PULSE – Completion Page

I decided to add a completion page so that when users finish the guide, they can see their total training statistics. This is an original idea that I have not found within any other plans, emphasising the amount of training that the users has successfully committed to. I have pulled in users Strava data and totalled up their total distance, time, calories, elevation, achievements and average pace. I included icons alongside the data to make it more visually appealing, I designed these in Adobe Illustrator.

Here is a screenshot of the completion page…

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And here is a snippet of my code:

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Collaboration

For my graduate project, I collaborated with Lewis Brown, who helped me with the training plans content. Lewis is studying (MSc) Sports and Exercise Science so has relevant experience in the sporting sector. He provided me with 15 week beginner, intermediate and advance marathon training plans. I added his content to my database and programmed my website so that the charts pull in the appropriate data dependant on the users chosen plan and the selected week.

Broader Context

My graduate project closely relates to my dissertation, whereby I explored how Strava augments the social world of long distance running; thus some of the theory can be transferable to my practical work. I have reviewed multiple secondary literature as well as undertaken primary research, gaining understandings into why people run, motivations of participants and uses of digital media. This knowledge is highly useful for the proposed project and has helped me to greatly understand my target audience.

Historical Context:
Shipway (2010) suggests that runners are now accepted as a significant sporting interest group in society, proposing that distance running in particular has become ‘a hobby, an enthusiasm, an obsession and for many, a life-changing experience’ (p.11). Thus this increasing popularity of running offers a rationale for the production of digital media products targeting participants of the serious leisure activity. Health and fitness has become a vast growing app category, with multiple running applications now available to download. My proposed idea will work alongside Strava, a contemporary, popular fitness application. Aiming to improve users experiences of running, as well as help to improve their fitness for upcoming events.

Social and Cultural Context:
The sociological concept of social worlds (Unruh 1980) is applicable as the website is targeting the social world of running. There are certain norms and values associated with the social world and thus it is important to understand these in order to produce a website that lives up to runners expectations. Due to being a member of the running social world, I will ensure that I use appropriate running language in order to verbally connect with the users, as well as appropriate visuals that appeal to runners. The social world of running is diffuse and thus not limited to a certain culture or geographical area, therefore I need to ensure the project appeals to the wide demographic of runners.

Aesthetic Context:
There are various theoretical concepts related to the aesthetics of my project:

Semiotics – this is the study of signs and the cultures that use them (Bertin 1967). I need to ensure that the visual aesthetics I use are easily identifiable by the running culture.

Data Visualisation – this is the representation of data in graphical or pictorial formats. I need to closely consider how to visually present the training guides rather than in a basic, traditional table.

User Experience Design – this involves studying and evaluating how users feel about a system (Gube 2010). I need to thoroughly consider the usability, accessibility and efficiency; continuously testing with the intended audience will thus be crucial.

Introduction to Xcode and Swift

Apple_Swift_Logo

Logo_xcodeToday, we were introduced to the programming environment of which we will be using to create our apps. Due to previously using java in processing to create our interactive piece, I feel my programming knowledge has advanced. It was important to initially understand the similarities and differences between java and swift programming languages. Using the ‘playground’ feature in Xcode, we were able to experiment with swift and see the results immediately. A main difference was the use of ‘;’ at the end of each line of code, also declaring constants and variables, and using basic conditional statements, and for loops seemed to be simpler. Here is an example:

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Constants are declared with the let keyword and variables with the var keyword. The value of a constant cannot be changed once it is set, whereas a variable can be set to a different value in the future.

A feature that is new in Swift is optionals, which handle the absence of a value. ‘Optionals are an example of the fact that Swift is a type safe language. Swift helps you to be clear about the types of values your code can work with’ (iOS Developer Library).
? = optional values
! = unwrap values
: = is of type

Here is an example of creating a class using swift, in this example I have created the blueprint for a person, consisting of variables: their name and age and optional gender.

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It was important to learn the basic switch from java to swift and I think this workshop was beneficial. Understanding these basic features are essential in order for me to progress my xcode and swift knowledge further in order to create a successful ios application. From this, in each workshop we will be developing mini apps, in order to progress knowledge and advance our skills in order to be able to successfully make the app for Salisbury Cathedral.

iOS Developer Library, 2015. The Swift Programming Language [online]. Available from: https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/Swift/Conceptual/Swift_Programming_Language/TheBasics.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40014097-CH5-ID309 [Accessed 5 February 2015].

Public Space – Weymouth House

By carrying out the group task of creating an Independent Dorset Poster, it has allowed me to practice with following an iterative design process, something that I will follow for my individual interactive piece. It has also helped as the information I gathered about the public space and the audience will come in useful for when I put my interactive piece in the space. Here is what I have learnt about….

The Public Space:

  • It is large space, with a layout that directs you straight through the space. People walk through to go lectures, but it is also a social area for meeting friends and grabbing a costa/food.
  • The area gets especially busy around lunch time, as well as in the 20 minute time period of 10 mins before lectures and 10 minutes after.
  • Various screens that are positioned in line of people walking.

The People:

  • Demographic is mainly students, and as it is the Media School the majority could be media students.
  • There are few Staff and Visitors.
  • Depending on why people are using the space alters whether they are likely to look at the screens – whether they are sitting down or walking through the space quickly etc.
  • The visitors are more likely to look at the screens as they are new to the space rather than students that frequently use the space.

The Activities:

  • Over a 10 minute period from 12:50 till 1:00 we found that:

-77 people walked through the space
-12 people bought Costa
-7 people were working
-21 people were socialising
-2 people looked at displays

The Visuals/Graphics:

  • The more colourful visuals gain more attention and stand out more in the space.
  • People are more drawn to the poster/screens when there are less people in the space.
  • Graphics are not as noticed when the space in busier.
  • The two main screens that are opposite Costa draw the most attention.

From this, I feel it would be useful to go back to the space at different times of the day to analyse when would be best to display my interactive piece. Also, I think it would be good if I were to further consider which screen would be best to display my piece on. When I display my piece, I will ensure I ask more questions in order to gain more responses and evaluate whether the piece was successful or not. Next, I will go on to explore prototypes, and develop my idea for my interactive piece.