In 2010, I worked with three other students to improve the user experience of the open-source instant messaging client, Pidgin. Pidgin has a large user base of people who are comfortable with technology. However, because its interface is fairly conventional, we could not see immediate barriers to entry for more casual technology users. We investigated how we could broaden Pidgin's userbase.
After researching other IM clients and their users, we developed several personas: some representing Pidgin's current base, and others more novice users.
We considered their needs and experiences, and conducted interviews with people in our target groups. We also observed Pidgin interactions, pictured. From there, we determined their needs and opportunities for Pidgin to improve.
In my spare time, I've been working on a new travel web application. Its basic POV is: "People planning vacations could use an intelligent service to help them determine what events and activities they should do during their trips." I determined a few use cases— a business traveller with some spare time in a new city, a first-time traveller going abroad, newlyweds on their honeymoon— and drew storyboards for a sample of them.
A storyboard of a typical use case: Tim and Jan are caught in the rain on their honeymoon.
Afterwards, I built two low-fidelity prototypes following these storyboards, iterating and adjusting based on feedback for them. With these in mind, I'm working on a functional prototype in Rails.
A low-fidelity mockup built around the idea of readable language.
The Thirstybot alcoholic drink recommendation system is a web application in Python/Flask that uses data mining techniques to provide users with recommendations of new drinks.Visit the Github
Thirstybot made recommendations based on both cosine simularity and the manhattan distance between users' preferred drinks.
In 2010, I worked with a global team (Finnish and Canadian students) on an open-source Agile project management software, Agilefant. Much of my work was supporting and leading the team, but I also worked on some data visualization problems.Visit the Github
In Agilefant, an "Iteration" is akin the the Agile sprint. Here we visualize the manhours spent, efforts left on tasks within a sprint, and reference velocities for predicted manhours. It's admittedly hard to understand without context.
At 15, I started Naiad.info, an educational blog. It offered formatted study guides and articles, with a blog updated with fun facts.
Frontline was a history-themed website about trench warfare, and winner of the 2008 Colonel Douglas H. Gunter Award.Visit Frontline
Vanessa and the Accident was an educational game programmed by myself and four other girls in a team for the Games 4 Girls competition. Programmed in Gamemaker, we created an RPG-style adventure, along with cutscreens for the story line and logic minigames.Download Vanessa and the Accident
Epic Educational Gaming was a web application to help teachers create fun online educational games. It provided teachers and students with student performance feedback, gave teachers the ability to create customized adventures and question sets, and allowed for different types of modules to be implemented and extended into the system.
Artify Me is a web application built on top of Ruby on Rails to manipulate portrait paintings to look like works of art. Unfortunately, it was built on Face.com's Facial Detection API, which has shut down since its acquisition by Facebook. The Lichtenstein and Warhol morphs still work though, and you can check them out.Visit the Demo
A Rails app to transform your face into various artists' styles
First, I studied these artists' work to decompose them into essential recognizable elements, and then performed manipulations to imitate these elements. For the more complicated pieces, one would recognize your facial features and fade a painted portrait's features into them producing a synthesized piece of art.
Logo design for an internet-enabled powerbar product.
Illustration and site design for a defunct hair stylist.
Site design for local tutor.