Tech637- My Semester Experience

What was different about this course?

What was different about this course when compared to my other courses for the semester? I sure read a lot. I had to read an average of 5 papers for every week. But I can’t say it was bad because as learned just as much as I read. The beauty about reading in this course was that I got to share what I learned with my wonderful and fun classmates. Now the great thing about sharing the knowledge I gained was that I learned from other classmates as they too shared the knowledge they gained. From them sharing their knowledge, I was able to gain insights into the reading that I would have had had not we shared our knowledge. It was somewhat similar to pair programming, where two programmers work together on the same code. In this was they are able to give each other ideas on how to go about solving a problem. This was probably the most engaging class I’ve ever had and I loved it. It’s also cool when your professor encourages you to tweet in class. But then again it was a social media course, so we were supposed to tweet in class. I encourage anyone reading this to try out Tech637 @ Purdue University for Fall 2014.


Favorite Topics

Well one my favorite topics was the use of the social media to maintain weak ties. The readings did a great job at showing the great benefits of weak ties, but what made it even more wonderful was the fact that I was able to see how social media was able to easily facilitate this process. Another great topic, well presentation session was the class on the dark side of the internet. If I had to remember one thing from class that day id that troll no longer live under uder the bridge awaiting little goats to cross. They have become technologized and move to the internet. Word of caution when meeting a troll on the internet: DON’T FEED THE TROLLS!


Personal Takeaway

Social media had brought a world of change to what we all know as the internet and has completely transformed it. It has brought many benefits such as the easy sharing of information, but like every good thing it can also be abused if we don’t manage it carefully.

I learned so much on various social media tools and websites. How I’ve also realized that it is impossible to keep up with every form of social media. However I can utilize those social media toolts that I think may be of greatest value to me in both my personal life and professional life/career. I care about maintaining my weak ties, so I will make use of Facebook in order to maintain those ties. Twitter is a great tool to express my thoughts on interesting topics, or maybe follow people who are of interest to me to know their latest developments. I will encounter other along and will evaluate them to see how much they can improve my life and from there I will make a decision. Signing out DDJohn from #Tech637


Thoughts and Ideas 3: The iPhone — Why?

What makes the iPhone so popular even though it lacks so many features which other phones have? It has no RFID, no FM radio, we cannot install apps not approved by Apple unless we jailbreak it, at which point we lose any form of warranty. The Android platform has so many features and so many amazing phones and yet still people are flocking to Apple to get their iPhones. Is this due to the aesthetical feature of the Apple iPhone. But other phone are just as gorgeous, so why aren’t they so popular? Is it because there are so many apps available in the Apple app store? But why aren’t as many programmer creating app for the Android and other platforms. Has the iPhone kept its popularity because it was the first that was really smart? As the proverb goes “the first impression is a lasting impression,” can that be true of the iPhone?


Thoughts 1: Is it all about Usability?

I have read much research on the importance of interface usability and its ability to help users achieve their goals. But what about aesthetics, does it matter? Based on the papers that I’ve read, it seem that researchers do not think that aesthetics play much of a role in usability. Is that the case? Aren’t we humans naturally drawn to things which appeal to our low level visual system? Are users just interested in how easy the product can help them meet or their goals and unconcerned about how pretty it looks? I can only wonder?

My experience: From requirements to design

I recently discovered that creating a storyboard is a lot more difficult than I originally imagined. Thinking about it is easy; we just create a sketch of each step in the process until we’ve covered the whole scene. Wish it was that easy.

The assignment was to create a story board, made of low-fidelity wireframes that plans how a pizza ordering app should work. It was the same pizza ordering app that we’ve been speaking about for the past three weeks. The design requirements were not particularly difficult, but designing for usability proved particularly complicated. I kept thinking, why are we spending so much time creating a storyboard of such a simple application?

Hey, the simple truth is that designing for usability is not easy. All steps have to be covered and users have to be able to use the app with no difficulty.

Our main objective was designing an app that would allow the user to order his pizza with the minimum work. This required knowing which steps came first, knowing how to prevent them from repeating information, allowing them to reach their goal (order their pizza) with minimum typing and clicking. I soon realized that creating such a usable app would require tremendous labor on my part as the programmer. I thought to myself, is it worth this much effort for such a simple application.

I immediately understood why the programmer or designer for a product should not do usability testing.


After one hour, here is what we had. Absolutely amazing  😦