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Weeknotes: 4th July - 22nd July 2015

For the last two weeks, I was on holiday in France!

I did find the time to read Don Norman’s “The Design of Everyday Things” while I was away though, which was a really useful introduction to the psychology of interaction, and refresher of some basics of interaction design, and the human-centred design process. At times I felt that he places a little too much faith in the power of the design process to anticipate future needs and problems (Complex systems produce emergent, unpredictable properties and effects - something that isn’t mentioned), but in general it’s an excellent work.

There’s only been two days since I got back, so these notes will be brief. I’ve continued to work on my desktop activity logger - designing and building a user interface around the logging software I’ve already developed, which has been a bit of a crash course in Windows GUI programming. Not really understanding the trade-offs, I fairly arbitrarily decided to use WPF.aspx) instead of Windows Forms, then subsequently realised this made it more difficult to create a system tray icon, since this is a Windows Forms component. happily, the WPF NotifyIcon library provides a solution, and after finally getting it to load (F# does not automatically load libraries referenced in XAML files), and working out how to add an icon image to a Visual Studio project to, I’m now getting along nicely and hope to have the logger software finished this week.

Jiyin has started writing a server application to store the data for our study, and I’ve been working on deploying it to a server for testing. We’ve also been prototyping the user interface for our study participants to annotate their activity logs, and will begin implementing that next week. We’ve also designed the pre-questionnaire for the study and submitted it for ethical approval.

Interesting links: (A bumper crop since I’ve had plenty of time to read!)

Music: Intergalactic FM - a non stop mix of incredible disco and italo, Richard Skelton (and his ‘The Inward Circles’ alter ego) and Chrononautz.