Thesis reflection – May 10 2018
Since my last blog update, I have been quite busy coming up with solutions to address my feedback in the last critique. Primarily I’ve been struggling between working in code or another medium that would be easier to communicate the mathematical/technological topics I am exploring. Another issue that has come to my attention is the fact that the majority of the middle schoolers I have talked to have no idea how to explain what a pixel is. There is no common knowledge on the topic of what makes up a digital image. It adds complexity to my project, however it was an exciting discovery because it underlines how important and necessary it is for me to keep creating content about this subject matter.
Ultimately, my solution is to create a video that explains the basics: what is a pixel, a matrix, and how are the two related. Along the way, bytes and bits are introduced, as well as the RGB color planes or channels. This provides a good covering of the ground I will build on for my interactive web application.
I learned so much in its making and editing. It was so much fun to take a break from the code, and explore creating hands-on visuals. I feel like digital or analog, I always try to put some of my personality/style into it, and there was ample opportunity with this four-minute video. Here it is embedded below:
Since I made the video, I received immediate feedback: Even with a fancy recorder I renter from the Equipment Center, the audio was just not loud enough to be heard in a big room full of people. It could also be the frequency of my voice that blends in with the background noise… but at least it sounds good with headphones or in user’s homes. Just might not be loud enough for the thesis show.
After showing the video, I also got some great feedback on the accompanying web application:
- The jump from the video to the web application is too big. What you learn in the video is not sufficient enough to fully understand the web application. A helpful question that was posed to me: “If you didn’t watch the video, would it still be a positive experience?”
- Another issue is the pixels of the images. They are simply too big, so that the individual pixels are no longer obtaining the effects. Instead, each ‘pixel’ is the size of 15 actual pixels. This oversize effect creates added confusion as to what is happening to the image. The quick fix is to use smaller images so that they retain their true pixel sizes.
- Making it more personalized or custom: Uploading or creating a user’s own image would be much more engaging.
- Interacting with the image filters is not as satisfying or dramatic as expected. When image filters are mentioned, we think of the more advanced ones found on Snapchat and Instagram. There was a concern about the missing allure leading to a lack of engagement with the youth.
This was great information to continue with. There is not much I will change with the video, other than playing around with audio for the show. The application, however, will require some minor tweaks.
Unfortunately am not seeing a time (before the show) where all of these new functionalities will be set into place. But I will give on last update documenting the show!