Hi, I thought I would give an update because I wrote a really long post about grad school yesterday, and I did not mention what actually happened this week.
On Wednesday, we started Maya. Coming into this program, I did not know anything about Maya (I hadn’t even heard of it before). People were talking about it as an animation software, which prompted me to wonder why we were using it, but then I found out it was helpful in Unity. I thought Maya was an interesting program, but I think I like Solidworks better. Maya seems to abstract and it’s hard for me to place what I want on the ground plane. I’m just making random freeform shapes and trying to make them not float everywhere. I like Solidworks better because I like building models that are physically realistic. I’ll admit that Solidworks is harder, but I like its content better than Maya.
On Thursday morning, we had some time to work on our projects. I tried to find some articles on an idea I had for our teleport experiment, but I only found one that vaguely resembled what I wanted to study.
Rick Stone presented at our Luncheon lecture yesterday. I didn’t know much about welding, but I thought it was interesting how he set up his experiment for a 50/50 VR/Real World welding training. I admired that he was extremely thorough and did everything in his power to make sure that the two groups never interacted. He studied a lot of different variables, and from what I can perceive, he didn’t exaggerate his results at all.
I also learned about how he thinks engineers should work in creative team building. In the first project he assigns, he expects his students to fail, and it’s almost as if he expects it (although he does not tell them so). Their ideas get crushed by industry experts, but along the next projects, they learn how to overcome their failures and work together. I’m interested in becoming a design educator, so I am interested at his novel approach.
We had a project meeting yesterday, and we went over the problem statements and thought through our ideas more. Over the weekend, we’re going to read more articles about mapping interfaces and convene next week Tuesday.
This morning, we worked on Maya some more. I feel that the more I learn the features of the program, I feel more in control of my designs (and the program). Here’s a part of what my scene looks like now:
I was really confused with a Maya interface feature that we used to adjust edges on objects. I was unfamiliar with holding a mouse button, and I thought that graphics programs usually have keyboard shortcuts that give different menu options. I also did not see any of these options on the control panels, and I think it would be really hard for users to find these features if they did not know that they had to right click. Also, for this menu to appear, I didn’t have to hold down the right mouse click for very long, so I imagine that users would accidentally find this menu and be confused. I think this interface could have been improved by giving keyboard shortcuts and a drop down menu option for a clearer way on how to make these adjustments.
[Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of the kitchen cabinets at Freddy because my phone died, but for reference, see Jennifer’s post]
I didn’t like the kitchen cabinets at Freddy because they did not indicate which direction a user would have to pull to open them. There were also no handles on the cabinets, which made them difficult to open from a side angle. If I redesigned those cabinets, I would have added handles so that users may easily pull the cabinets open and also identify which side to pull them from.