I haven’t blogged since last Thursday, and honestly, I’m disappointed in myself for not doing so. I can’t give you a specific reason why, because I’ve been busy with so many things that I have been hardly been keeping track of the time day-to-day. That’s my reason, but I won’t use that as an excuse for not blogging. I’ll catch up now, and I’ll pick up where I left off.
Thursday afternoon (6/27)
On Thursday afternoon, our grad mentor came down for the weekly meeting with the three of our team members. She got updates on the VE and avatar, and she encouraged us to get our projects drafted into Unity as soon as possible. Lucia also gave me very helpful edits about what I should change on the Methods section. In the past, I’ve had issues with documenting every step of the research process, and I think that’ll really come to the test as I work on the Methods section. I’m also looking forward to receiving comments from the rest of my team members. I think it’ll help if they review it, so that we are all on the same page about our procedure before starting trials.
Friday morning, we met again for our MCA. By Friday, I had a pretty good concept for my splint idea, and I had been printing out my 3D models and testing them on Abby’s hand to find the perfect fit. I found that I had a way more difficult time editing my complex models in Solidworks than it took me to create them in the first place. Kate was a great help, however, and she gave me great instructions on how to make the changes that I needed.
We had another Intro to HCI course on Friday afternoon. For this class, we researched workshops that we’d like to go to at ACM CHI and gave our mini pitches on why our fellow interns should go to them. I got an idea of what CHI offered, and honestly, now I want to go even more. I had been planning on going immediately after jury week ended next spring, and I confirmed the dates when my college’s calendar came out. I haven’t made any flight arrangements yet, but the timing works out well, and I’d be flying back to Hawaii since the conference is in Oahu. I’ve also been humoring the idea of creating a project for the student research competition, although I don’t have any ideas for it yet. It would work out better if I worked with students in my department back at my school, but the interns here have a lot of experience in HCI that I think could be put to use here. I’m wonder if it could work remotely…
The interns had a lot of different ideas on how the t-shirts should look. I was partially overwhelmed because I’m used to visualizing the design, but describing it verbally doesn’t really capture how it would really look. We settled on an idea that I like, however, and I’ve been helping Nina create the muli-component design in Illustrator.
After, I went back to DABL to 3D print again. I learned that I can keep the same file type and scale it differently on the the three axes using the Makerbot software. I semi-guessed what would fit Abby, and I printed it. I tried it on myself, and it looked perfect, as long as the sizing was right. Otherwise, I’m was almost done with my project! I’m thinking that I did it so quickly because I knew were were expected to present on Friday originally, so I made sure I had something that I could finish quickly. That’s an important thing to learn about design. I always have to be careful to make sure I can finish my projects with the skills and resources that I have. I’ve seen too many projects that have to scaled back last minute because of those constraints. I’d rather have a great design and have it executed well. I usually accomplish my task, and despite my expectations to finish early, I always finish right on time with what I wanted.
On Monday morning, I make some avatars to import into Unity and add shaders. I used a program called Adobe Fuse, which I was luckily able to have using my Adobe CC software. It’s essentially like designing an avatar in Sims, except you can export it into Mixamo to animate it. I added the final versions to Cybox, and we’re still working on making them work properly in Unity. Alec also helped us with the Unity files that we’re building off of for our new avatar experiment.
I stopped by Abby’s desk during her office hours to test my most recent splint. It fit! She gave it positive reviews as well. I took a lot of pictures that I plan to use in the MCA presentation. I also got a head start on the slides for the MCA, and Alex provided some great comments on how I can improve the presentation. Overall, I’m excited to present because I would love to talk about designing things by asking those affected about their experience, and also by asking what they’d like for the new product.
I did some more work on the paper in the afternoon, but honestly, I’m at a loss on where to begin for the literature review. I think I’ll read what was written in the original paper, and see if I can use that as a framework and style to write our new literature review. I also have to put my paper-reading skills to the test. I’m optimistic, but I also know realistically that it’ll be a struggle.
Tuesday morning (7/2)
This morning, I started writing out the intro paragraph. I’ve been going off of the existing paper, but I’m making changes to fit our experiment. Our grad mentor provided comments on using specific language last time, so I’ve been careful in how I use my words. At the same time, I’ve been detailing the small bits of our experiment. I thought that I’d just be documenting what I’ve determined in the paper, but I’m finding that we have to figure out exactly how our experiment is working as well.
For our luncheon lecture today, some grad students gathered with us in the conference room for a Q&A. I’ve already heard about some of what was described about grad school, but I learned some new things as well. For instance, I didn’t know how graduate school funding worked or how to figure out what grad school advisor to work with. They gave us really good advice. I took notes, and I’ll archive them for when I apply to grad school in a few years.