30 Sep

Idea Generation

It’s really odd being given a brief without a subject.

“Anything you want, within reason.” is quite a difficult task. There’s so many options and yet finding one that feels perfect takes time.

I know I wanted to practice my coding skills – HTML, CSS and JavaScript being the top 3 I’m interested in. Structure, styling and functionality are necessities for every front-end developer. I also wanted to combine the things I’ve learnt in other areas: usability, branding, maybe even a little SEO and marketing (why not?).

It’s very rewarding (and self-indulgent) to look back over the last two years and see just how far I’ve progressed. That’s one of the lovely things about this blog too. It’s very helpful to be able to remind myself of some of the tools I have at my disposal. No one has a perfect memory, and looking back at old work shows how I overcame certain issues in the past, saving energy and a lot of time spent on stackoverflow.com.

So after flicking through my old work, I created the following mind map (always a great starting tool) to expand on the following 4 points:

  1. What do I want to make?
  2. What do I want to learn?
  3. What am I interested in?
  4. What skills make me employable?

Initial mind map

I wanted to pick something that would combine an interest with other beneficial elements. There’s no point wasting time repeating old stuff exactly as I’ve done it before when I could be learning something.

Two ideas I pursued:




After some brief initial research into the two ideas, I decided to select the second for my degree project: an online allotment planner. It has endless possibilities, and hasn’t been perfected in a workable in-browser format yet.

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16 Nov

Web Dev: Probing Part 2

The following shows some items from my cultural probe, that I created based on the ideas I came up with listed in my last post. I decided to include my FitBit that I had purchased previously, simply because it can collect information that would be very difficult for the person completely the probe to collect themselves. Data such as step count, distance travelled and minutes of activity are collected just by wearing this device, and I’ve included short and simple instructions in the kit.

Fitbit Flex

The rest of the probe focuses on inspiration/motivation for running and the runners feelings associated with running. These particular things are very difficult to find out from surveys alone, and give the cultural probe technique a specific benefit.

Cultural Probe 3
Cultural Probe 2
Cultural Probe 1
cultural probe pics
When I have collected some data from this, it should aid my user research, and allow me to create a website which is more relevant to current BOSH users and potential members.

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04 Nov

Web Dev: Surveys

The next task was to create a survey to collect information beneficial to the project.

I wanted to find out what would make people join a running club, particularly those that aren’t regular runners already.


After determining what I needed to find out, I put together a simple survey using SurveyMonkey, which can be completed here. The survey (also shown below) is designed to find out how active the person is, what motivates them, and what encourages them to join a running club.


The results will help me better understand my target market. The website design should reflect what the users want, and increase member recruitment and retention.

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