About my blog

The aim of the ITD course (ID4220) at the Delft University of Technology is to provide Design For Interaction Master students with in-depth theoretical and practical interaction design knowledge to help develop future products based on user-product social interaction. ITD proceeds through a sequence of iterations focusing on various aspects of the brief and the design, and culminates in an experiential prototype.

This blog is managed by Walter A. Aprile: please write if you have questions.



De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Posts in category generationy2

The complete story…

Here is our final movie of the process and the final concept…ENJOY!

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check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLj3xFI_OAI 

Prototype in action!

Last friday we made this short movie… ENJOY ! 

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Animated GIF FTW!

When Thijs became very enthusiastic…..




And finally it really comes together!

Besides the report, the poster and flyer that is been worked on a decision had been made how to have the battery loaded on the presentation day. It could work by making a disconnect button, by building it with the ability to reload or just load it and mold it inside the ball just at the day before the presentation. We have tested it’s duration of being active with 6 LEDs and didn’t see them dying. 


Because of this test it appeared that sometimes the LEDs do not get a proper signal from their Xbee daddy, the rhythm is not consistent. Some changes have lead to LEDs that now listen to the 1s and 0s. 
By accident, when picking up the test-prototype from the table and passing the red LED lights, the ball became a magical red glowing ball. This is a good prospect, the LEDs insight the ball will be very good visible, and the ball will glow heavenly! 


Some important problems relating to the proper working of the software have been fixed by our beloved programmer Menno.
The program is designed to delete a file from the ball directly after opening it, when it is on the ball that is being read. But what if the deleting action is faster then the loading action?
Yes, the file will be deleted even before it is being loaded! 
But now the nice stuff to share can be seen! 🙂
Besides, the animation on screen is now working smoothly, instead of its choppy behavior.  
Let’s mold, film and finish the presentation stuff!!! 

Don’t you just love it when it all comes together…?

Hi Folks!

A short recap of what happened last friday….

We are happen to annouce that the hardware that should go into the ball has arrived! 




Next, we made a sample ball, just to try our mold. It took considerable team effort as you can see.




But after 4 long hours of waiting it came out beautifully !




…and we could enjoy it.  



The final prototype should look something like this….nice eh??




…and it all fits like a glove

At first we were a bit scared whether all the components would fit into the prototyped basestation. But after checking we were pleased to see that we did a good job. Here are some more pictures of our finished basestation.




Parts have arrived !

Check out our basestation!

Shapeways did a fine job in rapid-prototyping our Solidworks model. It is now ready for action!! 



…things become physical….

Heading forward


Exact(ly), user-test day !

Last Friday we visited Exact in Delft for our usertesting phase. We had the opportunity to show 9 Exact employees our concept movie and software, and ask them questions about their use of file sharing on the workfloor. As we didn’t manage to complete our prototype in the way we wanted, we decided to focus these usertests on potential use and understanding of the concept.




Understanding of the concept

Almost each one of the Exact employees initially make the comparison to a ‘throwable USB stick’. But as soon as we mention the fact that the files get deleted, they see the difference and appreciate the fact that it’s ‘quick and easy’. The fact that files get deleted as soon as they are opened discards the need to manage the filesizes and available space.It is important to emphasize this ‘feature’ in one way or another. The software part was considered intuitive and straightforward enough: there were no problems in understanding how the program works worth mentioning.

People’s use of filesharing on the workfloor

When we ask people what they would use to share files, almost each one of them mentions email, local intranet software, and Office Communicator. They add to it that they don’t always like using email because it lacks ‘instantness’ (which can be positive in other cases). Communicator is then used for quick and easy sharing. The local intranet software is exclusively used for directly work-related files and data.

When we ask if people ever share non-work related files and hyperlinks, most frequently they do. Usually they do this via Office Communicator; it’s quick, fast and doesn’t leave full inboxes.

Potential use of ThrowBall

Most people therefore also mention they would not use our throwball for work-related or important documents, in these cases the fact that files immediately get deleted and opened on reading the ball negatively impacts the usability. Also, there is already a fully functional system available for work-related file sharing (the intranet system), so there is less need.

When we ask people whether they more frequently use one-to-one file sharing or want to share files with multiple people at once, we received mixed responses too. Some people see the added value of collective sharing, others would rather use it for one on one sharing only, in conjunction with the fact that data automatically gets erased.

Almost each of the employees explicitly mention the fact they appreciate the playful element of our concept. They see themselves throwing things around the office. It is also mentioned as a potential positive ‘break’ from everyday work.

Furthermore, the Exact employees mentioned they see the advantage of the speed of sharing. In contrast to using USB sticks, there is no more need to check what to delete. And there’s no need to plug stuff in the computer. It seems easier and faster to operate.

The fact that it is impossible to see the content receives mixed comments; some would like to be able to check what’s on it before opening (to avoid so-called NSFW (Not Safe For Work) situations). Others like the effect of being able to ‘surprise’ colleagues and be surprised themselves, and add to it that the personal aspect of actually throwing the ball avoids obvious abuses, some sort of social control. The same goes for having anonymous or personal throwballs: it could be useful but also makes it less playful. It could potentially be abused (by leaving behind content on a throwball), but in the normal day to day office setting, this could be regarded as unlikely.

One interesting remark we received was that the fact you have to hold the ball in close proximity to the reader kind of makes the act of squeezing it too much. If we would be able to increase the reach of the RFID reader, we would be able to make the squeezing action the only necessary action to activate the ball to the closest computer (or perhaps even multiple computers at the same time).

When asked, most of the employees also agreed on the need for the ball to provide feedback about its contents (at the very least, to provide feedback to indicate a full or empty ball).

Wrapping up

In the end, we gained a lot of new insights. We were glad to notice there was a sort of collective opinion on the use and functionality of the ball: people agreed on the potential use of the ball. We realized our ball should try to fill in the spot of the use of Office Communicator in the Exact office.Performing these usertests put us in the position to make a few decisions, such as focusing on sharing ‘fun’ or personal things instead of more generic file sharing (throwing the ball is considered both a more personal and fun/playful way to share), emphasizing the fact files will be automatically gone when the ball is read. We were now able to finalize our final prototype demands, on to the building phase!

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