What, where, when: Team meeting, Demola premises, Wednesday the 24th of April
On the blog today: Plans, plans, plans
We decided to change the day of the meeting for this week, so that everybody would be able to join. When I arrived, Kamil, Tomas and Chau, back in Finland, had already started on some interface design evaluation. They had also come up with an idea which had probably crossed our minds during the project but we never seemed to pay much attention to it: an interactive, touch-screen community board. You know those terribly messy cork board in every appartement building in the first floor? (Yeah, I never check those either) I should have taken a picture of my Tampere appartement's board, it has some notifications from 2008 I believe.

So what are we going to do? Basically, we're going to recreate the community board, and along with it, the need for it. After the meeting with the partner last Friday we felt like the smart housing interface and gamification were the things we should go further with, and we feel that the interactive community board will go nicely along with the ideas. Chau will be doing some schetches based on our mindmapping during the meeting - I can't wait!
After Adnan joined us we started some serious planning. We have several deadlines considering the overall achievements of the project, the school course, the final pitch and the interface and now also the community board. Right now the greatest interest is on the interface design and usability testing. Janne helped us with some connections to Suuntaamo, and arranged a meeting to Tomas with a usability expert, who helped us with some planning. Now the main barrier are the schedules - will we be able to make the product as finished as we would like it to be in the end of the project?

I get the feeling that the project is going to get more and more time consuming towards the end, now that we have some plans and visions on what we want to see in the final pitch in the 20th.

BTW, check out the fabulous team t-shirts, we also got ones for Juha and Pekka from YIT and for Janne as well!
They have the YIT and Demola logos along with our project logo in the front, and in the back a QR-code leading to our blog!

Me, Kamil and Tomas working the t-shirts

Working hours:
Adnan 15, so far 67
Anni 9.5, so far 79.5
Chau 3, so far 56
Kamil 15.5, so far 75.5
Tomas 15, so far 85

What, where, when: Meeting with our Project Partner, Demola premises, Friday the 19th of April
On the blog today: Cutting some leads, following others
The great thing about Demola projects is that a team has a lot of freedom to design their own path towards the end, and still they can rely on proffesional advice and friendly guidelines every here and then.

We have met our Project Partner, Juha, for the second time, and presented him two main concepts we are working on - the neighbourhood social application (oh, come on! we have to come up with a better name one day!) and movable walls. 

The meeting went smoothly and we have engaged in discussions around the concepts. The bottomline was that we have to be focused on enhancing the market value of our ideas, and delivering the customer value to the final users. 
Our social app can for example encourage new business models for local companies, and improve energy efficiency for inhabitants by modern digital solutions.

Our concept of movable walls faced more obstacles. Not only we are having hard time finding right technical solutions, but also it is challenging to forge this idea into business idea with our Partner's core business activity. 
Hence we decided to set it aside for some time, and focus more on the app and its hardware.

It is always hard to do a NO-GO for an idea one has already worked for some time. But it is a tough world, baby, and nobody said it was any different;) The good part is, that we have a more clear goal now, and all our resources will be directed towards it.

What, where, when: Weekly meeting, Demola premises, Thursday the 18th of April
On the blog today: Interface, interface, interface... and legos.
Kamil, Tomas and I started the meeting at nine, and Adnan joined us a little later. We did some scheduling related to the final pitch and went through the Card Sorting results. In a short period of time we gathered 7 participants to give us their feedback on the possible categories. Tomas gathered the results from the data to one file, and during today's meeting we were supposed to figure out names/titles for the categories. We also spent some time thinking about the logic behind the answers: In which ways are car pooling and car parking related? Maybe I should conduct some deeper interviews on the subject...

After dealing with the interface related problems we decided it was business time and brought the legos in. Janne had ordered a huge box of legos and we got to be the first ones to pla - ehm - work with them. All of us created our own piece, representing some of the ideas of the movable wall we have been designing. They're going to be used already tomorrow, when we'll have another meeting with the client. I hope Juha Kostiainen likes our visions!

P.S. more videos on our YouTube-channel!

I made a segway!


Working hours:
Adnan 3, so far 52
Anni 13,5, so far 70
Chau 0, so far 53
Kamil 3, so far 60
Tomas 7.5, so far 70 

This has been an interesting week. We have started to work on with three different areas and we also had two nice happenings at the new factory. Our project is now divided into three concepts: flexible space, engaging the neighborhood and wireless electricity. 

The Mid-pitch

Last Wednesday was the day when we got a brief of what is going on all the projects in Demola. I was the pitcher for our team. I thought pitching would get easier after the one-minute pitch but I was wrong. Now there is so much more to tell about that again the time felt too short. 

My pitch is below this chapter, so go ahead and see what we think a smart home is. There were also many other interesting projects that have similar goals with ours, for example these: The Best Mobile Game Ever, Saving Green by Being Green, Urban Family Housing and Novel Solar Heating.

Design: the Future

On Thursday Anni, Kamil and me were at this interesting event at the new factory. Michael Hardt told about many interesting points concerning design. Many of the things were related to energy efficiency so the event was especially interesting for us. We were also happy to have a change to tell him a few words about our ideas about smart housing. It was nice to hear that he thought we are on the right track. 

What Next

Anni and I are going to work on with the touch screen interface for controlling the smart home and being active in the neighborhood. The next step is to do some card sorting and create more interface mockups based on the results. Card sorting is a simple method for finding out how the users would categorize the different features we want to include in the system.

We will work with Balsamiq for the interface mockups. Depending of how well we proceed with the mockups, we will do some usability tests with the prototypes, hopefully already during next week. We will need 3-5 participants, so if you are interested, please contact me

Adnan is the master of electric thing so he will continue his research about wireless electricity and Kamil and Chau will work on with flexible space. 


You all have a home, so you all have an opinion about living in one. Please comment our posts, it will be really valuable for us. 

Here is also a link to the Prezi-presentation used in the mid-pitch.

- Tomas

Working hours:
Adnan 10, so far 49
Anni 12 so far 56,5
Chau 4,5, so far 53
Kamil 8, so far 57
Tomas 27,5, so far 70
What, where, when: Weekly meeting, Demola premises, Thursday the 4th of April
On the blog today: Interface design and stressing about the mid-pitch!
Thursday's weekly meeting was a little shorter this time: Chau and Kamil had obligations elsewhere, so me and Thomas started the meeting at nine, and Adnan joined us at ten.

Me and Tomas had prepared some drafts of the interface since the last meeting, and we spent the first hour comparing the pros and cons of the designs. At then o'clock we decided to leave the subject for now and continue with it later during the project, because we really had to concentrate on the mid-pitch.

We decided some essential parts: who's going to talk, what are we going to show the audience, with what electrical appliances are we going to present it and what will be the main idea. After talking to Janne we also decided to go with the NABC model, as previously. Janne gave us some tips on the pitch - the main thing is to show the value of our ideas to our client and the future customers. Based on the tips we went through some notes from the project plan review meeting, and thought of the value to the client. We determined the values to
1. Flexible space
2. Energy effiency and its gamification
3. Developing and improving communities

So, these are the things you will be seeing in the mid-pitch on Wednesday. And of course the concrete ideas we have that we haven't yet presented on the blog! Don't worry, that will be taken care of after the mid-pitch.

So, Demola, Wednesday the 10th, 4pm. Be there, or be square!


Working hours:
Adnan 16, so far 39
Anni 8,5, so far 44,5
Chau 18,5, so far 48,5
Kamil 0, so far 49
Tomas 4, so far 42,5

I've spent the last three hours working with Balsamiq, and I'm thrilled! Tomorrow in the meeting we'll share our thoughts on the interface (and the program!). I decided to share a little sneak peek of my sketches with you.

More coming tomorrow!



Digital Living Demola 2013