Where is the big picture ?

I have been working as a SIF for about 2 months, I am excited about the projects that I am working on. Here is a status update regards what is happening to our main project and how things are shaping up.

Project 1 Online Deliberation Mapping Tool Development

This is our primary project. We had a design sprint meeting for the project, the participants were Heidi, Will, Justin, Nathan and the usual suspects Ram, Siva, Rushitha and Sruthi. The design sprint involves the following stages : –

  1. Understanding the problem
  2. Creating user stories
  3. Diverging of ideas
  4. Creating buggy notes

Understanding the problem involves mapping the problem and the issues thereof. Here we discussed asynchronous spaces wherein there is lack of feel of shared experience, flow of conversations, development of ideas and their inter-dependencies. Most often in online spaces, the big picture is difficult to find and making the user not see the wood for the trees.

This understanding of the problem at hand helped us define our goals for a space for asynchronous generative conversations. Participation is motivated by shared purpose, so the tool has to support formation and deliberation for a shared goal or purpose like solving or defining a problem, making a decision and to develop shared understanding. All these goals were defined from a pedagogical perspective. Possible solutions regarding the tool were discussed.

User stories from the perspectives of instructor, early contributors, mediators and late contributors were discussed. With these broad use case scenarios, we proceeded to the next step.

Diverging of ideas involved mind mapping of the user stories we took about half and hour to make our individual mind maps by filling in the specifics. After the mind mapping phase, next was crazy eights phase, in which we had to rapidly draw variations of our ideas so that we focus on the implementation and production rather than being creative.

In our next meeting, we are going to review our storyboards and later decide upon the functionality that we want in the tool.


  • http://www.gv.com/lib/the-product-design-sprint-understandday-1
  • https://www.gv.com/lib/the-product-design-sprint-divergeday2


World of web programming 2

For the front end of Deliberation mapping tool, we had the choice of either using HTML5 or flash. HTML 5 is supposed to the future of web development and flash is getting less popular for websites. Hence, this lead to the design decision of using HTML 5 over flash.[1][2]

In HTML 5, animations can be shown using canvas element. To ramp up my knowledge about HTML 5 canvas element, I started exploring the web for examples having clickable elements on canvas [3]. In the example, circular regions are created on canvas elements and the clicks are handled using jQuery and iterating over each circular region to find out whether the region corresponding to it has been clicked.

This lead to me reading up about jQuery, which I shall describe in my next post.


  1. http://myoocreate.com/why-adobe-flash-is-dying/
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_HTML5_and_Flash
  3. http://pterkildsen.com/2013/06/28/create-a-html5-canvas-element-with-clickable-elements/