P2P: Launch Site

The day has finally come! The MVP Launch of P2P, the financial poo app!

I used Squarespace to create the site. Because it is on the trial version, this site will unfortunately expire in two weeks. However, I eventually plan on moving this to my main portfolio site

 

P2P: Sketch prototype

P2P is a personal finance tracking application that keeps logs of how much time and money is spent while the user is on the toilet.

Overall view of the prototype. This could also be seen as the flow of the application from left to right.

Here is the login and registration page. Ideally the application will have a web frontend as well so that users are able to check their finances in browsers. Income is a necessary input because the entire application revolves on how much the user makes at their job. 

 flow for @ WORK

flow for @ WORK

The main functionality of P2P. The user starts when they are about to begin their bowel movements. They first must tell the app whether or not they are at work. A possible implementation would be to automatically detect whether or not the user is at work based off their GPS. As for now, it is a manual input. Once the user is ready, the user can start the Log.

 flow for not @ WORK

flow for not @ WORK

The app will be a timer that also tracks how much money is gained or loss. The user can stay on this page to view their earnings/losses, or they can put the application in the background and do their normal routine. Once the user is finished with their bowel movement, the user ends the Log. The Log will then show the user how much total money was gained/loss and the option to discard or save the Log.

 Calendar and Statistics pages

Calendar and Statistics pages

If saved, these Logs are stored in the backend. A Calendar and a Statistics page is provided for the user to analyze their bowel movements.

 Left side Menu

Left side Menu

3 Designs

Anthony

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Age: 26

Occupation: Systems Engineer

Location: Seattle, WA

Problem: Anthony loves his alone time when he's sitting on the toilet. It's the only time of the day where he can relax, watch YouTube, and browse Reddit. However, he finds that he often loses track of time and overstays his welcome a top the porcelain throne. It can also get uncomfortable for him at certain stages of his process. His legs fall asleep, his back is sore, and there's also other health issues with sitting on a toilet for long periods of times. He also doesn't know where to put his phone when he wants to start using the toilet paper.

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Goal: Create a solution that makes it more comfortable to relax on the toilet while also reducing the amount of time he spends on it. A dock that rapidly drains the battery of the phone's device. The dock will start to charge the phone once enough toilet paper has been rolled out. This encourages Anthony to take care of his business quickly and efficiently.

 

Allison

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Age: 24

Occupation: Business Analyst

Location: New York, New York

Problem: Allison is a very forgetful person. She likes to go out with her friends often, to go out drinking, partying, and who knows what. She often forgets her keys, her phone, or her wallet all over the city. She also often forgets that she did laundry three hours ago and needs to retrieve it. Although setting alarms and reminders for these kind of things would be an easy solution, Allison would probably forget to do that as well.

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Goal: Create a "smart" alarm that will remind Allison of important things to keep with her, as well as important things to do. The application would utilize GPS location to detect when Allison is on the move or stationary at a place. When Allison is leaving, the application will buzz and remind Allison of her important belongings. The app will also be able to detect common locations Allison travels to often. Grocery stores, bank, etc. Static reminders can be set for these special locations. Can also connect with Uber/Lyft to decide when to 

 

Bryan

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Age: 26

Occupation: Student

Location: New York, New York

Problem: Bryan loves watching movies at the theater. He also loves analyzing key moments in the film. However, he finds that taking down notes on paper or on his phone is too distracting and will often take him out of the movie experience. 

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Goal: Create an application that secretly jots down the time and video/audio with just a tap. The phone can be placed in movie theater cup holders. To be discreet, the user interface of the application runs in the background when the phone's display is off. Bryan only needs to tap the screen to record film moments in movies that he loves.

A Handy Counter

The assignment this week was to design a playful counting device that sits a top a typical office desk. My first step was to figure out some constraints.

  • the device should be able to increment or decrement at any state
  • the device should clearly display the current number state
  • the device's counting range should at least be from 0 - 99

I thought about what devices we use nowadays to count things and realized... because of digital devices, there weren't really that many instances where we'd actually need a device to count or keep track of things. And I later came to the realization that's because most people already carry a simple counting device:

 our hands!

our hands!

The device would be hand-like device that stands atop a digital LED display. The appendages of the hand would be bendable so that they would be able to be configured into the positions in the above picture. 

 high five!

high five!

 fist bump!

fist bump!

The display's initial state is 000. As fingers are lowered or raised, the display would increment between 0-5. However, we need to count much higher than that due to our 0-99 constraint. This is where the high fives and fist bumps come into play.

If the user high fives the hand while the hand has all of its appendages up (high five state), the fingers will automatically return to the fist state. The number in the display, however, would stay the same. This would allow the user to continue counting upwards, and be essentially saving their progress every five increments. The opposite would happen for the other direction. Fist bump and the fingers will raise to a high five position. 

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The interaction of high fiving and fist bumping are both positive ones. I wanted to give them some sort of positive reinforcement in both directions since Marco and Maria are both trying their hardest to get through their tough work days.

The Good, the Bad, and the Pizza

Good Design

An object I use almost every day is my Magic Bullet blender. I love it because: It’s simple to use, effective, and the best part is that it’s incredibly easy to clean due to its size. I make smoothies and protein shakes with it daily, and if I get lazy, I’ll use it to chop up my vegetables instead. It can even crush my ice cubes for me. Amazing!

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Before this turns into an infomercial, I wanted to say that one thing I recently noticed was that the interaction of using this blender is a huge factor in what makes this object special to me. The simple action and pushing and turning the container differentiates this blender from traditional blenders with multiple buttons and settings. The physicality of holding down the blender and turning it connects me to the blender and to the food, as if I am magically turning the blades, rather than the machine.

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The vibrations from the blender travel up my arm and entwines me to whatever it is I’m making, and thus I can sort of sense the consistency of whatever it is I’m making. The Magic Bullet demonstrates how physical interaction can be so important when designing tools for users. The blender could have had a button, but if it did, it would have created a disconnect, making it no different than a microwave. It actually makes me feel like I’m cooking.

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Pick one up now on Amazon.com for only $31.99!

Bad Design

I don't really get shoelaces. I've probably spent a good amount of time in my life tying shoes, and it's always a pain bending down and lacing and unlacing and lacing and unlacing.

They also get undone so easily, and suddenly walking becomes extremely dangerous for the wearer. You could double knot, but then it looks bad and it's near impossible to undo it when you need to take your shoes off. Shouldn't all shoes have velcro or zippers by now. Maybe even magnets. I hope the future really figures this out

Pizza

I have used the chat application for Domino’s over the summer. At my Summer internship at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, I was on the Domino’s team, focusing primarily on chat bots. Before I started getting into the work, I wanted to test the Facebook messenger chatbot to see how it behaved. I remember my reaction to it to be lukewarm, the main reason being that the chatbot lacked personality and the chatbot’s sole purpose was to order pizzas.

 I definitely feel like there are so many missed opportunities with this chat bot.

I definitely feel like there are so many missed opportunities with this chat bot.

I used it again to see if anything has improved since six months ago. Unfortunately, it feels exactly the same. I did not expect to be at the level of Google Assistant or Siri, but still wanted some sort of interactivity outside of pizza ordering. Although the bot had a name (Dom), it had no personality or presence throughout the ordering process. My conversations with it began as if talking to a human, but slowly turned to curt statements and one word messages. Pepperoni. Large. Checkout. No. These type of chatbots seem to get rid of all the humanity that comes with meaningful conversations. Dom needs a change because its characteristics are the still those of the worst kind of pizza: cold and stale.

Stormtrooper Makeover

I cleaned up the stormtrooper model that I created from PhotoScan using a modeling tool called Zbrush. The process was a bit rocky at first due to the application's user interface and navigation, but it got easier as I kept using it. I eventually ended up with a nicer model.

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I then created a new UVMap by first setting the UVMap guidelines along my model's back. 

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After exporting the now cleaned up stormtrooper, I imported it back into PhotoScan. It looks so nice and clean. I then exported it one final time after building the texture.

 Lookin' GOOD. Still needs a paint job though.

Lookin' GOOD. Still needs a paint job though.

 model before... lumpy and deterioating

model before... lumpy and deterioating

 model after! smooth and sexy

model after! smooth and sexy

 UVMap before... what a mess

UVMap before... what a mess

 UVMap after! what a yes!

UVMap after! what a yes!

Everything looks much better! The model is much better after filling in the parts of the body that the photogrammetry process was unable to scan. The UV map also makes more sense, albeit a bit creepier. There's still some green coloring leftover from the green screen, so I will eventually have to clean that up.

I finally uploaded the new model onto Mixamo and rigged a body to it.

 Success!

Success!

I noticed that during some animations, the area in between the stormtrooper's arms and body (the armpit area) was too connected, causing some weird body movements. I went back to Zbrush to try to disconnect the arms a bit more. I then edited the UV map in Photoshop. I got rid of the green and thought that it would be cool to invert the colors of the storm trooper. This is the result:

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I honestly loved this entire process. Although some of the tools were a bit unconventional to use, I got used to them quickly and it became addicting trying to create the perfect model.

Cloning a Stormtrooper

In preparation for the next Star Wars movie coming out in December, I've decided to 3D scan a stormtrooper.

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I first had to drill a hole in the stormtrooper's butt and impale it with a stick. Sorry bud!

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The setup for the photoshoot can be seen below.

After numerous retakes, I was finally able to get a photo align that surrounded my stormtrooper.

After applying the dense point cloud, the mesh, and the texture, my stormtrooper was finally modeled.

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Although the results were not perfect, I was happy that I was able to get to this point. I tried to get clean up the model by deleting the green, the pole, and separating the arms from the waist.

Hopefully, I will be able to edit the model to fix all the imperfections and get rid of the green from the green screen.

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I also like how the sphere in the middle of the view kind of looks like the Death Star.

Midterm Proposal - Long Time No Talk

I rarely use my actual phone number these days to talk voice to voice with people. There are so many chat applications that have implemented online phone calls, that my actual phone number has been rendered almost obsolete. When the network is bad, there would be a delay sending my voice data from my phone to the other person's phone. I would sometimes say something and then half a second later, hear my own voice on the other side. It's distracting but I've gotten kind of used to it. I want to explore this slightly annoying feature and utilize this feeling in my final project.

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My proposal is to create an application that resembles Marina Abramovic's "The Artist is Present" piece. The application would essentially be an online video chat application used by two people. Everything is normal at first. However, as time passes, the delay between the users sending and receiving their video data would grow. The delay would increase gradually, going from a couple millisecond delay to several seconds. I would like to see how this gradual growth of delay would affect the speech and communication between two users. The delay would eventually grow to a suitable amount for the users to be essentially looking at each other in silence, as they realize that their ability to communicate has been rendered almost useless. The application would then gradually, at a slightly faster pace than previously, return back to normal. 

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I am interested in exploring areas of discomfort, this case being control and intimacy. Control due to the fact that the users' ability to communicate slowly deteriorates, and Intimacy since the users are forced to look at each other through screens.

Discomfort Final Project Pitch

For my final project, I would like to go towards the "A Serious Conversation" route. 

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I rarely use my actual phone number these days to talk voice to voice with people. There are so many chat applications that have implemented online phone calls, that my actual phone number has been rendered almost obsolete. When the network is bad, there would be a delay sending my voice data from my phone to the other person's phone. I would sometimes say something and then half a second later, hear my own voice on the other side. It's distracting but I've gotten kind of used to it. I want to explore this slightly annoying feature and utilize this feeling in my final project.

IMG_20171009_143958439.jpg

My proposal is to create an application that resembles Marina Abramovic's "The Artist is Present" piece. The application would essentially be an online video chat application used by two people. Everything is normal at first. However, as time passes, the delay between the users sending and receiving their video data would grow. The delay would increase gradually, going from a couple millisecond delay to several seconds. I would like to see how this gradual growth of delay would affect the speech and communication between two users. The delay would eventually grow to a suitable amount for the users to be essentially looking at each other in silence, as they realize that their ability to communicate has been rendered almost useless. The application would then gradually, at a slightly faster pace than previously, return back to normal. 

The type of discomfort would be both Control and Intimacy. Control due to the fact that the users' ability to communicate slowly deteriorates, and Intimacy since the users are forced to look at each other through screens.

Discomfort Journey 2

In one of my previous projects, Embodied Violence in Film, I created an interactive film that allowed users to interact with violent scenes in films. The violent actions were all physical actions that utilized the users own body, so punching and kicking. I wanted to take the same concept to another level by introducing external weapons. In my original project, most users would see my project as a fun way to exercise while watching a movie. I think this was due to the fact that although users were copying the same violent actions as the actors in the films, there was nothing physical for them to interact with. I believe that introducing hard tangible objects to the project would enhance the empathy a user would feel for the characters in the film.

One movie scene that I always found gut wrenching was a death scene in Saving Private Ryan. It involves a US soldier getting slowly stabbed by an enemy German soldier. By introducing an object for them to hold, it would simulate the user as the one plunging the knife. The initial state of the user would be the user holding an object that felt similar to a knife and the hand holding the "knife" would be held above the user's head. The user's knife hand would then be the controller for the above clip. The video would play at the same rate as the movement of the hand in the Y axis. 

 

https://alpha.editor.p5js.org/shooby/sketches/BJCEbfgnb

Discomfort Journey 1

I often forget about messages I've received through texts and email. It's rare for me to ignore someone on purpose. Sometimes I'm in the middle of something important and I automatically dismiss and forget about them. Sometimes I'm half asleep or inebriated and I'm not in the best state to respond. It happens! 

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One of the more uncomfortable feelings I get is I look back at past messages and realize that I totally ignored someone for more than a week. Multiply that feeling by 10x if read receipts were turned on. I think that this feeling of uncomfortableness can be utilized to help me and others like me to get better at being responsive and respectful to others.

What is the feeling? I am uncomfortable because in my mind it lowers my reputation as a reliable person. My own fear of what others will think of me enhances these feelings. I imagine design solution to this problem would be to bury me more into this feeling.

My solution to this problem I have is to simulate further messages from people that I have forgotten to respond back to. For example, let's say my mom texted me "We miss you back at home! When are you coming back?" I get the text but I clear my notifications by accident so I never see it. I propose an application that detects when you have not replied to any message received after a set amount of time, let's say 2 hours. The application would then fake a text from that specific person with a guilt ridden message like "Nevermind, just forget about it." These types of messages would definitely get my attention, increasing my anxiety to force me to check the texts. Of course, when I check the text, the application would inform me that it was not a real text. However, hopefully this feeling of discomfort would encourage me to reply back to my mom with a greater sense of empathy.

Simple Chat App

I've applied my phonetic keyboard portrait from last week's assignment to this week's. Now anyone can control my voice. I ran into an issue involving browser compatibility. It looks like it runs semi-well on FireFox, but there are bugs on Chrome. I'll need to investigate why, but it seems to have to do with how currentTime() is handled on the two browsers.

demo

Here is a version without socket in case you want to see how it looks.

https://bryanjhsu.github.io/phonetic-chat/

More to come!

Avatar Creation

The first avatar creation tool that I used was Bitmoji. I was a bit familiar with this since I've seen my sister and mom both use it in our family group chat. I thought it was stupid. 

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And now I love it.

I've been responding to texts and messages primarily with Bitmoji these days. My family and my friends seem to enjoy it as well. The amount of different Bitmoji stickers is huge and really fits with how I communicate to my family and close friends. Below is a timelapse of the actual creation of the avatar.

My girlfriend helped me in the process of making the avatar. She says that my Bitmoji really captures the essence of Bryan. I think it's primarily due to the glasses and the body type I chose. The glasses look exactly like the ones I'm wearing now. I also gained a bunch of weight over the summer. You can tell in the video that I was wavering between choosing the fit body versus the chubby one. I ultimately decided on the chubby Bryan, not only because I felt that it showed my current state more accurately but because it also represents a big part of who I am: a happy guy who eats a lot of food.

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The second avatar creation tool that I used is called Line Play. It is a game where you can purchase clothes and accessories for your avatar. It also includes a house that can be decorated with furniture and lots of other stuff. The first character creation screen was a gender, I saw that there was a third choice of Animal. I chose this option.

It was interesting to go through all the options of creating an animal version of Bryan. I tried to choose parts from different animals to represent different aspects of myself: a bear face because I'm a big guy and I eat and sleep a lot and dog ears because I'm well behaved yet playful. And of course I needed glasses. I found that being able to choose these features that are from all these different types of animals gave me more freedom to express attributes of myself that I would not be able to if they were human features.

I found that when creating avatars, it's good to exaggerate both physical and non-physical features. It's a bit like a cartoonist emphasizing your slightly larger front teeth by turning you into a rabbit. By using a more hyperbolic representation of one's self, character traits and personalities are more easily definable in an otherwise static avatar.