Project one: tying shoelaces

February 21, 2011

Tying show laces

by: Cornelia, Marco, Cindy, Brian, Joanna, Carrie


  • the basic function of shoelaces is to secure foot wears
  • there are many kinds of shoelaces, of different length and made from different materials
  • the most common ways of tying shoe laces are the “standard knots” and the “two loop knots”
















  • Crouching isn’t always an option for seniors or the physically restrained
  • shoelaces may untie themselves then get dirty dragging on the floor, which becomes a problems when tying them again
  • time/effort consuming
  • when tied as double knots, they are hard to untie in the future
  • tying shoelaces is just too difficult  for some age groups

potential hazards presented in the problems

  • untied laces may trip wearer or get stuck between objects
  • dirty laces can be hygiene problems
  • laces of poor quality may break and cause inconvinience to wearer


  • spray the laces to increase friction and avaoid slipping
  • use coiled laces that do not requires tying and won’t undo
  • tuck shoelaces in shoes
  • avoid shoelaces– use zippers, velcro, or slip-ins
  • improve quality of shoe laces according to their function

De-constructing an interaction: Opening a Straw & Inserting it into the Drink

February 20, 2011

  • Design Observations
    • Forces to open wrapping before using the straw
    • The straw has to slide out of the paper to be removed
    • To be able to drink, straw must be inserted into hole
    • If straw is damaged, it will most likely be used anyway
  • Interaction Observations
    • blindly stabbing the drink
    • quickly taking off the wrapper

Techniques & Problems

  • Stomper– ends get smashed
  • Peeler- time and coordination
  • Tearer -time and coordination
  • Top rip- hard to take straw out (bunching)
  • Shredder-more pieces/mess
  • Biter – paper in mouth –paper sticks(wet)
  • Yanker- makes life tougher, longer to get off, hurting of people
  • forgets to hold the cup
  • could not get the straw in
  • misses the hole


  • Excess waste (messy)
  • Troubles getting paper off
  • Paper sticks to hands(static/wet/etc)
  • Hole bigger (or less hard)
  • Coloured
  • Slightly Thicker paper
  • Biodegradable thin plastic

Dissecting an Interaction; Sharpening a Pencil

February 11, 2011

By; Mhairi Robertson, Sam Stadden, Olivia Shin, Jacky Tse

Pencil sharpening is a common interaction that many people perform everyday. While wooden pencils may be loosing popularity due to mechanical pencils, drawing pencils are usually still made of wood. As OCAD students, we use drawing pencils on a regular basis and we felt that this interaction was especially relevant to our audience.

The pencil sharpening process is very simple, as you can see from our flow chart. It was relatively easy to map out user patterns. We found three main patterns; users turn the pencil but not the sharpener, users turn the sharpener but not the pencil, and users turn both. The most common method was users turning both and the lease common method was users turning the pencil sharpener only.

For the most part we think the pencil sharpener does it’s job adequately. There are still room for improvements that would make it easier on the user. Our solution include making the sharpener transparent so users can see what is going on, keeping a round base and including two holes. We found that all our solutions existed already in pencil sharpeners, they just needed to be fused together to create the most efficient pencil sharpener.

Feel free to look up our video footage here;

De-constructing an interaction: working on OCAD chairs

February 5, 2011

By: Judy, Renars, Sandra, Nicolas


– Students are spending many hours sitting during work
– The design of the chair affects students working
– Necessary to allow students in OCAD to work in comfort
– Main goal is to be able to work without having disturbance or being bothered: the chairs are designed to give comfort to students while working


Interaction Analysis

Survey Questions
– Do you think that this chair is appropriate for computer use? In a scale from one to ten, one being the worst and ten being the best, what would you rate this chair?
– What types of adjustments do you make to the chair when you sit down?
– What types of problems have you had with this particular chair?
– How many hours per day do you usually sit in front of a computer at OCADU?
– How many hours per day can you tolerate sitting in this chair?

Overview of Problems:
based on our survey, we came to a conclusion that students mainly had problems with the following:
– Seat is uncomfortable, too hard
– Backrest is too low
– Chair is small
– Missing armrest
– Wheels don’t roll well
– Chair breaks easily

Suggested design for new chairs with features including:
– comfortable to sit on during long working periods
– Seating surface that is easy to care
– Height adjustable for a comfortable sitting posture
– Stronger structure to prevent breaking easily
– Adjustable and lockable tilt function for increased stability and control in different sitting positions
– Built-in support; provides extra relief and support for your back
– Armrest

Splitting the Chopsticks

February 4, 2011


Yizhen Jia, Sharon Leung, Prisilla Hui, Amir Kaveheit, Hilda Lam


Disposable Chopsticks:
1. made of bamboo or wood.

2. used especially in restaurants.

3. partially cut and must be split into two chopsticks by the user to demonstrate that they have not been previously used.




Interaction Analysis

What problems occur during the interaction?
– Chopsticks don’t break evenly
– Lots of splinters – results in injuring the user. When user attempts to fix this problem, it causes more inconvenience or more injury.

hy do they occur?
– Low quality wood is used to produce the chopsticks.
– Misaligned grain can affect uneven breakage.
– Unfinished (laquer, polish, sanding) wood is more prone to splinters.
– Chopstick is not sanded to a design that is less likely to break unevenly.

good vs. bad quality

Is it related to the design of the chopsticks or to the user’s breaking methodology?
– Splinters may already exist due to bad manufacturing but more splinters can be created after breaking.
– Generally there is no wrong way to break chopsticks. The problems that occur in this interaction is rarely related to the user.

How do these problems affect the usability?
– Uneven breakage is a small inconvenience. In general, most people do not notice this problem and it does not prevent them from eating normally.
– Splinters cause discomfort and sometimes can injure the user while they are using the chopsticks or attempting to remove the splinters.


Proposed solutions
•Due to the nature of these disposable chopsticks being as “cheap” as they are, we will keep the material as aspen wood.
•Dipped laqcuerfinishing can be an option and sanding to a better smooth finish can also decrease splintering problems
•Shaping of the chopstick is found to be a true solution to overall quality of chopstick.

Existing solutions
•The cylindrical tapered chopstick has been invented
•However it could include shorter length and better finishing


1. Chopsticks

2. Disposable Chopsticks:

4. Bad quality:

5. Good quality:

8. solution:

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,


Project One Release Form

January 28, 2011

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

Project One: Deconstruct an Interaction

January 19, 2011

Click here to download Project One: Deconstruct an Interaction.

Below is the list of common interactions between people and their environment that we brainstormed in class.

Pedalling a bicycle
Playing a piano
Painting a picture
Taking notes
Peeling fruit
Tying shoes
Text messaging
Sharpening a pencil
Talking on the phone
Dictating to a computer
Calling Rogers
Eating food
Watching televison
Operating an iPod
Smashing a chair
Driving on the freeway

This is not an exhaustive list. You’ll be spending four weeks on this Project: select an interaction that is compelling to your group.