Category Archives: Readings

PCom mid term final

A bit of late response to the book about ‘materials’. Materials have different sorts of characteristics. Probably two different important aspects of materials, its structural and cultural characteristics. I will just skip a bit of this chapter as I’m quite familiar with material properties like tension, compression, fatigues, and so on. I understand that we need […]

WIP PCom project, generating sounds by gravity balls + readings for this week

ArrayList <Ball> balls = new ArrayList<Ball>(); float ballsize = 25; float speedChange = 0.01; boolean firstContact = false; float boundary = 300; int counter; import processing.serial.*; // import the Processing serial library Serial myPort; // The serial port   void setup() { size(1000, 700); frameRate(60); println(Serial.list()); String portName = Serial.list()[10]; myPort = new Serial(this, portName, […]

Readings + Lab for PCom class_05

Comments on ‘Design meets disability’ My first impression about this issue without reading the article was how to design better for disability and help them. Yet, it was completely different, I realized that ‘Design meets disability’ addresses the issue of individuality and universality. The concept of ‘universal’ has been miserably criticized it has lost diversity. It ended […]

Assignment for PhysCom class_04

Readings_01: Design for everyday things

The author, Donald Arthur Norman, an academic in the field of cognitive science, design and usability engineering and a co-founder and consultant with the Nielsen Norman Group

Indeed, I read this book for ages ago and I remember I was impressed by this very much. After reading this, I was able to manage electronic products.

His statement in ‘Design for everyday things starts from ‘warning labels and large instruction manuals are sign of failures, attempts to patch up problems that should have been avoided by proper design in the first place’. He continues that ‘humans do make mistakes, but with proper design, the incidence of error and its effects can be minimized’….

There are interesting stories we really experience everyday. My grand mother cannot cook rice by rice cooker as it became too advanced with many cooking options. People often get nervous that they are not intelligent enough to mange this or blame themselves that they do not read the instructions. Norman points out why we need complicated instructions. I do agree with this. The small things give people stress in their lives unconsciously.

His argument refers a concept of ‘affordance’ by James Gibson. Good design affords users to use it without any instruction. People never be confused to sit a chair. A chair afford a human beings can sit. It tells enough information about its functions for its users.

His points for principals of design for understandabilities and usability make strong sense for me, even though I do not like following to such ‘a manual’. Humans have a concept model to use something so if concept model directly translate it to the controllers, we wouldn’t be in a trouble. Even though my mother has used mobile phone longer than I have used, she still cannot save contact information of her friends. I will question that does mobile phone have a good design? Also, its visibility and mapping is very important as if a product have functions, we wanna see the functions, and it should be properly mapped in order not to make us confused. Surely, the feedback is very important to give us feelings we interact with a machine or product.

By doing this, we would be able to reduce our stress in our everyday lives and as a designer, we can find a chance to breakthrough to create a new design.

Readings_02: Emotional Design

This in fact, questions the design manual by ‘Design for everyday things’ that functional design made some products agree. There can be questions that how they negotiate it with their aesthetics and emotion. His statement as people love a product, they gain a greater motivation to use them no matter how it might be difficult. As soon as I read this, I remembered Alessi’s design. The design are not completely functional yet it illustrates functions and most importantly, it looks very fun.


When I see Alessi’s design, Norman’s points that ‘affect therefore regulates how we solve problems and perform tasks’ become very strong. Although the usability is brilliant, we will not motivate ourselves to use it. As I studied architecture, it is actually taboo to touch the topic ’emotion’ in our designing as we cannot prove it. Once we discuss about emotion, it becomes ‘preferences’. I like Alessi yet some hate it. Whenever they use them, they would be irritated by looking at cartooning shapes and colours, for instance. (We discuss ‘individuality’ yet not ’emotion’ and affect. )

Although Norman agrees with design emotions, he criticizes  prettiness and usefulness that design pleasure should not affect its functions, the usability. The argument became once big discussions in ‘ornament’. What if meaningful ornaments affect its usability?

While those arguments come from modern thoughts, I still strongly agree with creating things which afford users’ activities and emotions.

Labs for this week

Digital Input

Flex sensor: in my case, the example program didn’t work at all. I couldn’t figure it out. I ended up with using preset program by Arduino…and mixed example program below.

const int redLED = 10; // pin that the red LED is on
int rightSensorValue = 0; // value read from the right analog sensor

// the setup routine runs once when you press reset:
void setup() {
// initialize serial communication at 9600 bits per second:
pinMode(redLED, OUTPUT);

// the loop routine runs over and over again forever:
void loop() {
// read the input on analog pin 0:
int sensorValue = analogRead(A0);
// Convert the analog reading (which goes from 0 – 1023) to a voltage (0 – 5V):
float voltage = sensorValue * (5.0 / 1023.0);
// print out the value you read:
int brightness = map(rightSensorValue, 400, 900, 0, 255);
analogWrite(redLED, brightness); // set the LED brightness with the result


It worked, anyway yet it seems other people made it without changing the code…Please help.

The next step is use of photoresistor. It allows us to control something(?) by change of lighting(exciting!)
Yet, it didn’t properly work…it didn’t have the similar number between the two sensors.

In the monitor, the number changed a bit only right sensor yet not left one…

Obviously, it didn’t control the mouse as well…I was trying to make them work by changing the sensor. I checked the circuit yet, someone it didn’t work. Please help…;;)

Here is the clue that my circuit was okay(hopefully)…

Only one lab I succeeded in perfectly was control mouse by buttons…