Author Archives: Gabby B.

QPQ – Surveys

We created the QPQ Questionnaire, which we had four users complete for us.


  1. No
  2. Yes
  3. Yes
  4. 9
  5. 8
  6. 1
  7. No
  8. Clear, clean. White and blue.
  9. Simple, but not enough info/details.
  10. More info/details on buyers and give feedback on other people so they can be trusted.
  11. No.
  12. Yes.


  1. No
  2. Yes
  3. Yes
  4. 8
  5. 8
  6. 2
  7. Yes
  8. Color scheme, ease of use, easy to read
  9. Add menu/home button
  10. Yes


  1. No
  2. No
  3. Maybe if I had more stuff to trade. In which case some.
  4. 6 seems easy, don’t actually know
  5. 10
  6. 1
  7. Yes
  8. Red and black. That’s just me though.
  9. I have a wishlist!
  10. Make it work.
  11. Derp.
  12. Yes.


  1. No
  2. No – bank transfers on phone
  3. Yes if it is secure, but I love free stuff
  4. Looks easy, 9
  5. Yes, maybe more ways to link between screens, 9
  6. Ungiven
  7. Try different tints, it will work
  8. -^
  9. Free stuff!
  10. Explain profiles better
  11. Nope!
  12. YES!

HW 5 – John Maeda – “Time”

There are numerous ways to shrink time when a user interacts with an interface. One such way, that John Maeda discusses in his piece “Time”, is to use a progress bar. It creates the feeling of time passing and makes waiting all the more bearable because it looks and feels like it won’t be much longer until whatever you’re loading is finished. Another way is to remove steps done by the user when possible. Having them automated – which Maeda dreams of having Google or Apple do with everything eventually – allows the user to refocus their time. Shrinking time, after all, is all about making the wait shorter AND making the wait more tolerable.

However, I cannot agree with Maeda on having Google, Apple, or any device making choices for me, even if they think they know what I want. It’s something that I’m not willing to give up, making that choice. Once you give up a choice you’re giving up your freedom, and I’m not going to give up my freedom to some algorithm-driven device programmed by a person or people I’ve never met. I don’t think anyone should, either, but I’m not going to remove, or lobby to remove, their choice to have that ability.

One way I’ve figured out on how to save time when it comes to playing games is to position my hands over keys I know I’ll need to use. In an MMORPG, it’s WASD with my left hand and my right on the mouse. In a MMOBA, it’s QWER for the left and the mouse for the right. For a 2D MMORPG Side Scroller, it’s CTRL and ALT for the left and the arrow keys for the right. For a MUD, it’s left hand over the main area of the keyboard. and right hand over the numberpad. Even in games like Dance Dance Revolution, you stand on the left and right squares of the pad, not the center.

Moving away from games, when I’m about to reach the top of the stairs to get into my apartment, I have my feet halfway out of my shoes, my headphones off and unplugged, my cellphone in my pocket, my iPod turned off, and my purse and book bag in my hand. This allows me to get to “I’m home” mode a lot faster than I would otherwise. And for someone whose college days has her out of her house at 7:30 AM and home at 7 PM, this is direly needed.

HW 4 – Edward R. Tufte – “Graphical Excellence”

“Graphical Excellence” by Edward R. Tufte has many images within his piece. On page 17, he has two maps, but they both have the same issues so focusing in on just one is unnecessary. These maps, which are meant to depict all types of cancer in whites, which are age-adjusted rates by county during the years of 1950-1969, are relatively terrible.

Assuming that whites are the only one who need be depicted – and they’re not, having maps for all of the races instead of just whites would be better, and better yet having many maps depicting different ethnicities instead of broad racial groups would be best for the purposes of research – this map has a number of issues. The map only portrays the continental US. Hawaii and Alaska are completely forgone. The map is made hoping that the layout of the counties will make clear where the state boundaries are. However, the boundaries are hard to see. A thickening of the lines on the boundaries would help with this.

Moving on, this map is broken into counties. This assumes that the observer knows where all of the counties are in each state. However, many of the counties are so small they’re impossible to determine in the first place. Labeling the counties, while messy, would make this far more effective in portraying information. Then there’s the coloration. The key is on a different page altogether, which makes reading this map further impossible to deal with.

Personally, this map fails on aesthetics and information. And I can honestly say the first thing I look for in any infographic is the actual information provided instead of how well it’s laid out. In fact, I may notice the aesthetics only when the layout is so terrible I can’t determine what’s being portrayed.

HW 2 – Bill Moggridge – “People”

In Bill Moggridge’s piece, “People”, he discusses the four methods of the human factor being integrated into design and interaction. These four methods – Learn, Look, Ask, Try – are actually the categories for a larger group of methods.

The four methods do best when used in tandem with one another, but one must be attempted to be done alone, I would suggest it be “Try”. Try takes the factors of Learn, Look, and Ask and has the creator of design hypothesize what results Learn, Look, and Ask would bring about. To quote Bill Moggridge, when one does the Try method, they “create simulations and prototypes to help empathize with people and to evaluate proposed designs.”

He proceeds to list submethods with examples to emphasize what possibilities could exist. Three of these four submethods listed are ones I’ve already utilized in the past: Empathy Tools, Scenarios, and Informance.

Empathy Tools emphasizes adapting yourself with props in order to offer a new perspective that you may normally lack. The example given is about wearing weighted gloves to simulate having limited dexterity and tactile sensation. When I was in high school, I was wondering what it was like for the deaf students in my school. It was an arts school, and these students were unable to hear any of the singers or musicians. I couldn’t begin to fathom what it was like as someone with extremely sensitive hearing. Knowing that I had few days off coming, the day before I had off I went to school with earplugs and sound-reducing headphones. I experienced what it was like that day in school, and over my vacation, to interact and live life without sound. And it changed my perspective on the deaf community and on how being deaf should be viewed. Whenever I’ve had thoughts of things I could create, I always take the deaf community in mind now – how could whatever I might make, whatever ideas I come up with, be effective to those with and without hearing? I think back to those days where I sat through a concert recital unable to hear a thing, or how shows that lacked closed captioning that had people talking without facing the screen or talking off screen made watching a show impossible.

When one illustrates a character-rich storyline describing the context of use for a product of service, Bill Moggridge would say they are using the Scenarios submethod. This is one I use often. I think of the possible paths a decision may take, and then write out small stories with people involved in my life to determine what would happen. It leads me to have four or five vignettes or short stories from one decision. It’s a very useful practice that can also be applied to the design world, as is described in the example from “People” with the designing of a community website.

Acting out an “informative performance” scenario by role-playing insights or behaviors that you have witnessed or researched is what one does when using the Informance submethod. Again, this is one I use frequently, both with my relatives and my significant other. I’ve also used this with my two younger relatives with disabilities so that they can show me how they see me acting with them, or how others are interacting with them, so I can teach them what to do or how to respond in the future.

Using the Try method is acceptable in pretty much every project one can think of, so long as there is a human that will be interacting with the finished project.

HW 3 – John Maeda, “Emotion”

What do you think of Maeda’s observations on simplicity and emotion?

Maeda’s observations on simplicity and emotion is that simplicity and emotions are not directly proportionate nor do they scale together. An object that is very simple and Modernist may bring some people happiness or another desired emotional response, but everyone has their own perception and this can greatly affect the emotional result of this object. This goes past objects and can be applied to incorporeal entities, such as thoughts, conversations, or even sites and games on the internet.


How can designing for emotion foster engagement?

Designing for emotion is the process of crafting to get a rise out of a consumers. This can be done by using color, text, key words, and a plethora of other attributes that can cause one to be drawn to and respond to a given creation. When one is emotionally involved with something, in a sense they come to own it. It becomes part of something they know, they become protective of it on a level, and they will choose it again and again over an unfamiliar item, even if performing a vaguely similar function. When one feels a closeness to something, or that they own it in some way, the natural response is to interact with it and when unable to interact, wanting to interact with it.


Is there an object or design that you are attached to?

There are a few art styles that I am particularly attached to that I find, when applied to objects or design, increase the likeliness of me wanting to interact with an object. Styles that attempt to modernize or stylize pre-Christian styles – such as the art style of the Hawaiians, Egyptians, Greeks, Norse, Aztecs, and Mayans. An example of this is a piece of art by the deviantart artist shoomlah called Pele, Fire Goddess of Kilauea. Designs and objects based off of or clearly inspired by pre-Christian art styles are more likely to end up in my personal inventory and in my thoughts.

Team Unicorn – Project 1 – Restraining Order Alert Watch

Teammates: Ian, Rosa, Gabby



Ideal Operation:

  • The watch has a device in it that responds to the person who you have a restraining order defense against’s devices with WIFI or Bluetooth capability
  • At increments of 100, 75, 50, and 25 feet, alarms are given, getting progressively more urgent the closer the offender gets; the police are contacted

Gabby – Homework 1 – The Psychopathology of Everyday Things

The Psychopathology of Everyday Things goes into a brief overview of the various design issues of everyday objects. The text takes a humorous spin on the various design issues, from a wall of doors, to a watch, to phone systems. It offered a perspective most don’t usually take towards these items existing in all of our lives that could cause such severe, utter frustration. It got me thinking about my own belongings and the frustration that they can cause me. For example, I wish that my iPod had a power button instead of having to push down the play button for a long time and then hope it turned off correctly. Another issue is something that had existed in my old clamshell dumbphone that doesn’t exist in my smartphone: the fake phonecall function. On my old phone, if you were to hit the speaker button three times, it would make the phone act as if it was receiving a phonecall – a number would appear, the phone would ring, you could answer it. It was a great thing for walking around alone at night if you felt like you were being watched or followed. Unfortunately, smartphones – specifically mine! – lack this.

These design issues are not from a lack of careful planning or poor design, but the lack of anticipation for what other uses or issues an average user may have with the product. It’s a problem that arises not just with engineered goods, but all products or services where the creator is not the direct or intended user, but the general public. This aftereffect can be reduced by plenty of QA and alpha/beta testers of your product or service. These design issues also arise from the creators of products and services weighing the pros and cons of aesthetics and functionality. This text is a clear showing of functionality being sacrificed for aesthetics.