Archive for the ‘Portfolio’ Category

Design Visualization

February 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Design Visualization was one of the courses that I attended at Umeå Institute of Design, one of the worlds best design schools. The course goal was to get the feel of how to convey characteristics and emotions from ones design. It consisted of one individual project with three assignment that helped the project along. The project was to take an already existing product and through the design process, re-design it and give it three new attributes.

Our first assignment was to give a certain attribute to a given object. We then had to do several perspective sketches of our designs and hand them in. By this point, we still hadn’t been given our project missions, and so this assignment was just to show us that different designs give off different impressions of the object. The object I received for this assignment was a stapler, and the attribute was “heavy” and the result is shown below.

The sketch process when coming up with the designs.

After our first assignment we finally got the focus of our projects and with it, the second assignment. Our second assignment was to analyze out given product and hold a presentation on all aspects of its design. Focal points were questions like “What type of product does it seem to be?”, “What does the form/material/color tell us?”, “How does it seem to be used?” and “What form do the competitors use?”.

My given product in its casing.

A close-up of the front.

For those who gave up on guessing what it was, it’s a soldering iron. Our third assignment was to create a persona to work with within a given target audience. We then had to extract three attributes that the persona might look for in our project product. My given target audience was middle-aged women and through that I created my persona, Eva Lundin, a 48-year-old craftswoman and artist that supports herself by selling hand-made jewelery and sculptures. In order to help with the assignment, I also created a image-board on my persona that eventually led me to choose the attributes creative, flexible and precise.

The image-board on the persona and her craft.

After the third assignment everything was set up to begin work on the project mission. The project demanded several sketches of the new design, a 3-D rendered model, and a 1:1 foam model. I began by gathering inspirational material on products that I considered possessed one or more of the attributes I was aiming for. From that I started to sketch until I felt I was satisfied and could make a choice on the design. I then ranked the design on what attribute it emitted the most, creative (K), flexible (S) or precise (P).

After careful consideration I chose the following design as the design to follow-up on. The design borrowed elements from weapons and more advanced tools to give the impression of a technical and precise tool.

After locking in on the design, all I had to do was to decide on the exact measures in order to create the foam and 3-D model.

I chose the colors black and red since those are common colors for this type of tool.

The model is made up of two parts, a needle and the base.

I made several needles for the foam model, this is the longer version.

A friend posing with the foam model.

A light on the tip of the base indicates when the iron is ready to use.

The iron is run on batteries and therefore cordless making it more flexible. There's a compartment that holds the solder.

The iron then melts the solder and runs it through the needle and out of the tip.

The idea for the iron to melt the solder inside came from observation that the process of soldering could at times require more hand on the work than humans possess. To try to illustrate the problem I drew a scenario where the user uses a regular soldering iron and on where the user uses my design.

A common sight with a regular soldering iron.

With my design one can increase the precision and quality of the soldering since the second-hand is freed up to stabilize the model.

The course was really fun and we got to focus on just the design and let loose a little of the responsibility of the technical aspects. The running joke when attending courses from the Institute of Design was that each student got “future”-cards that they could play whenever a technical question arose, as in “In the future that problem will be addressed.” As engineers, we had a hard time adapting to a more free way of thinking that looked past the current technology and let the crazier ideas loose. While it’s fun to let loose once in a while, I’m more comfortable when my designs are backed up by actual solutions and current technology.


Categories: Portfolio

Innovative Mobile Services and Systems

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Innovative Mobile Services and Systems was a course focused on the designing and development of mobile applications. The course contained three assignments and one group project. The assignment all involved developing for a mobile platform of our choosing, I chose to develop for Android.

On the group project we were given quite few restrictions on what we could do, and it was up to us to decide where we wanted our level of ambition to lie. Our group felt that we wanted to make something that we felt was missing and that could help people in their daily life. On of the problems that we all had encountered during our time in the university was their awful help with finding classrooms and lecture halls. Every house has their own way of naming rooms and it’s not unusual that two different rooms in two different houses share the same name. Sometimes rooms never go by their official name, but instead by a name given by the students or the teachers which only adds to the problem of finding the right room. On top of all this, there’s almost no help whatsoever on the university site, leaving the responsibility of finding or informing about the room to the students and teachers.

To help combat this problem my group decided on creating a mobile application that allowed users to search for rooms and also give the users the opportunity to add a given name to the rooms. Each room would then also be given an unique ID that teachers could refer to in order to avoid the confusion of rooms sharing the same name. There would also be a web version of the application on the university site that also would have links to each room that online schedules could refer to making the map quick and easy to access.

When a room is selected the house it's in gets marked.

Clicking on a house allows the user to view the construction plan for each floor.

Sketches of the web version.


A mock up on the web version of the application.

The course left me and others with a craving for more application development. It may have had a heavier workload, but that was mainly because we set the bar quite high for ourselves seeing how we thought it was both fun and educational. We all felt how new ideas started to pop up every now and then both during and after attending this course and the prerequisite course, Prototype Development for Mobile Applications.


Categories: Portfolio

Prototype Development for Mobile Applications

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Since I’ve been dragging my feet on building my portfolio site, I’ve decided on uploading school work here on the blog. First up is the work from the course Prototype Development for Mobile Applications. The goal of the course was to learn about the capabilities of mobile devices and use the current technology to create prototypes of applications.

The course started with some basic knowledge about databases and SQL commands which then  was followed by development of Web Services. One of the assignments was to create a web application, connected to a Web Service, where one could add, delete and edit entries for specific users.

Depending on which user was selected, different recordings appear.

The next step was to create a mobile phone application that used the techniques we were taught. The application allowed users to create an avatar on the screen which one could move around, the next time the user opened the application and choose their avatar, it would have to show up on the same location that it was left the previous session. Since it was based on a Web Service it meant that several users could have the application and see and move each others avatars.

The prototype GUI for the application.

The flowchart depicting the relations between all elements.

The assignment that followed had a similar structure as the previous, in the sense that it was layered into user-application-WebService-database. The mission was to create an orienteering application for Windows Mobile. The application allowed users to login using their username and password. After logging in they got the choice to either choose a map and start orienteering or view past results.

The UI flowchart of the application.

The log in start screen.

The home/manager screen.

Before being able to start the timer, the user has to locate the first starting flag.

Once the starting flag has been reached, the timer can be started.

The user then walks from flag to flag and marks them down on his phone.

When finished, the user can review his results and choose whether to upload the or not.

Saved results can be accessed anytime on the device.

Users can also view specific flag times in order to better their results the next time.

The last part of the course was a several weeks long project where we got to develop and create a prototype of an application of our choosing. My group chose to do a location-based game and after discussions we agreed on basing it off the bluetooth inside the mobile phones. The reason for this was because we wanted  the game to work well inside buildings as well as outside in the open. GPS has its limitations such as a higher battery drain and a weak-to-no signal when placed inside buildings or other places where the signal has a problem to reach the phone. The project resulted in the mobile game TagWar, a game similar to Tag. When logged in, the user is put into either the red or blue team, the outcome decides who the user can tag and vice versa. When the user gets tagged the opponents team receives a point and the user gets a time-out, meaning he can’t tag anyone or be tagged for a certain amount of time. The game senses other players through their bluetooth, if their bluetooth ID is stored in the server database, then that means they are a player.

The mock-up design of TagWar.

The log in screen for the game.

The game searches for enemies while displaying the current score.

When tagged, a timer is displayed counting down the time before rejoining the game.

When the game finds enemies, it displays a list of them all.

The course was a first taste of the capabilities of mobile devices and the possibilities of mobile applications. While the course contained some programming for mobile platforms, it wasn’t until the following course, Innovative Mobile Services and Systems, that I got to really dive into the development of mobile applications. The works from that course will be posted later.


Categories: Portfolio