaction, 89-119)

In groups of four, generate one detailed persona from the list we generated in class on one 8.5″ x 11″ page. As per the example above, your persona must consists of a name, an image and a “veneer of demographic data.” This data provides the detail that helps make the persona seem like a real person. Provide at least twelve facts about your persona, including at a minimum the answers to the following questions.

  • What do they wear?
  • What do they eat?
  • What do they listen to?
  • Where do they live?
  • What do they love?
  • What do they hate?

Pin your provisional persona to the wall for the remainder of the class. After class, post your persona to the blog with any necessary enhancements, such as a photograph. Remember to include the names of all the members of your group in your post.

Exercise Eight is due at 12:00 on Friday, March 4.

Min Jee’s toy sketches

February 18, 2011

6 toy sketches

3 toy sketches-1

3 toy sketches-2

Exercise Seven: Photoshop Tennis

February 18, 2011

In this Exercise you will be playing Photoshop Tennis: a game with a partner where you’ll create a series of images that will form an emerging narrative.

We will begin with a brief Photoshop tutorial, where we’ll go through the following steps as a group. It’s important that you follow these steps carefully so that your narrative emerges as seamlessly as possible.

1) One partner should open Temporary Storage, and create name a folder with the following format: FirstName1_FirstName2. For example, if Doug Panton and I were partners, I’d make a folder called <Doug_Jesse>.

2) Mine the web for image content. Go to:

Note that we should only use images that use an appropriate form of Creative Commons license. Read over the Creative Commons information on the right. The first category (Attribution License) is the most appropriate form for our purposes. Click on “See more,” or go to:

Now, find a few images that you like (do this quickly — you’ll have a chance to redo the exercise later), and download them to your desktop. Click on “Actions > View all sizes” at the top left of the image. You want the file size that’s closest to 1024 x 768.

3) One partner should open Photoshop, and create a .psd file in with the following characteristics: 1024 x 768 pixels, 72 pixels/inch resolution, RGB 8 bit colour mode. Save this file to your folder using the same FirstName1_FirstName2 format, i.e. <Jesse_Doug.psd>.

Now, open the images you downloaded to your desktop in Photoshop. Cut-and-paste one of these images into your file to use as your background. This will begin your narrative. Cut and paste this image into your .psd file. Manipulate the image, and add content from your other images. There are many image manipulation tools in Photoshop. I’ll go over a few of them to get you started.

4) After a few minutes of playing around, you will prepare the file for transfer to your partner. Follow these instructions carefully.

Save your .psd file.

Select Save-as, select JPEG as your filetype, and change the name to FirstName1_FirstName2_FrameNumber, i.e. <Jesse_Doug_1.jpg>. In this way, you’ll end up with a .jpg “snapshot” of your .psd file at the moment of transfer.

Now, close the .psd file.

Please ask me for help if this is at all confusing. There should only ever be one .psd file per pair.

The second partner should now re-open the .psd file and add their own visual information to move the emerging narrative forward.

Don’t completely erase your partner’s work — that ruins the game and destroys the narrative. Whenever possible, use layers to separate the elements in your .psd file. This will give both partners more flexibility in re-working your collaborative creation.

5) Repeat the transfer step one more time to make sure that you understand it. This should result in a narrative that is 3 images long, and consists of four files, i.e <Jesse_Doug.psd>, <Jesse_Doug_1.jpg>, <Jesse_Doug_2.jpg>, and <Jesse_Doug_3.jpg>.

This exercise should be re-started at home, this time using transferring the .psd file a total of 5 times between you and your partner by email, resulting in a narrative that is 6 images long. In this case, step 5 reads as follows:

5) Repeat the transfer step 4 more times, progressively adding to the story until the “tennis match” is over and resulting in a narrative that is 6 frames long.

Take a moment to ensure that all your files are in order, and to post the six .jpg images in sequential order to the blog in a single post. Make sure both your names are in the post title. Be sure to adequately credit the source of your images as per the Creative Commons licence if you have not used your own images. As always, be sure to correctly categorize your post.

Exercise Seven is due at 12:00 on Friday, March 4.

Designing for Interaction

February 18, 2011

Click here to download pages 89-119 from Designing for Interaction.

“The craft of interaction design is really the craft of creating the models, diagrams and documents that communicate the designer’s designs. These representations, and the testing of those with clients and users, are the designer’s bread and butter. They are what designers use to do their most important work, moving their knowledge and vision from their minds and hearts to their hands and to the design itself . . . Designers should strive to make each representation a designed artiact, filled with smart, deliberate choices.” (Saffer 119)

Exercise 6 – Queenie Chan

February 18, 2011

Sudoku Handheld

Description: A handheld device meant to be used with two hands, much like a mainstream handheld gaming system (ex. NDS, PSP). It has a 9×9 grid and various buttons of different functions meant for solving sudoku puzzles. Generally, the time it takes to solve a sudoku puzzle ranges from ten minutes to an hour, depending on the user and on the difficulty of the puzzle.

During the class, very few people picked up the handheld to play. Some users mentioned that it was too difficult, and the few people who picked up the handheld did not finish any puzzles. Some did not know the rules or otherwise showed little interest. One person said that it would be good for use on subway rides and such, seeing how sudoku puzzles can be time-consuming and thus help pass the time when the user “had nothing better to do”.

Thoughts: There was less interest in this toy than I thought there would be, the reason probably being that environment and circumstance change how appealing a toy may be. In situations where the user has an extended period of time to burn, the sudoku puzzle becomes much more appealing. The toy’s appeal is limited by its difficulty and time-consuming nature, though I think it is still a good brain exercise.

Toy Observation: Yo- Yo

February 18, 2011


The yo- yo is a flat spool with a length of string tied at one end. A yo-yo is played by inserting one finger into the slipknot, letting the spool down and pulling at it so it turns mid- air and come back up and rolls itself into the spool again.

The yo- yo is universally known. It is a unisex toy that can be enjoyed by all age groups. One must initially be taught how to play with a yo- yo but once a person learns, they’re unlikely to forget. Yo- yo’ s come in a number of colours, designs and sizes, which cater to each person and generation.


In my observation, one person mentioned just after first glance that they used to love playing with yo- yo’s; they can be nostalgic for some people. Many people had trouble getting the hang of it at first but, like riding a bike, the motions came to them quickly. Someone was also speaking about its size and how it can easily be stored in a purse or pocket and used when passing time. There seemed to be a bit of satisfaction that came when people were able to successfully play with the yo- yo for a certain amount of time without having the string bounce out of its course.

Jessica Di Biase

Melanie’s deconstruction of a toy.

February 17, 2011

This toy is deemed THE CLIMBER. It is a small remote-controlled car that drives along walls. Unlike most remote-controlled cars this one is able to drive on flat vertical surfaces (ie walls). There is a vacuum fan installed  in the small red car that helps it stick to the wall, and the remote controls it’s movement.

OBSERVATION: Subject at first thought it was only a regular remote control car, until further investigation. When discovered that the car drives on walls, subject was very excited and impressed. They found it fairly easy to use, simply turn it on until you can hear the fan and stick it on the wall. Subject spent several minutes driving the car around on the surface of the wall, avoiding windows, and pictures hung on the wall. After a few minutes subject turned off device, and plastic car fell to the ground.

THOUGHTS: I think this toy is quite impressive and can be enjoyed for longer durations (possibly setting up obstacles on the wall to avoid). However I think it could be improved if the suctions were placed on larger “off-roading” wheels so the vehicle was able to drive over things, through doors from room to room, or be able to climb onto the ceiling and floor.

Toy Sketches

February 17, 2011

6 Rough Toy Ideas

3Refined Sketches

Deconstruct a Toy – Anna

February 17, 2011

The item is a well-known puzzle toy – the rubik’s cube. It is a cube composed of six coloured sides, each divided into 9 smaller squares. The person playing with the toy can shift these smaller squares in a number of ways. The aim is to get all of the same colours together on one side.

Observations: the person playing with the toy seemed intrigued at first. He picked it up and turned it around in his hand for a bit. After a moment of analyzing the colours and the sides, the person began turning the different squares in different directions, experimenting with the possible ways the task could be accomplished. The person already seemed to be aware of what the intention of the toy was – to get all the colours grouped together. The person’s expression was very focused and determined. He said “hmm” a lot and kept asking “how do I get this colour over here?”. Eventually, he put down the toy in some frustration and stated that he didn’t know what to do.

Thoughts: I found it a little amusing to see the subject getting angry that the toy wasn’t working the way he imagined. It seemed that as soon as he started figuring it out, something else stumped him. I liked that it kept him occupied for a while and that he was intrigued by it, but I understand that it is not an easy toy to solve.

Ex6: Deconstruct a Toy: Field Observation – Tanya Ilina

February 15, 2011

Description: plastic mechanical toy – Thumbelina in the flower

Observation: The person picked up the toy, turned it in hands mumbling meanwhile that there was suppose to be some kind of interesting mechanism in it.  After finding a comfortable position to hold the toy in hand he pushed the bar with another hand triggering the mechanism which opened the flower and revealed the Thumbelina inside. The person was surprised and excited; he released the bar and the flower shut. The person repeated the operations of opening and closing several times trying to figure out how the toy worked and paying no attention to the girl inside. After several minutes of scrutiny the person put the toy back on the shelf and said: “It’s an interesting toy I wish you’d allow me to take it apart”.

Thoughts: This toy is interesting and exciting at least for the first few minutes, mostly because it has a secret. As soon as the person discovers the secret the toy becomes less interesting, but it leaves the person who played with a good impression. The toy would be more interesting and exciting to the person who at least knows the story of Thumbelina and the story of this particular kind of toy. For those who have it, it is also a piece of nostalgia from Soviet Union childhood.

Toy Observation- Igyeong Jane Kim

February 15, 2011


This is a big bird puppet that I have bought in New York. This Big Bird is from Sesame Street.  He fits perfectly around the adult’s hand. Using one hand, his mouth can be opened wide. Also your pinky and thumb can be used as right and left arms.  His big eyes and bright yellow color grabbed my attention.


His huge eyes and bright color attract people. They put their right hands, right handed people, in it and first open his mouth wide couple of times. After that, put pinky and thumb, using it to move his arms around. They realized that they can’t do both actions at the same time. Some people make Big Bird voices and speak to someone sitting next to. They run out of things to do and put the puppet down.

Project Two “Design For Fun” – Tanya Ilina

February 15, 2011

Final toy proposal

PDF file of my toy proposal

Video clip with pictures of kaleidoscope and users testing it

Prototype of the kaleidoscope

3 Detailed concepts for toys

6 Toy Ideas (Sketches)

Toy Ideas (part 1 & 2) – Heejae Choi

February 15, 2011

—————————Part 2.

Igyeong Jane Kim- Toy Ideas

February 15, 2011


Six Independent Toy Ideas:










Three Detailed Toy Concepts:

Toy Sketches

February 14, 2011

Toy Observation – Josephine Lam

February 14, 2011

Toy Observation

Blythe Doll

The Blythe Doll was actually made in 1972 but was cut off the market after one year because of their oversized head that deemed too scary for children. It gained popularity in the 21st century when photographers started taking pictures of the doll and made it into a book. It is 28 cm tall , and I was most attracted to her big eyes that changes color when I pull on the string. Her hair is also very realistic. I bought this doll in Hong Kong a few years ago


Girls are most attracted to this doll because they remind them of their childhood. Although it does not do much, people enjoyed touching and playing with the texture of her hair. Some people move her arms around, take her clothes off, lay her down so that the eyes will close.

Toy Ideas – Josephine Lam

February 14, 2011

A) Pictures of Prototype

B) Top 3 Toy Ideas:

1) Cupcake Ashtray

2) Velcro DIY toy

3) Sexy Dart

C)  6 Rough Ideas

Toy Observation

February 14, 2011


Oblo is a didactic toy that requires the child to put pieces together to form a complete sphere inside and out.  The colours are primary and thus very visually appealing as it attracts attention. The shape of it initially created interest as something curious.


Many people wanted to try the toy since it was different than the rest. It was simple yet complex on its function and so a lot of people wanted to try and solve the puzzle. It was interesting to see that people 18+ were not able to easily solve it; and this toy is made for pre-schoolers and kindergardeners. The toy was engaging for a very long period of time and it gave the users a lot of frustration when they could not figure out the puzzle, but once they did it was very simple for them to do it and they felt very very accomplished.

Josef Scholbeck Project 2

February 14, 2011

An arm-worn ball throw assist

Rearrangeable geometric block shapes

Snap-together building blocks

Three-pronged grabbing claw

Foam ball shooting crossbow

Magnetic building pyramids

Three Final Ideas

Magnetic Interlocking Blocks

Interlocking Cube Blocks

Tri-Bladed Grabber Claw

Prototype picture

Final Toy Proposal

(Pictorial Proposal)


Desktop fun. No matter where your desk is.

Reid Langille – Toy Sketches

February 14, 2011

Josef Scholbeck Exercise Six

February 14, 2011

Toy Subject- Sony Cybershot Camera


  • user immediately knows function
  • seems intrigued by appearance
  • likes focus function
  • starts reviewing stored photos
  • likes video function
  • explores different functions
  • quickly learns how to use it
  • seems to enjoy playing
  • takes many pictures
  • likes function sound effects
  • seems to enjoy just holding it
  • seems completely focused on toy
  • a bit confused by battery latch
  • immediately knows use
  • takes pictures quickly
  • compliments self-explanatory nature
  • likes compactness and durability

Min Jee- Toy Observation [Exercise Six]

February 14, 2011


The toy I brought to class is a stackable photo frame set shaped as bigger version of lego bricks. This photo frame can hold a single 4 cm by 5 cm photograph. The bright and happy colours make the photo frames more appealing and the fact that the frames are shaped as lego bricks make us reminisce about our childhood memories when I used to play with lego bricks. The more fascinating fact about the box is that it can also be used as a little storage box as the top part of the lid comes off. Just like ordinary lego bricks, these photo frame lego bricks can be stacked together and in different ways. Since lego bricks can be stacked however the owner wants it to stack, the arrangement of the photo frames and designs can be personalized.

Students come and pick up the lego bricks and stick them together to each brick or separate them apart. Initially they do not realize that the lego bricks are actually photo frame boxes, but after they play with the brickes and observing them more carefully, they soon realize that “oh – there’s a picture inside”.
This toy is not too engaging to play with for a long period of time, but it is appealing due to aesthetic reasons. Students looked at this toy for a couple of minutes, but not for too long. As mentioned before, the appealing factor is that the owner of the lego brick photo frame set has the latitude to personlize the arrangment of the photo frame set.

Dayna’s “Design for Fun”

February 13, 2011

| Proposal |


A multipurpose toy that pins creativity to fun!

The bright colours of the pins, and variety of fun shapes, will attract potential buyers. Pinning the pins to the furry and interestingly shaped base, or to a wall or cork-board, will hook them in and inspire imagination. No two shapes are alike!

| Prototype |

| Concepts |

| Ideas |

Keight’s thoughts on Toys

February 13, 2011

My new favourite toy is my HP TC4200, a sweet, convertible tablet pc.

I recently let some people play with my toy, here are some observations I made:

People were very curious about the pc, the idea was new to them (even though the toy is 6 years old) and they were intrigued. The unfrimiliarity caused them to approach it as a new adventure, almost as if they were exploring something.

After some time getting used to the controls and getting a feel for the pen on screen experience, they began exploring different options. In Photoshop, they played with different tools and different brushes to create different effects.

On person lifted the tablet, and explored how it converted into a regular laptop. They commented on the portability and the different uses of the computer. They concluded that it was a lot of fun.

Two people who played with the tablet commented on it’s versatility, that they enjoyed all the different options it gave.

In general, everyone thought it was a new and different idea, and seemed to enjoy themselves while using it.

Inspired by my the fun my toy inspired and by many others, I started brainstorming ideas for  a toy design of my own.

Here are the three I chose to elaborate on.

Exercise 2.6: Toy Observations – Katie Fraser

February 13, 2011

This is a watch which doubles as a calculator, as well as other regular functions of a digital watch. Calculators are not generally considered toys due to the reasons why they’re normally used. BUT, it’s bright blue color and the fact that you’re wearing a calculator on your wrist makes it a novelty – which in turn makes it fun(ny).

Observations: Student picks up watch from table. Askes what it is. Askes how to operate calculator function. Pushes various buttons on watch. Finds that pushing button on side of watch initiates calculator function. Performs simple calculation on calculator. Seems amused.  Thinks it’s “cool”. Puts watch back down on table.

Dayna’s Transcript of Observations

February 12, 2011

Description: Stuffed rabbit. Limbs and head can rotate. Capable of remaining sitting or standing as desired.

Observation: Student picks toy up. “This is old-school.” Smiles. Turns toy in hands. Places back on table. No other students approach.

Thoughts: This small, brownish-beige toy does not seem to compel people to play. Its dull colours do not attract attention. Its attributes are not obvious. Active imagining and ‘make-believe’ is required.

Emotional Design

February 11, 2011

Click here to download pages 99-133 from Emotional Design.

“Fun and pleasure, alas, are not topics often covered by science. Science can be too serious, and even when it attempts to examine the issues surrounding fun and pleasure, its very seriousness becomes a distraction. Yes, there are conferences on the scientific basis of humour, of fun (“funology” is the name given to this particular endeavor), but this is a difficult topic and progress is slow. Fun is still an art form, best left to the creative minds of writers, directors and other artists. But the lack of scientific understanding should not get in the way of our enjoyment. Artists often pave the way, exploring approaches to human interaction that science then struggles to understand. This has long been true in drama, literature, art, and music, and it is these areas that provide lessons for design. Fun and games: a worthwhile pursuit.” (Norman 100)

Project Two: Design for Fun

February 11, 2011

Click here to download Project Two: Design for Fun.

Music Video- Josephine Lam

February 11, 2011

Music Video Project- Josephine Lam

An object Melanie loves, an on object Melanie hates.

February 11, 2011


One object I have slowly began to love more and more is the Magic Bullet. I use it mainly for making smoothies with fruit and ice. This device comes in 3 seperate parts; the cup, the blade, and the base. Each part has affordances that make it easy to determine how it is used. The clear plastic cup is obvious that it holds the items you would like blended, it also has a flat bottom, and a screw top indicating that it is a container. The blades have a corresponding screw top making it obvious that it fits on top of the cup. The base is much heavier, and has a power cord indicating that it will generate the power to spin the blade.

Physical Constraints on the device include the screw top cup only fitting with one side of the blade part. Furthermore once blade is attached to the cup, the entity only fits into the base in one way. There are small notches on the circumference of the cup that correspond with indents on the base. They only fit in one way and it is logical that the blades would be at the bottom of items being pureed.

After cup and blade are attached and set on the base, there is no indication of what happens next. This requires some thought, unless you have seen the commercial where it is demonstrated that the cup must be pressed down in order to start the process. A symbol such as an arrow on the side of the base, or possibly a word on the bottom of the cup would make this device more efficient for those who have never seen it before.

There is auditory feedback once cup is pushed down that the Magic Bullet is going to work. It starts as an aggressive grinding sound, to a gentler hum which helps in assessing how long food should be chopped.


Electric pencil sharpener. I find these difficult to use as they only work with certain types of pencils and most of the time they break the lead, or over-sharpen your pencil. The affordances of the electric pencil sharpener  are it’s shape and placement of the hole that your pencil goes in. It is placed at the top which tells us where the pencil goes in, and underneath is a clear plastic case where the pencil shavings collect.

The physical constraints of this object include the hole size which is only big enough to fit a standard sized pencil, and the collector is shaped so that it can only fit in the device one way. It is also flat on the bottom which sits the device upwards, and makes it clear that there is only one way that it can be used.

The auditory feedback you receive is the sound of it sharpening your pencil. I believe this device could be made more efficient if there was an indication of when your pencil has been sharpened to a perfect point, such as a light illuminating or the machine automatically coming to a stop to avoid breakage of the pencil lead.

Melanie’s Music Video

February 11, 2011

You can view my video for Pantha Du Prince’s remix of Peacebone by Animal Collective HERE

Music Video and A Diagram – Heejae Choi

February 11, 2011

Music video:

The diagram: Click the picture to view the entire diagram

An Object Josef Loves, An Object Josef Hates

February 11, 2011

An Object Josef Loves

An object I love is my wireless XBOX 360 controller. I recently acquired it when I bought the game platform it goes with. The controls present on the object are; two thumbsticks, a crosspad, four letter buttons, left and right shoulder and trigger buttons and three center control buttons. The affordances of this object are both effective and clear; the ergonomic shape of the controller instantly tells the user how to hold it and immediately settles into a comfortable position. The designed grip places the user’s fingers in the ideal locations to utilize the controls; the thumbs are poised over the thumbsticks and letter buttons and the index fingers rest on the shoulder and trigger buttons. The important buttons on the controller are labeled to provide visual feedback on their functions. In addition, the controller contains an internal vibrating mechanism, which can provide tactile feedback when one is playing a game on the platform.

An Object Josef Hates

An object that I well and truly hate is my old SHARP television set. The screen is less than 12 inches wide and extremely low resolution, impeding clear visual feedback from the object. The affordances of the TV are no better. The TV does not come with a remote control and the control buttons are located at the very bottom of the set, crammed right below the screen. A combination of the buttons’ small size, their identical color to the main shell and the visual distraction of the screen above them create a visual constraint against me easily locating and using them. In addition, the miniscule labels for the buttons are located immediately below them, making them impossible to see unless the buttons are almost at eye level

Laura’s objects

February 11, 2011

An object I love is my Magic Mouse by Apple. The affordances I found in this mouse was that its very easy and comfortable to my hand to use.

First, the scroll down motion with the mouse can be done by physically doing so with our finger touching the smooth surface rather than a wheel. There is no set spot as to were we can scroll the page; it can be done anywhere in the surface so that makes it extremely accessible to a lot of people.  The mapping of the finger actions is also very well done. One can simply swift their fingers to the left of right as well to go back (left) and to go forward (right) to navigate through internet, images, etc instead of having to move the computer’s arrow to the back button. In this sense it is also extremely accessible because one does not have to have precise hand coordination in order to navigate through the computer. I find that there are no physical constraints since the mouse fits so perfectly in my hand. It would be interesting to see what people with bigger or smaller hands find with this shape.

An object I hate is OCAD’s doors. There are a lot of physical constraints for me since I am not very strong. I often find that I have to put my foot in an opening of the door, then sort of kick it to open a little and pull it very hard to open it. I don’t have this problem going out; just going in. The mapping is good I suppose one pulls the handle because there is a pulling action but I feel that for me these doors should be automatic since most of us usually carry large pieces or assignments in our hands so we cannot use the handles to open the door. The affordance of the automatic door opening is terrible, even though (I think?) there is a ”handicap” button to open the door for the ”handicapped” sometimes I find when I’m carrying a lot of stuff I can’t even press this button and thus I have to get someone else to open the door or drop everything.

An Object Katie Loves, An Object Katie Hates

February 11, 2011

An object I love is my electric kettle. It’s probably the most used appliance in my kitchen. I use it a fair bit as I tend to drink 4-5 cups of hot beverages per day as well as using it for other meals on a regular basis. It’s affordances add to it’s ease of use. Its designed so that it’s comfortable for the average person to hold onto and pour. It’s evenly weighted so it doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall in the object you’re pouring the water into. The visibility is clear and is pretty direct when attempting to put to use. The opening mechanism for the lid is easily identifiable and simple to open; theres a wide opening for pouring water into the kettle; the spout is efficient and makes no mess when pouring; and the tab on the back of the kettle which initiates the starting of the boiling is very clear and visible. The rate at which it actually boils water is very efficient which is a thumbs up. Although this kettle is simply designed and easy to use, there is a certain constraint worth pointing out. A physical contraint would have to be that you cannot remove the kettle from it’s cord while filling it up with water, you have to take the kettle along with the cord and hope that you do not get the plug wet while putting water in the kettle. This could pose problems if one is careless. Other than that, it performs as well as a $25 kettle should!

An object I hate is my Brita water filter. It’s affordances? It filters the water. The physical constraints are much more apparent. First of all, to take the cover off to fill the container with water is a battle in itself. You have to try to literally dig your fingernails (if you have any) underneath the rim of the lid and pry the cover off as best you can. Second, the filtering area itself holds a minimal amount of water. You have to fill the filtering area and wait for that to filter into the filtered area and fill the filtering area again and repeat until you have a decent amount of filtered water just to enjoy a simple glass of it. Third, the weight of the object is so poorly distributed that most often I have to use both of my hands to pour a glass of water so that it doesn’t crash onto the glass. Not to mention the handle being very uncomfortable. Brita has since come out with a few other (hopefully higher functioning) models of water filters.

Josef Scholbeck Music Video

February 11, 2011

My Music Video on YouTube

Ainura Nifdalieva- Exercise 4

February 11, 2011

Click to view Ainura’s music video

Anna – Music Video

February 11, 2011

To view the music video, click here.


Min Jee’s Music Video

February 11, 2011

Click here to watch video.

An Object Heejae Loves, An Object Heejae Hates

February 11, 2011

An object that I absolutely *love* is my 15-inch MacBook Pro. This is my first laptop in my life and got this last summer to prepare for university because I thought I would need a laptop to work on. (This is how my desktop looks like right now :D)

(Not only this one, but all laptops have limited affordances depending on the age groups of users.) To me, Mac has high affordances, and one of the reason is the keyboard. The depth of each button and space among them are very suitable for me as they are personalized for me. I couldn’t find any keyboards that fit me this well because my hands are small. This makes me keep typing and I don’t feel tired of typing at all.

Also the trackpad is very lovely because it has less physical constraint than other laptops; in other words, it allows more space to move around the arrow and to click anywhere I want to on the trackpad. With other laptops with regular trackpads, I had to use at least to fingers to move around the arrow and click something fast since there was a button to click something. However, for this one, the pad itself is the button. Mapping is very well done based on human behavior because the trackpad corresponds to my expectation like moving my finger on it making the arrow to move to right. Also it gives audible feedback when I click it; therefore, I know whether I’m actually clicking and dragging.

However, one thing that makes it difficult to use for some people is the lack of visibility about how-to-use trackpad or shortcuts on the keyboard. It doesn’t clearly indicate what they do for all different inputs before I take time experiencing them.

But other than that, I love everything about my MacBook Pro because its simple design and elegance.

An object that I *hate* is my lighter that I use everyday to lit up my candles. This type of lighters have a high physical contraint and are extremely hard to lit up for me because my thumb is not fast enough to turn the wheel thing on the top. That has to turn fast enough so that it creates the spark. Also they doesn’t have any visible instructions or images on themselves which make first-time users ask to others how to use these lighters–I didn’t know how to use it until I learned from my friend.

These have a poor affordance as well because it doesn’t have any features that make me want to grab this often. I use them because I need to; the don’t attract people to grab them just because they are physically affordable.

Also these don’t have any mappings involved since I would not associate turning the wheel with fire sparks if I did not have these lighters. Therefore, I can’t lit them up based on my behaviors. They don’t have any meanings written on the surface that they lit up, and I need to press the black part down so the fire lit up.

I just don’t like these lighters, but they are the cheapest, so I guess I will keep complaining every time I used them.

Exercise5: Objects that I love and hate.

February 11, 2011

The object that I LOVE,

iPhone 4

This is my first product from Apple and I’ve realized why people obsess over this phone so much. The size and shape afford perfectly to fit and comfortably hold it in one hand. For constraints, there are both physical and phycological constraints. Apple uses these limits clearly to eliminate errors that might occur during the interaction of their products. There are physical paths on the phone that users know how to control it right away. I think it is really smart of them, because they’ve actually made these physical pathes, also phycological. Because of their universal design, we receive these buttons as signs, conventions, and mapping. (ex. the button on the bottom centre does what and what..) Mostly, I love iPhone because of its great mapping design. We don’t need any instruction manuel for this phone. Just with my finger tips, I can press either of the buttons on the front or on top to start the phone. Then I can swipe to turn pages and press applications. Its all very intuitive so no one hardly gets this interaction wrong or confusing.

The object that I HATE,

WordPress Blogs

I know it is not an object, but I hate this blog very much. The mapping, as in buttons (links?), is very chaotic. the arrangements of these buttons are horrible. First of all, I  expected to see a “post”  button somewhere in our class blog, but I had to go all the way back to my OCAD email and click the link that got sent in the beginning of  semester and log  back in and then write this post. Second, the “add new post” page is really confusing. There are no hierarchy. When I was uploading a photo, I couldn’t find the right button for minutes. And then I find these little “grey texts” above all the”colourful” square buttons grouped together in the bottom, which it got all my attention. Also the photo does not show right away in this text box. There is another step, you have to press the “Insert into post” button. It does not catch any attention, and just sits there in a irrelevant  place with tiny texts mixed with all of the other “text” informations.  If there were phycological constraints in this interactions, it would have been a more pleasant experience, but there aren’t any. I  am a very visual person. And for most humans, it is way easier and faster to perceive in graphic or visual signs and symbols than texts and words. This overall website is horrible with visuality. When I am surfing trough OCAD WordPress blog, nothing really stands  out. they are all in texts and its can get really boring and tiring to read all these information.

Ainura Nifdalieva- Exercise 5

February 11, 2011

Love: Blow Dryer.

I totally love my blow dryer!!! I have it almost for 2 years and it hasn’t  disappointed me yet. I used to buy a new one almost every half a year before. But not only a quality, but also affordance is great since it corresponds with its intended function! The handle in a curve shape allows to carry it easily and tightly. The joint section between blow dryer’s body and cable is covered with additional wide short cable which prevents the thin long cable from entanglement and electric locking. Also, the special narrow cap distributes warm air evenly.In addition, my blow dryer contains  physical and psychological constraints. Because it has only 2 paths (physical constraints) , the interaction with the blow dryer is not confusing and complicated at all.The conventions (psychological constraints)  are easy to read and apply; the convex symbols allows to regulate the necessary temperature without looking at the conventions on the keys.

Hate: Drill  

I hate using my drill!!! It is very hard to interact with  because its affordance same as constraints are poorly organized. The button/key at the top,which is responsible for changing the speed of  the drill doesn’t move smoothly.The  hardest action is to change  screws because a lack of the constraints makes a user wonder which way to pull/turn/push the drill in order to achieve expected results.Finally, there is no any visible signal which would alert the user that drill’s battery is low and it’s time to charge it.

Jane’s Music Video

February 10, 2011

Watch my video by clicking here!

An Object Dayna Loves, An Object Dayna Hates

February 10, 2011

I HATE the ceiling fan in my room.

There are three chains hanging from the ceiling fan. The mapping allows me to assume, with some certainty, that the chains will directly affect the ceiling fan in some way. The variation in the baubles that hang off the ends of the chains are the only attempt the designer made towards good visibility. The physical constraints are clear; each chain can be pulled along one path, and can only be pulled to a certain distance. It also seems as though a hierarchical organization might have been employed, since the chain with the largest bauble is for turning the light on and off, which is likely to be the chain used most often, and therefore the most important, but there is still too much guesswork.

I had to pull each chain to figure out what it did, and even still, I’m not entirely sure. Immediate consequence is not always possible when it comes to a spinning fan, so there should be some sort of status indication of the current speed, as well as the other speed options.

Ease of use is negatively afforded due to the fact that the short chains hang from above and are just high enough that I have to stretch to reach them. The chains are inconvenient, so instead of using them as intended, I hang mobiles off them; an improper use which is afforded due to the nature of the chains.

The only thing I like about this this ceiling fan is the satisfying audible feedback when a chain is pulled.

I LOVE my Destination carry-on bag.

My purple carry-on bag is the perfect size. It is compact, therefore easy to carry with me on various modes of transportation. The design affords many ways to customize the bag, and has simple mapping with its direct control-effect relations. It is clear as to what pieces can be removed or adjusted, and there are both physical and psychological constraints, due to the variety of materials used for attachment (zippers, snaps, clips, velcro). The only problem with the ability to remove pieces from the bag, is the possible consequence of losing them, hence the missing velcro divider.

The fact that there are two flaps, one on each side of the bag, affords extremely easyaccess to everything in it. No digging required.

The only problem I have with the two flaps is that they are the same size and shape, so I can only tell if I’m opening the right side after I’ve opened it. This is poor visibility.

I have used this bag multiple times. I’ve never felt the need to use it in any way that was not intended, and I have always been able to fit in everything I could possibly want, for any length of plane ride.

LOVE, HATE – Josephine Lam

February 10, 2011

LOVE- Steve Madden Handbag

This is one of the objects in my room that I absolutely love. I have many handbags, but this one is my favorite.

In terms of affordance, the bag is designed to be worn either over the shoulder or hand held. One can easily tell the functions of this bag because of the straps coming out. The shorter straps are iconic signs of a handbag. The longer strap suggests that it should be worn over a longer part of your body- your shoulder. I personally prefer carrying it over my shoulders when the bag is more full. The design of the straps connecting to the rest of the bag is made out of metal, making it hard to rip off from the bag itself.

In terms of physical constraints, the bag is actually very effective for me because it is very spacious- I can wear it when I’m going to school, shopping, or even a night out with my friends. Because it is 15” by 11”, it is not designed to hold anything bigger or longer than that. Also, because it is not a backpack, I would avoid putting too much weight in it because the bottom may tear.

The way that the bag is mapped out can be improved by having more dividers or pockets. There is only one main pocket, which makes it hard to look for things in the bag, especially of its height. Organization will improve if there are more pockets or even a single divider because the bag is so big.

The mop is the object that I hate.
Its affordance is quite obvious, one will assume to grab it by the long handle and start cleaning the floor with it. The problem with my mop is that the handle is too skinny, making it hard to grip on to. The things coming out at the bottom of the mop is another physical constraint because they hang so loosely together, which makes it harder to clean all parts of the floor. Something more solid would be better.

Dayna’s Music Video

February 10, 2011

Here is my one minute music video to “Wolf Life Me” by TV On The Radio.

Below is my hand-written, scanned-in flowchart.

An Object Jessica Loves, An Object Jessica Hates

February 10, 2011

I like: My Cast Iron Teapot

Being a lover of loose- left tea, one household item that I like is my cast iron teapot. This teapot affords boiling water for both loose- leaf and bagged tea. Like mine, most cast iron teapots now come with a stainless steel mesh infuser that is inserted into the boiling water just enough so the leaves sit overtop of the water but don’t sink into your tea.

Since the teapot comes with the mesh infuser, someone who drinks loose- leaf tea would understand that it could be used as well as not. Another good aspect is that the cast iron is covered in black enamel on the inside in order to prevent it from rusting and allowing it to last for a long time.

A psychological constraint that could occur with my cast iron teapot is that there is no indication that the lid shouldn’t be touched after the teapot has been on the stove. Some steel or ceramic teapots indicate a change in material with the lid, like a heavy plastic, that allows the person to touch it when the teapot is hot. However, with the cast iron teapot, the heat travels evenly throughout it, including the lid, which could cause a slight shock or burn.

I hate: My Central Vacuum System

An object that I absolutely hate using in my house is our central vacuum. My parents seem to think it’s the greatest thing but I long for one that is more convenient and is easy to move around the house.

The physical constraints involved in using this vacuum are enormous. Not only does it not allow you to reach certain areas of the house due to the lack of hose length and wall vents, but the hose is constantly tangled and is difficult to store. Also, the large, rectangular, steel base that attaches onto the end of the hose (used to sweep while sucking up the dust) is much too big to fit under certain furniture.

Laura’s Music Video

February 10, 2011

The following is a flow chart  to illustrate my progress

Introduction: Reid Langille, Industrial design

February 10, 2011

In ten years from now I will probably be teaching either high school wood shop or something at OCAD and working on the side as a designer. While I enjoy design, at this point in my life I do not see design as a reliable career choice.

I don’t really like modern electronic technology; I hate computers and will do anything to get out of having to use one. I do however like anything mechanical, and I like things where I can analyze the problems and see how they work.

An object Jane likes, An object Jane hates

February 10, 2011

by Igyeong (Jane) Kim


An object i like is Hype Hair® Ceramic Instant Ultra-Hot Straightener, model number CS25HCS. I have had a lot of hair straighteners in my life, but this works best with my hard-to-straighten hair. A lot of people own a hair straightener at home. In terms of affordance, even for someone who are not familiar with hair straighteners can easily assume to hold it in their hands and squeeze the handle to make each sides come together. When it is on, the heat coming out from the surface of the heater warns the users that it is hot. Instead of using a hair dryer, this allows me to straighten my hair more easily without an annoying sound. When each sides of the heated irons clicks together with my hair in between, the hair is straightened. Just like brushing a hair, from top to bottom, it brushes down the hair while straightening it.

There was no physical constraint. Perhaps its limitation in how far I can walk around when it is plugged in could be the problem. Except for a washroom, sometimes the cord plug ins are not attached closely to the mirror, this gives the users hard time. The straighteners need to be used in the presence of the mirrors, or else the users can get an unexpected outcome.

The visible feedback of the on/off buttons and the temperature settings of the heat controls helps the users to easily use the straightener without reading the directions. It is also simply mapped out, similar to other hair straighteners. Some hair straighteners’ cord lines get tangled after curling my hair, but this allows 360 degree rotation. The temperature setting is hidden between each sides, making it look clean.


An object I hate is Shark® Cordless Pet Perfect™ II Hand Vac. This hand-held vacuum allows the user to easily carry it around the room. When not in use, it sits on the charging board. At first, I was impressed with how it is mapped. It is cordless and small. Everything it sucks in shows through the head of the vacuum, giving the user sense in how much they’ve used it and when to change the filter. Its affordance is clear to the users. The handle of the grip is evenly spaced out and the filter can be easily detached. However, because it is small, I have to filter the vacuum every now and then. Because it is designed to be an easy-to-carry vacuum, this flaw is expected to the users, but still it bothers us a lot. This physical constraint is critical.

When the battery is low, the sound of the vacuum is different than when it is charged somewhat. The sound will become weaker and the power of the vacuum will eventually get weaker also. This audible feedback gives the user an idea that it is useless to use it, so just waiting it to be fully charged is better. I didn’t want to wait for it to be charged and kept using it, but it didn’t suck in any wastes at all. It was better to just give up in the beginning.

K8’s Music Video Adventure

February 9, 2011

You can watch my music video here: Youtube

Now for the adventure of how I got here in the form of a flowchart:

An item K8 loves, and item K8 hates

February 9, 2011

The item that I love is my Wacom Bamboo tablet. It’s the original Bamboo, before the bamboo fun, or bamboo craft, or pen and touch or any of those things; just the good old basic one.

I love this tablet because it’s fairly intuitive to use, once you get it set up with your computer. The affordances are pretty clear. You know how to hold a pen, so you know how to hold the tablet pen because it looks like a pen. it becomes pretty clear that how to orient the tablet in relation to the computer.

The visible feedback is one of the things that make tablets easy to use. When positioning the pen over the tablet, the movements of your hand are directly mimicked by pointer on the computer screen.

The constraints of the tablet, are mostly psychological. You see that there is a square defined on the tablet and realize that when the pen is outside of the square, it will not function.

One of the downfalls of the tablet I’ve found, is when using newer operating systems, the tablet driver malfunctions and has to be reinstalled over and over again. Luckily, I’ve recently gone back to using Windows XP, so this isn’t really an issue for me anymore.

The item that I hate is the ghetto, old, gas stove that came with my apartment. Not only is it hard to use, but because of it’s firey nature, it’s a real health hazard.

The most obvious problem is the mapping of the elements in relation to their controls. They’re all just slapped on the front of the stove where not only do they have no real relation to the elements that they control, but you have to bend down to read them… not that reading them informs you of much. Low, Medium and High are the only words on the dials. No instructions on how to light the stove.

The auditory feedback is also lacking in the lighting department. The quiet “click” of the lighter can only be heard is the rest of the apartment is dead quiet. I often find myself bending down to look under the pot to see if the flame is on. This is especially a hazard, because if you just assume it’s lit, the stove will just pump gas into the tiny apartment.

My final major issue with the stove is that the dials don’t really correspond even with their function properly. when the dial is positioned at “low” the flame actually goes out, though the gas doesn’t completely turn off. Again, I find myself bending down to check whenever I adjust the dials. An easy way to fix this issue would be some kind of physical constraint stopping you from turning off the stove all the way or at least some kind of feedback letting you know that you’ve done so.

I do a lot of cooking and this stove just seems to have it out for me.

Exercise 5 Love/Hate – Tanya Ilina

February 8, 2011


Magnetic Glass Surface Aquarium Cleaner

I absolutely love my magnetic glass cleaner. It is a great tool for aquarium keepers. For those who are not familiar with aquarium keeping, any aquarium needs to be cleaned at least once a day from the green algae which grows on the inner surface of the aquarium glass. It was a very long and dreadful procedure since I’ve been using a scraper.

But the magnetic cleaner offers a better affordance for cleaning glass surface in terms of effectiveness and easiness.

First of all, I do not need to put my hands inside the tank, and that affords easy manipulations with the tool. The tool can clean at any depth since it is controlled from outside, and you are not constrained by the length of the tool handle or the length of your arm. The shape and the textured surface of the handle provide a comfortable grip and give a tactile sense of a better position of a hand.

You cannot confuse which part should go inside the tank and which should be outside; the handle is well recognized. There is, however, one more clue to this point: a part with a handle has a velvet fabric on the inner part which is no use in cleaning algae and would be a very weird choice of material which should perform in aqua medium. Whereas a part which goes inside the tank has a plastic coarse texture which consists of tiny hooks; they do a great job in cleaning the algae.

The inner block of the cleaner dose not scratch the surface of the glass since it is made of a soft plastic. Scratching was quite often with the scraper since it had a metal blade for cleaning. The magnetic cleaner is also safer for life stock and the inhabitants since it has no sharp edges.

I’m also happy with the cleaner in terms of visibility because I can see everything I’m doing. I can see where the glass is cleaned and where it is not; I can manipulate the cleaner with more confidence. Whereas when I am cleaning with the scraper, I usually look from above and cannot really say if the glass is clean and how far is the scraper from the rock or the coral.

In the end, another great feature of this tool is that the part which is inside the tank will come to the surface of the water if you take the handle away from the glass. But I usually keep the cleaner in the tank so it is always at hand.


LG Dishwasher

The object that I hate is an LG dishwasher. It looks really clean and crisp especially in our kitchen where all the cabinets are white so it adds more cleanness to it.

Flaws in the principles of visibility are the most obvious. One can never guess what is going on inside; it is even a problem to tell if the device is on. How long will it take to finish? Has it finished yet?  This dishwasher is also extraordinary silent which is good, but if you do not have any other signs to determine if the machine is on or off that is also a disadvantage. The only way to check its status is to open it. It is not very pleasant when the dishwasher goes through the drying stage and all the steam goes into your face the moment you open it. In this case physical constrains could be a good addition to the design.

The dishwasher has an audio feedback as it finishes its dirty job. The sound, however, is very hard to hear and very similar to the sound that our cook top has for the timer settings. So at first I was rushing to the cook top to check if there was some food that needed to be removed from the burner. It took me a while to figure out where the sound came from.

There are some issues with mapping as well. I’m still more attracted to the LG logo on the left as I am used to reading from left to right. I presumably read it as the first button I should press. Moreover, it looks more like an ON button in comparison with the actual ON button on the far right which does not attract too much attention. I found the ON button after reading all the buttons from left to right and trying to press them without result. The most used buttons from this panel are 6 buttons (see the picture) on the left and the ON button; it would be more convenient if they were closer together.

Above all, the dishwasher does a great job washing dishes (its primary function) and I appreciate the silence during this process as my bedroom is right next to the kitchen.

Exercise 4: Music Video – Tanya Ilina

February 8, 2011

You can watch the video HERE

An Object Anna Likes, An Object Anna Hates

February 6, 2011

An item that I own and love is my Anna Sui wallet. Unlike my previous one, this wallet is much thinner and generally has a nicer aesthetic appeal to it.

Although sleeker in appearance, the Anna Sui does not disappoint in providing enough pockets for all my important cards, cash, etc. – a fantastic method for organization. Also, the fact that the wallet does not bend to close, means my dollar bills will thankfully stay flat – I hate awkwardly folded bills.

As well, I find that the way the inside is mapped out is ideal. Looking into the wallet’s interior, there are a set of four card-holders on both ends, optimizing the amount of cards one can hold. The pocket dividers next to those also have one clear card-holder (on each side) for more important items, like I.D.’s and driver’s licenses. And in the centre, the change pocket is clearly defined. I found that this symmetry within the wallet was a useful tool in figuring how to best organize my things.

The main flaw I find when using the Anna Sui, is trying to remove my cards as needed, from the cardholder. Due to the close proximity the slots have to the walls of the wallet, it can be quite tricky to retrieve a specific card without struggling.

An object that I hate is the Radioshack Colour-Changing Weather Forecaster that my brother owns. It is meant to act as an alarm clock as well as a weather forecaster, but there are a number of problems with the product – all of which make me want to throw it out a window.

It is important to note that our bedrooms are directly beside each other, so I can essentially hear what goes on in my brother’s room. This is problematic when the alarm goes off since we both have a separate sleep schedule. Unfortunately, the alarm clock will not only wake my brother, but me too. The sound the alarm makes can be easily compared to a ticking time-bomb sound effect heard in movies. The audible feedback is seriously disorienting and irritating, especially at 6am.

As well, I find that its shape is somewhat misleading. Other than the flat bottom, the product is largely spherical; this makes one assume that buttons can be found on the bottom of the item – if there are any. However, the product designer placed two buttons on the surface behind the display screen that do not aid in the visual feedback. One of them is actually used to turn off the ticking time-bomb alarm, and I continuously struggle for minutes on days the racket doesn’t wake my brother. I think that visibility plays a significant part with this issue, however, the problem also lies in the fact that the designer essentially removed the tactile aspect of the clock. The buttons are placed at the same level as the rest of the curving clock so you can’t tell where the clock surface ends and where the hidden buttons begin. I can’t even begin to explain how infuriating this is.

But the problems don’t stop there; I also came to notice that the item completely fails as a weather forecaster. It is meant to change colours that correspond with the weather, but almost everyday, it’s entirely wrong. On rainy days, it claims it is sunny; on a cloudy afternoon, it says that it is snowing . This is an entirely unreliable feature and frankly, I believe it to be a useless addition to the product. However, the colours are pretty and make a cool effect at night when all other lights are off.

Ice Trays

February 4, 2011

After observing the video, we found that most people had problems from the beginning of the ice making process.

The chart shows some possible outcomes that happened once it begun. The water would either be too full or too little, so one would have to constantly be measuring if the tray was at the right proportion of water. We also found that when attempting to remove ice from the tray; in most cases the ice would fall onto the counter, and because of its slippery surface it would either all on the ground or slide through the counter.

This is a video of people’s experience and what seemed to irritate them most while following a typical ice making process.

Our Solution.

After research was complete we came to our new ice cube tray design. It consists of a plastic tray (similar to what the majority of people were using) with a flexible silicone lid that is liquid tight. This ensures no spilling when getting from the sink to the freezer, also allows for variable positioning within freezers (ie when freezer is full, tray can sit slanted, or upright without spilling). On the inside of the lid small, hollow, silicone spheres are intact to assist with removal of frozen cube; allowing the cube removal to be completely free from having to twist the tray, or to put any amount of physical effort into trying to get an ice out. All one has to do is simply pick it off.

By: Tanya Ilina, Jina Kang, Dayna Griffiths, Melanie Keay, Laura Cisneros.

Deconstruct an Interaction: The Stubborn Glass Jar

February 4, 2011

To view the observational video, click here.

The glass jar is easily one of the most frustrating, but essential, items needed for the preservation of food. Theoretically, the jar is perfect: it is made of inexpensive materials that can be easily reused or recycled; different sizes allow for different quantities of a variety of foods to be stored; the lid that twists on and off is made to fit perfectly with the jar; the shape makes storage easy; etc. However, in reality, there are many flaws within the jar and its design. The most prominent of these problems is the lid. Everyone is aware of how difficult it can be to unscrew the lid off a glass jar. This is due to the vacuum suction seal that is used to keep food fresh and preserved. As well, whether the jar has a textured rim or not is essential. Smooth rims often cause the hand to slide around the lid without having any effect on the opening process at all. In contrast, lids with a grip are not all that much easier to open either because the ridges in the rim make the process painful.

At this point, people that were observed got creative once they couldn’t open the jar in the standard method. Some ran the jar under hot water, then used a cloth to get a good grip on the lid. Others turned the jar upside down and smacked it against a hard surface to break the suction in the cap. There were a few individuals who even tapped a spoon against the entire rim of the lid and then got the jar open. There was one case where an individual had to team up with another person in order to get the jar open. In almost all of the cases, people struggled opening the jar – some more than others. On average, it took at least 2 attempts per person for success in unscrewing the lid to a glass jar. A third of the subjects observed actually ended up spilling some of the contents of what was in their glass container – another flaw that comes with this design. Why is accessing your food so difficult?

The flow chart depicts the process that goes into opening a jar – with each attempt, one can reach success or failure.



Our solution was to essentially reinvent the lid itself, since it seems to be the main flaw. In our design, the lid has a set of grooves in which the hand is meant to be comfortably position into. This allows for a firm grip, without the hand slipping, and without any awful ridges cutting into the hand when pressure is put on the lid. As well, we added a built-in rubber band to help the traction in the lid. This will make the process less problematic and allow for enhanced grip. This new design will hopefully enable consumers to access their preserved goods without much (if at all) struggling.

(Other possible additions include: grooves to the glass jar itself for the fingers of the other hand, as well as a lever placed underneath the rim of the lid so that when pushed, the vacuumed seal releases the air).

Deconstruct an Interaction: OCAD Annex Building Doors

February 4, 2011

The doors to OCAD’s Annex building are used daily by hundreds of students and teachers who wish to gain access to the facilities in this building, including the library, learning center, food court and various classrooms.

Logically, these doors should be easy to use and an efficient design, but our research has uncovered several glaring flaws in the current setup. In our research, we discovered that though the process is theoretically quite simple (grasp handle, pull/push door open, proceed through), there are numerous factors, including crowding, personal baggage load, arm usability and confinement to a wheelchair that could force one to halt the interaction until one is able to ask another for assistance. We found that the majority of students consider the doors too heavy and difficult to open, especially when one is carrying numerous items such as art supplies. In addition, there is currently no automatic open for wheelchair access and the small size of the doors in relation to the opening creates a bottleneck effect which leads to excessive crowding.


1.)    Replace the current doors with automatic sliding doors to eliminate usability problem, allow wheelchair access and expand usable space.

1.)    Shift entrance doors forward to near sidewalk and replace current doors with our custom double automatic sliding door setup. This setup will eliminate difficulties with opening the doors, improve doorway size and eliminate the bottleneck and opposing flow problems by splitting the traffic entering and exiting into two separate doors.

By Josef, Debbie, Sara and Aniura

Project One: Final Thoughts

February 1, 2011

Some final thoughts in advance of your Project One deadline:

  • Use an imaginary client to give your project substance.
  • Use the title of your project to clearly and precisely establish its scope.
  • The structure of your presentation is as open to possibility as the structure of your interaction: craft it thoughtfully.
  • Don’t speak for more than 10 minutes: I will cut you off. Less presenting equals more discussion.
  • Make it awesome. Remember, we’re designers: nothing we do should be boring. To wit:

See you Friday,


Information Visualization

January 28, 2011

Click here to download pages 201-240 from Information Visualization.

“The brain is a powerful pattern-finding engine; indeed, this is the fundamental reason that visualization techniques are becoming important. There is no other way of presenting information so that structures, groups and trends can be discovered among hundreds of data values. If we can transform data into the appropriate visual representation, its structure may be revealed.” (Ware 239)

Envisioning Information

January 28, 2011

Click here to download pages 12-35 from Envisioning Information.

“Even though we navigate daily through a perceptual world of three spatial dimensions and reason occasionally about higher dimensional arenas with mathematical ease, the world portrayed on our information displays is caught up in the two-dimensionality of the endless flatland of paper and video screen. . . . Escaping this flatland is the essential task of envisioning information – for all the interesting worlds (physical, biological, imaginary, human) that we seek to understand are inevitably and happily multivariate in nature. Not flatlands.” (Tufte 12)

Flow Charting

January 28, 2011

Click here to download Martin Stevens’ handout on flow charting.

“A flow chart is a diagram that visually displays interrelated information such as events, steps in a process, functions, etc., in an organized fashion, such as sequentially or chronologically.” (Stevens)

Basic Principles Presentation

January 28, 2011

Click here to download my presentation about Basic Principles of Interaction Design.

Project One Release Form

January 28, 2011

Click here to download the release form required for Project One: Deconstruct an Interaction.

Exercise Six: Deconstruct a Toy — What is Fun?

January 28, 2011

Part One (Before Class):

Please bring, beg, borrow or steal (OK, don’t steal) one or more toy from home or elsewhere to class next week. Our definition of a toy is as yet undetermined, so feel free to challenge our preconceived notions. The only restriction is that the toy not be something that you already have in your bag (i.e. not your cell phone).

Exercise Six, Part One is due at 12:00 on Friday, February 11.

Part Two (During Class):

Exchange toys with your collegues, and play with as many as you can. Rigorously observe at least one person playing with your toy. As noted in my Ethnography presentation:

  • Take detailed descriptive notes of what you observe.
  • Where possible, capture your partner’s views of their experience in their own words.
  • Clearly separate description from interpretation.
  • Include in your notes your own thoughts, feelings and related experiences — these are also field data.

Analyse your field observations by distilling them into a series of answers to today’s fundamental question: “What is Fun?” Record these answers on the sticky notes provided. Collectively we will use these sticky notes to interpret the structure of fun.

Exercise Six, Part Two is due in class on Friday, February 11.

PART 3 (After Class):

Post an image of your toy to the blog. Post the transcript of your field observations, edited for grammar and clarity but not content. I will post an image of our collective interpretation to the blog.

Exercise Six, Part Two is due at 12:00 on Monday, February 14.

An Object Jesse Loves, An Object Jesse Hates

January 28, 2011

An object I love is my STAEDTLER Mars technico 780 C lead holder. I have 4 of them. One I’ve had since 1996, and the rest I’ve acquired later. In each I keep a different weight of lead: 6H, 4H, 2H and HB.

Affordances are subtle yet clear. The knurled end gives a tactile indication of where to best hold the lead holder; the clip keeps it secure in my pocket protector (ha, ha). As we expect, the end serves as a push-button to advance the lead. More unusually, it also serves as a sharpener, a possibility subtly suggested by its size (the same as the lead) and clarified by a diagram on the Staedtler website.

When the end is depressed, the lead advances. One problematic aspect of the design is that unlike most lead holders, the lead does not advance incrementally. Instead, the push-button opens the jaws at the end that grip the lead, potentially allowing the lead to fall out of the pencil (an expensive error, at 2 bucks a lead). Once learned, it becomes natural to guard against this with your other hand when advancing a lead, and the infinite adjustability allows the lead to be sharpened to both a sharp and rounded tip, but perhaps a physical constraint could be introduced that prevents the lead from falling out completely.

There’s no way to automatically differentiate between the different weights of lead, as the only available colour is blue. I’ve added an ugly label made of masking tape to each, which provides crude visible feedback, but it’s an ugly solution at best.

[Disclaimer: I’ll concede that I don’t actually use a lead-holder much anymore. So perhaps there’s some wistful nostalgia in my praise.]

An object I hate is my Sony Ericsson W810i mobile phone. It seems clever, at first: I’m impressed with the fact that the camera elements are mapped to a conventional camera. To operate the camera, you turn the phone sideways, which places the shutter button exactly where you expect it to be. By taking advantage of my existing camera interaction model, Sony has made it easier to take pictures. . . if I could figure out how to turn the camera on. There are no physical constraints to keep me from pressing the buttons when the phone is in my pocket, and these affordances are way too small in the first place: I’m forever turning the walkman on when I want to answer a call, as the buttons for these functions are right beside each other.

The audible feedback is excruciating: why can’t mobile phones come with a normal ring tone? Why does my phone have to sound like a cat? I know, I know, I can download new ring tones – perhaps one of you can show me how.

[Disclaimer: As you’ve all seen, I now have an iPhone. RIP, W810i.]

Exercise Five: An Object you Love, an Object You Hate

January 28, 2011

In your home, find two functional objects: one that you love, and one that you hate.

Make a brief post to the blog where you describe your love/hate relationships, using (as much as possible) the tools and vocabulary introduced in the Basic Principles of Interaction Design presentation. Before you post, download and review the following terms in Universal Principles of Design: Affordance, Constraint, Mapping and Visibility.

Be sure to include photographs of your objects in your post. Make sure the photographs adequately represent the sources of your love/hate relationships.

Exercise Five is due at 12:00 on Friday, February 11.

Alignment & Closure: Maggie, Queenie, Jessica, Heejae, Yurria

January 28, 2011


Alignment: the placement of elements such that edges line up along common rows or columns, or their bodies along a common center. It creates unity in a design and helps create flow throughout it.

Alignment can be created in the rows and columns in a grid to cause the viewers eye to move from left-to- right and top- to- bottom.
The edge of a page and the positioning of a design medium (centerlines) are elements that also create flow through a design.

When looking at paragraph alignment, creating an invisible left- aligned or right- aligned column block creates a powerful visual cue against which other elements can be aligned. Center- aligned text blocks present more visually unclear alignment cues and justified text provides more alignment than unjustified text.

More complex alignments occur when aligning elements along diagonals. Also, in spiral or circular alignment, the designer must highlight the alignment path so that it’s noticeable in order to avoid a scattered looking pattern. However, there are some rare exceptions to misalignment that are used to attract attention and create tension.


Closure: A tendency to perceive a set of individual elements as a single, recognizable pattern, rather than multiple, individual elements. (Gestalt principle of perception)

This subconscious tendency is so powerful that people will automatically fill in absent information and close gaps when they’re missing in order to complete the pattern.

Closure is most powerful when elements are simple, recognizable and placed near one another. This allows the designer to avoid complicated designs by using a small number of simple elements to organize and communicate information. If a pattern isn’t easily recognizable, designers can create subtle visual cues to guide viewers toward it.

Exercise Four: Make a Music Video, Make a Diagram

January 28, 2011

In Exercise Four, you will create a music video using iMovie (or another movie making program of your choice), and then make a diagram of the interaction model of your experience. Please read the instructions that follow carefully, as there are many steps and a number of deliverables.

1) Locate the source files for your music video, located in TEMPORARY_STORAGE in a folder called “Exercise Four.”

2) Check out the video clips and audio tracks that I have compiled for you. You’re welcome to use your own clips and tracks if you have any available. We will, for the time being, ignore any copyright infringement issues. This will be discussed in a future class.

3) Open iMovie, and create a new 4:3  iMovie Project with a title of your choice.

4) Using File>Import>Movies, import all of the video clips into iMovie. From here, you’ll drag-and-drop them into the upper left pane, in order to add them to your Project.

5) Choose the audio track that you want to make a video for. Import it to iMovie by drag-and-dropping the file into upper left pane.

6) Make your video! Play around. There are a lot of features in iMovie , but a couple that you’ll want to be sure to learn how to use include:

  • Adjustments to your clips and tracks (hover over the element in question and click on the button that appears)
  • Photos, text and transitions, which can be added from the buttons at centre right

7) Keep making your video. Play for a couple of hours. Learn as much as you can. iMovie is a great tool for making quick videos, and will serve you well in Project One. Your final music video must be at about one minute long (and no longer). It must contain at least three video clips, one audio track, some transitions and a smooth start and finish.

Eight) Remember to save your iMovie project often. iMovie doesn’t create a playable file directly — in order to do this, you’ll need to perform one last operation. Click Share>Export Movie, and then select “Mobile.” This will take a few minutes, and will create a playable MP4 file, just like the video clips you were given to work with. Make sure you try this at least once before the end of class today.

9) Post your video to the course blog. Note that OCAD’s WordPress implementation has limitations on the size of media hosted internally, so you’re better uploading your video to the video-sharing service of your choice Youtube or Vimeo), and “embed” a playable link to your video into your post. There are buttons for doing this where you make your post.

10) Last but not least, make a diagram of the entire interactive experience of creating your video and uploading it to the blog. It would be prudent to take notes throughout the process (it’s also always prudent to read all of the instructions before you start a task). Draw the diagram by hand, scan it and upload it to the blog in the same post as your video. There’s a scanner in the lab, and the monitor can help you if you’ve never scanned before.

11) Lastly, remember to name and categorize your post appropriately.

Exercise Four is due at 12:00 on Friday, February 11.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio and Uniform Connectedness: Josef, Debbie, Sara, Ainura

January 28, 2011

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

  • Refers to the ratio of relevant, important information to irrelevant distractions or ‘background noise’
  • A higher signal-to noise ratio is preferable, as it conveys maximum relevant information with minimal distraction
  • Signal can be improved through clear writing, appropriate use of correct graphs and images and keeping the design as simple as possible to give the audience less to focus on
  • Noise can be reduced by eliminating all unnecessary features and simplifying necessary ones as much as possible without affecting performance

Uniform Connectedness

  • Refers to elements connected by visual methods tending to be viewed as closely related or grouped
  • Common methods include enclosing elements within a  perimeter, or directly connecting them with lines
  • Is one of the most powerful principles and usually overrides any others it conflicts with
  • Often used to group controls or text sections together. Can also be used to easily improve poor design layouts

Layering, Orientation Sensitivity, & Proximity: Talisa, Lauren, Katie, Anna, Eman

January 27, 2011


  • “The process of organizing information into related groupings in order to manage complexity and reinforce relationships in the information”
  • Two basic kinds of layering: two-dimensional and three-dimensional
  • Two-dimensional Layering: involves the division of information into layers so that only one layer can be seen at any one time; can be displayed in a linear or nonlinear manner
  • Linear models are useful for information that is organized with a clear beginning, middle, and end, much like a book
  • Nonlinear models are of greater use when reinforcing the relationships between the varying layers, such as hierarchal, parallel, or web
  • Hierarchal Layers: when information has superordinate (primary) and subordinate (secondary) relationships within itself; illustrated in an organizational chart/diagram
  • Parallel Layers: when information uses the organization of other information, like a thesaurus
  • Web Layers: when information has different kinds of relationships within itself, like hypertext
  • Three-dimensional Layering: the act of dividing information into layers so that multiple layers can be seen at any one time; are displayed as ‘opaque’ or ‘transparent’ planes of information that sit on top of each other
  • Opaque Layers: when supplementary information about a topic is required without switching contexts (such as software pop-ups)
  • Transparent Layers: when various overlays of information merge to highlight key concepts/relationships (such as weather maps)
  • Ultimately, two-dimensional layering is a method of understanding complex ideas and knowing how to navigate through any given amount of information; three-dimensional layering is a method of expanding on information and illustrating ideas without switching context

Nonlinear - Web Layering: Hypertext

Nonlinear - Opaque Layering: Software Pop-up Windows

Orientation Sensitivity

  • “A phenomenon of visual processing in which certain line orientation are more quickly and easily processed and discriminated than other line orientations”
  • A number of factors affect the efficiency with which people are able to perceive and judge the orientation of lines (for example, interpreting numbers on an analog clock is simple and quick because the lines are set at 30 degree increments – the recommended difference of line orientation for easy interpretation of information
  • The oblique effect and pop-out effect are both phenomena that are part of visual perception
  • Oblique Effect: perceiving and judging line orientation more accurately when it is more vertical or horizontal, rather than lines that are slanting (oblique); when judging line orientation as it is recalled from memory, most individuals are able to more accurately imitate the line if it is vertical or horizontal; as well, vertical/horizontal elements in design are considered to be more aesthetically pleasing; this effect is caused by a greater sensitivity of neutrons to vertical and horizontal stimuli than to oblique stimuli
  • Pop-out Effect: easily and quickly identifying certain elements because of their tendency to “pop-out” as primary elements; for example, when a person is required to identify a specific line within a whole set of lines of common orientation, that target line becomes evident only when it is set at a 30 degree difference (or more); the effect is strongest in coalition with the oblique effect – it is easier  to identify differences in line orientation when put against a background of vertical/horizontal lines than it is when put against a background of oblique lines

An image used in a study of child education based on the judgment of line orientation (A.L. Benton)


  • “Elements that are close together are perceived to be more related than elements that are farther apart.”
  • This principle is one of several that are referred to as Gestalt Principle of Perception
  • States that elements placed at a closer distance are recognized as a single group/chunk and are generally thought to be more related than elements placed farther apart
  • Grouping, the direct result of proximity, reduces the intricacy of a design and strengthens the relationship between the elements
  • Some proximal layouts should be considered in layout design because they suggest different kinds of relationships (for example, overlapping/connecting elements indicates that they have similar attributes, while elements in close proximity that do not connect imply that they are related, but independent) – think of a Venn Diagram, for instance
  • Proximity is one of the most powerful methods of illustrating a relationship between elements in a design; generally, it will overwhelm competing visual cues

Works Cited for Images

Common Fate & Figure Ground Relationships: Jane, Joshephine, Minjee, Reid

January 27, 2011

by. Jane, Josephine, Minjee, Reid

Common Fate

It is one of the principles referred to as Gestalt principles of perception. It groups the elements that move in same direction. It is perceived to be more related than the elements that move in different direction. The elements are grouped by their common motion and direction. Their relatedness is strongest when the elements move at the same time and velocity. The relatedness is lacking when any of these factors vary. Common fate relationships influence whether elements are seens as figure of ground elements. The moving objects are perceived as figure elements and stationary ones as ground elements. Common fate is a grouping strategy. Related elements should have same factors such as time, velocity, frequency, intensity and direction.

Figure-Ground Relationship

The figure ground relationship is also referred to as Gestalt principles of perception. The human perceptual system seperates stimuli into either figure or ground elements. Figure elements are the objects of focus, and ground elements are the background. The relationship between these two are stable when the composition of figure and ground are clear.  The figure object will gain more focus and stands out from its background. To get rid of confusion of the viewers, clearly differentiating the elements between figure and ground is crucial.

Information Presentation

January 27, 2011

Click here to download my presentation about Establishing Structure, Maps and Diagrams and Conveying Information.

Ethnography Presentation

January 27, 2011

Click here to download my presentation about Usability Research and Ethnography.

Exercise 3: strategies for conveying information

January 27, 2011

by: Melanie, Dayna, Laura, Tanya and Jina


Perception and cognition are two different mental systems that operate seperately from each other. They recieve information from an external stimulus and send it to the brain’s memory where it is interpreted. When these outputs agree, interpretation is efficient, however if 2 or more are in conflict interference occurs and mental processing takes longer.

STROOP INTERFERENCE: an insignificant aspect of the stimulus begins another mental process, interfering with a significant aspect

The Stroop Test: Interference is caused by instinctively reading the words versus the task of naming the colours. This conflict slows the process of giving an appropriate response.

GARNER INTERFERENCE: insignificant variations of stimulus begins another mental process, interfering with a significant aspect

Similar to the Stroop test, surrounding irrelevant colours, shapes and words interfere with the relevant colour/shape. This conflict slows the process of giving an appropriate response.

PROACTIVE INTERFERENCE: existing memories interfere with learning (ex. learning a new language, writing with opposite hand)

RETROACTIVE INTERFERENCE: learning intereferes with existing memories (ex. learning a new telephone number and forgetting an old one, learning new technology and forgetting how to operate old technology)


The Law of Pragnanz states that when an individual is faced with things that can be interpreted in several different ways, the brain automatically sees it in its simplest form. Our memory recalls images in their most basic form as they will be easier to remember (fewer cognitive resources are needed). Typically people process visiual information to create an image in the mind that is symmetrical, contains few, simple shapes.

The brain recalls a white triangle rather than 6 more complicated shapes.

The brain recalls a building with 2 large pilars rather than a series of intricate and complex pathways.

This shows how popular brands have simplified their logos with the Law of Pragnanz in mind, making it easier for people to remember/recognize their brand.

Introduction: Queenie Chan

January 24, 2011

Hello, my name is Queenie Chan and I am a 1st year Illustration student.

Ten years from now, I see myself doing illustrations because I have always enjoyed drawing. To be fair, that’s very vague, but I hope that with my experiences here at OCAD will help me find what it is I want to do in life, whatever it may be. One thing that I’d look forward to would be travelling to different places and seeing different things.

Technology-wise, I have some experience with a variety of image-editting software including animation programs like Flash. I also know a bit of MIDI software and HTML/CSS script.

Tanya Ilina

January 23, 2011

Hey guys!

My name is Tatiana Ilina, but I usually go by Tanya. I’m ED student.

In 10 years from now I definitely want be an architect, researching and working on the projects that will make the Earth a better place to live (and not only for human beings). I’m fascinated by the biomimicry field of studies and I’d like to go deeper into the knowledge of the biological systems, models and processes and apply this knowledge to my work. After 10 years I hope I’ll have something to say to the new generation of people and knowledge to share with them; and at this point teaching at least one course would be a great opportunity to share my knowledge and keeping in touch with new generations.

Regarding my relationships with technology… I’m pretty enthusiastic about all new technologies although I can handle them on the level of interaction model and absolutely have no clue what’s inside my system unit or how my camera actually works. So far I was working with images mostly. Among software I’m comfortable with Adobe Photoshop + Bridge (quite a handy addition); I’ve been using them for several years so here I’m on the solid ground. I have basic understanding of Illustrator (absolutely love pen tool and vector graphics); can handle DSLR camera and software  like MS Office. I have never dealt with videos though; so I’m quite happy that will need to make some during this course…

Introduction: Ainura Nifdalieva

January 22, 2011

Hi, my name is Ainura and I’m in a first year Environmental Design program. 10 years from now I hope to have a bachelor degree from OCAD U and  to do  my master degree in Architecture. Also, I imagine myself working in my own studio, with wide windows and a high ceiling. In the meantime, I would love to work on  major projects that would transfigure big cities  ( including Toronto); Toronto Subway is a first place I would modernize and give an aesthetic look. I believe that ” Beauty Will Save The World”. Technology…, I’m comfortable using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Movie Maker, Photoshop…Hopefully I can add more into my list very soon since I have a willingness to gain more knowledge in technology.

Exercise Three: Strategies for Conveying Information

January 21, 2011

Your Project One group has been assigned two or three examples of strategies derived from the Gestalt Laws of Pattern Perception that can be employed to convey information. The strategy assignments are as follows:

  • Group Sight: Alignment, Closure
  • Group Touch: Common Fate, Figure Group Relationship
  • Group Taste: Good Continuation, Highlighting
  • Group Hearing: Interference Effects, Law of Pragnanz
  • Group Smell: Layering, Orientation Sensitivity, Proximity
  • Group ESP: Signal-to-Noise Ratio, Uniform Connectedness

In your Project One groups, create a blog post that summarizes your assigned strategies for the class. Click here to download the relevant pages from Universal Principles of Design. For each strategy, include at least one illustration that is not found in Universal Principles of Design. Be prepared to briefly present your post next week.

Exercise Three is due at 12:00 on Friday, January 28.

Visual Intelligence

January 21, 2011

Click here to download pages 173-184 from Visual Intelligence.

“I don’t want to claim only that you construct what you see. I want to claim that, at a minimum, you construct all that you hear, smell, taste and feel. In short, I want to claim that all your sensations and perceptions are your constructions.” (Hoffman 176)


January 21, 2011

Click here to download pages 1-22 from Perception.

“The world is filled with objects and events that combine to create a kaleidoscope of potential information. Though much of that information is irrelevant for people’s daily needs, some of it is absolutely essential. So that they can use this information effectively, human beings are equipped with specialized machinery for capturing this information and for translating it into a language that can be understood by the nervous system. In this translated form, the selected information is digested by the brain, culminating in perceptions of the world. These perceptions then guide people’s actions in the world around them.” (Sekular 1)

Exercise Evaluation

January 21, 2011

As discussed in class, Exercises will be evaluated as follows:

  • Each Exercise will be evaluated out of 3. Exceptional completion of an exercise will result in a mark of 3; adequate completion of an Exercise will result in a mark of 2; inadequate completion of an exercise will result in a mark of 1, and non-completion of an Exercise will result in a mark of 0.
  • Exercises will be weighted at the end of the term, to reflect their relative time commitment. For example, an Exercise that takes most students 4 hours will be assigned 4 times as much weight as an Exercise that takes most students 1 hour.
  • Exercises constitute 20% of your final grade.
  • Exercises may not be submitted late for any reason other than a documented illness.
  • Unlike Projects, you will not necessarily receive regular feedback on your Exercise submissions, but you may request feedback at any time.

Introduction: Laura Herrera-Cisneros

January 21, 2011


Hi, I’m Laura Herrera-Cisneros. I am currently taking Industrial Design

  • It is hard for me to see myself so far in the future, so here goes it goes (if everything goes according to ‘plan’) I see myself living in Sweden, or Mexico and I want to design for the disabled, but I am also interested in toys. I would like to also do illustration because I hope to get at least a little better at drawing in 10 years from now. But really I just want to design for the disabled. I think making lives easier and helping people will be fulfilling.
  • I’m terrible with technology. I can hardly operate my macbook. I have no idea of any technicalities, which is probably not a good thing since I am getting into something very technological in a sense. But I guess I’ll have to learn. Obviously as most people my age; I know how to use the internet, word, powerpoint and other simple programs like those.

Touch – Josephine Lam, Jane Kim, Reed

January 21, 2011

Your sense of touch is found all over your body because it originates in the bottom layer of your skin known as the dermis. The dermis is made up of many tiny nerve endings that carry information about things to come into contact with your body to the spinal cord, which signifies the brain where the feeling is registered.

The nerve receptors detects temperature, pain, pressure or touch and sends the message to your brain. Without it, you would not be able to tell if something hurts!

Some parts of your body (such as the tongue), are more sensitive than others because they have more nerve endings. The sides of your tongue is very sensitive to pain but not so much hot or cold, which is why it is easy to burn your mouth when you eat something very hot. Fingertips are also very sensitive; blind people use it to read Braille. There are about 100 touch receptors in each of your fingertips. Other sensitive areas of your body include lips, face, neck, feet and hands. The least sensitive part of your body is the middle of your back.

Introduction: Heejae Choi

January 21, 2011

Hello, everyone 🙂

My name is Heejae Choi, and you can call me Heejae (Hee-Jay) or Heej (this slips smoothly out of your tongue).
I’m in Industrial Design.

In ten years…. hmmm…. frankly, I don’t see myself as an industrial designer at all since I haven’t gotten any chance yet to learn what ID is exactly about. What I actually see myself become is an animator at PIXAR! It’s uncertain, but I want to study 3D animation and apply to PIXAR if I have an opportunity in the future after studying design at OCAD.

I am not really sure about my levels, but I know how to use Photoshop, Fireworks, imovie, and MC office. Those softwares, I can deal with and if I get some troubles, I can easily get them solved by tutorials on the internet.

ESP: The Sixth Sense Josef, Debbie, Sara, Ainura

January 21, 2011


ESP is the acronym and commonly spoken form for ExtraSensory Perception. This refers to a phenomenon in which a person receives sensory input directly to the mind, without utilizing the traditional five senses. ESP can include multiple phenomena including telepathy (mind-reading), precognition (future sight), clairvoyance (viewing a distant location), retrocogniton (seeing past events one did not witness) and non-ocular vision (seeing covered objects and/or with eyes closed). Scientific authority currently rejects the existence of ESP, though research into it is ongoing in several fields. As such, there is no conclusive evidence that ESP or any phenomena related to it actually exists, as claims are often based on anecdotal evidence and controlled tests most often fail to document any indication of ESP and are nigh impossible to accurately reproduce. Since the existence of the sense has not been proven, no theories or models exist on how it might work. However, if ESP does exist, the logical method for it to work would be for the brain or some unclassified sensory organ to receive some form of outside input that cannot be detected by the other five senses or any of our current technology. The fact that only a small number of people claim to possess ESP indicates that if it is real, the sense could be recessive, the result of rare mutation, a learned or born ability or any number of other things. The field of parapsychology is devoted to the study of paranormal psychic phenomena, ESP among them. Individuals who claim to possess and use ESP are often referred to as Telepaths, Psychics, Mentalists, Fortune-Tellers or Clairvoyants

Introduction: Jessica Di Biase

January 21, 2011

Hey guys! My name is Jessica Di Biase and I’m majoring in Advertising. Also, although I rarely keep up with my readings, I enjoy art history and am thinking of maybe turning that into a minor. Ideally in ten years I see myself being the creator of my own design firm although I’m not exactly sure what type of design that will be yet. I’m hoping that after these four years at OCAD I’ll have that all figured out, but who knows.

As for my comfort level with technology, I use both Apple and PC computers regularly (Mac laptop and PC at work). I’m also pretty comfortable understanding the basics of Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator but nothing much more than that yet.

Introduction: Josephine Lam

January 21, 2011

Hi, I’m I Lai Lam, otherwise known as Josephine. I’m in first year Graphic Design, but would like to switch to Illustration because I enjoy a more “hands-on” approach to art.

In 10 years, I see myself being married with three kids, living in Vancouver. I will work as a high school art teacher and travel around Europe with my family on holidays. I love children and have always wanted to be a teacher. I worked as an art assistant for a class of young children two summers ago, and it was lots of fun. I would like to be able to educate the younger generations in a freer way of thinking, allowing them to express their own unique ways of thinking through art.

I am not very good with computer technology and software, which is one of the reasons why I would like to switch from graphic design to illustration. I can do basic Photoshop skills but it can take me a while to learn new skills. I think it is great and very useful to be good at technology in the art world today, but for me, developing my own unique artistic style is the most important.

Introduction: Josef Scholbeck

January 21, 2011

Full Name- Josef Thomas Scholbeck VI

Preffered Name- Josef

Discipline- Industrial Design

Future- My main ambition after finishing university is to go into carpentry and someday take over running of the family lumber yard in Germany. The business has been in the family since its founding in 1840 and I would be the sixth Josef Scholbeck to run it. Ten years from now, I probably see myself living in Germany again, building and designing new finished wood products for the company as well as handling some administrative duties.

Technology- I prefer to do design work by hand so I’m not really up to speed on technology. I’m good with Microsoft Word,  Powerpoint and Paint and I am acquainted with older versions of AutoCad. Anything beyond that, like Photoshop or Illustrator, I have absolutely no knowledge of, but I am willing to learn them if I have to.

The Nose: Katie F, Lauren, Talisa, Eman, Anna

January 21, 2011

  • Not only does the nose allow you to smell, it is also largely responsible for why you are able to taste things; as well, it is the main opening to your respiratory system
  • Parts of the nose include: the nostrils and the nasal passages, which are separated by the septum (a wall, close to your skull, made up of thin pieces of bone); cartilage (material that is firmer than skin or muscle, but still quite flexible); and the nasal cavity (a space behind your nose, in the middle of your face that connects with the back of your throat and is separated from your mouth by the palate)
  • Your nose allows for both inhalation and exhalation
  • When inhaling, air enters the nasal passages, travels into the nasal cavity, down the back of your throat into the trachea (windpipe) and into the lungs; exhaling is the process in reverse
  • The nose is also required to warm, moisten, and filter air before it progresses towards the lungs
  • To warm up and moisten the air that is inhaled, a mucous membrane (a moist, thin layer of tissue) lines the inside of the nose and produces mucus; although gross, mucus traps germs, dust, and small particles that would otherwise irritate your lungs.
  • The hair that is inside the nose traps larger particles such as dirt and pollen
  • Sneezing occurs when your body wants to get rid of these unwelcome particles; they can be spent speeding out of your nose at approximately 100 mph with a single sneeze
  • There are microscopic hairs that exist farther back in the nose and air passages called cilia; cilia move back and forth to carry mucus away from the sinuses, back of the throat, and out of the lungs
  • The olfactory epithelium, located on the roof of the nasal cavity contains special receptors that are sensitive to odour molecules travelling through the air we breathe in
  • There are at least 10 million infinitesimal receptors in your nose and hundreds of different kinds to detect certain odours and odour molecules; the brain is responsible for interpreting a combination of receptors to distinguish one from about 10,000 other smells
  • The olfactory bulb, underneath the front of your brain (see diagram), receives signals that travel along the olfactory nerve when smell receptors are stimulated; in turn, these signals travel to other parts of the brain to be interpreted into a recognizable smell
  • The process of identifying smells is the way the brain tells you about your environment (e.g. burning toast; your nose interprets the smell and you know you need to check on your toast)
  • Taste is very closely linked to smell; it’s extremely difficult to fully experience taste without help from the nose


Clinical Anatomy of the Nose, Nasal Cavity, and Paranasal Sinuses, Johannes Lang

Introduction: Eunsung Lee

January 20, 2011

Although I planned to achieve a major in industrial design, I am currently considering switching major to environmental design. I see myself designing new cell phone models that are suitable for various age groups in the next ten years. If I get the opportunity to switch in majors to environmental design, I see my self designing a snug house for my family and parents.

I know the basic knowledge required for various software programs but do not know how to apply and make use of these software at a professional level. For example, I can handle limited skills on Adobe Photoshop and orthographic design program.

Hearing (sense) – Dayna, Laura, Melanie, Tanya and Jina

January 20, 2011


How the ear works (video)

The ear is an extraordinary organ; it picks up the sound and translates it into nerve impulse – the type of signal that the brain can understand.  The peculiar thing about hearing is that it is a completely mechanical process. Other senses such as vision, taste, and smell involve chemical reactions. Hearing, however, is based solely on physical movement.

First of all, the sound travels as a vibration of air compressions. Pinna is a part of the outer ear which catches the sound; it has a number of curves which help to determine where the sound comes from. To find out the horizontal position of the sound one’s brain compare the signals that come from both ears.

When the sound waves travels into the ear canal and hit the ear drum (a tightly stretched membrane), the pressure they create is converted into vibrations of the same frequency. The ear drum is positioned between the ear canal (outer ear) and middle ear; it is also connected to the throat via Eustachian tube which allows maintaining the same atmospheric pleasure in the middle ear as in the outer ear.

Ossicles are a group of small bones in the middle ear designed to transmit the sound signal from ear drum to the fluid in the cochlea. Ossicles also amplify the signal so it can go through the liquid in the inner ear and be translated to the nerve impulses (more about the system of amplification).

The function of the cochlea, which is considered to be an inner ear, is to transform the mechanical sound signal into nerve impulses. The cochlea is filled with fluid, through which the vibration passes, and is lined with hair-like nerve cells which vary in length and degree of resilience so that the different cells will be sensitive to specific frequencies. These hear cells transform the vibrations into nerve signals  which are then sent to the brain by the auditory nerve (More about how hair cells work – video).

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