Glass Half Empty

Senior Project – Process

A blog about design, culture, and weird thoughts.

Week 14: Almost there


I have finished the design iteration of the bookmark page. The domain has been set up.

The prototype video is almost finished. I’m behind the schedule. But I’m confident that I will catch up and deliver.

Week 13: Checkpoint 3, Expert Research


When I wrote the video script last week, I paid attention to how the introduction of features could be connected to a cohesive story. Based on that story, I built another prototype and sent out to experts to gather feedback.

Two things need to be fixed:

  1. The “bookmark” space at the left could be used to show parent and children of the current card. (Dimension of a knowledge graph)
  2. The webpage reference process need to be clarified. Because webpages organize content in intricate ways (e.g. wrapping multiple text blocks in layers of components), both object selection (native iOS support) and screenshot-like annotation need to be supported. Apps like LiquidText support both selection methods. But can they exist as more intuitive interactions?
Some sketches.

The design will be implemented into a high-fidelity prototype, presented as animated video.

Week 12: Packaging + Story-telling

User conceptual model, video script, showcase plan

I have so much to do!

I drew a user conceptual model to:

  • Make the fussy concepts in scattered sketches into a concrete product with features in the right scope
  • Double check if there isn't obvious logical loophole I missed
User conceptual model.
Quickly sketched out two missing features: reference and search.

I decided that the showcase site will include two pages:

  • The landing page with the video.
  • The introduction page with a short article with demo prototype clips. (This has to be shorter than a design essay or I will cry.)

About the video script:

  • Problem: I always extend my problem description into a list of connected points, and I wanted to strike the right balance. It can't be vague, but it can't be didactic either.
  • Solution: I started the script with important features and benefits I need to cover. Then I attempted to support each feature with random use cases. At the end, I formulated a story about reading an essay and connecting ideas in it to a different project. I'm aware that what I have so far need to be pushed further -- the story still hasn't been built yet. I'm worried, and I hope my future self is capable of fixing this. </3

Week ?: Letting go


My project took an unexpected turn, just like everything else in the world did. 

As the name entails, the project is not only about fixing broken parts in web browsers — it is connected to other issues with technology and existing interaction design paradigms that I have spent too much time talking about. 

I have always known that I wanted to do more than a portfolio product design project. But what is it? I looked back and realized that I desire to build a medium that hasn’t existed in the world, and it requires more than connecting the dots from what’s obviously missing. 

I started to recognize that this will be one of the rare moments in my upcoming years, in which I have adequate amount of time to entertain my wild thoughts with complete creative freedom.

During the moments that I regained the productive momentum, I spent a lot more time reading through essays, looking at others projects, and contemplating. I’ll be sharing more about my progress on Friday. 

Week 6: Marinating new things, prepare for testing


Concept iteration

To build better storytelling, it is important to revise the concept prototype wasn’t able to answer. A couple of things I’m exploring:

Relationship between nodes and cards

  • Relationship between nodes within the same domain
  • Rules for how everything can be moved around

Loopholes in current model

  • 50+ nodes and 100+ cards (…)
Sketching out the difference.
Exploring hierarchy of nodes.
Scrappy things.

Concept testing

When designing tools for thought, it is important to iterate through making. Even though my coding knowledge is insufficient to accommodate the timeline, the other fast method to test my ideas is concierge. 

I scheduled two concept testing sessions with two students who are conducting exploratory research for their paper – a convincing use case based on the feedback of previous prototypes. Both of them are scheduled for this Friday and will be conducted remotely.