Music Controller

IMG 7267 from Lindsey Frances on Vimeo.

This music controller has six buttons that control music: shuffle, back, stop/play, pause/play, forward, and fast forward.  As an added feature, a toggle switch is located in the front that allows the user to switch between controlling a Javascript sketch and Spotify.

Key Commands for Spotify

For feedback, this plays a sound before the button press on the Javascript side. This originally had notes playing with sound in the Arduino code along with a speaker. It was taken out as a design choice so that the sound doesn’t interfere with the Spotify side.


Circuit Diagram

Laser cut file

Source code




For Toggle Switch –

Box Making –

Interaction Design Studio: Review 2


Color:  Color is used as an aid to make designs more interesting and dynamic. This can be done by using a few colors at once (with the caution of only a few), combining colors through analogous, complementary, triadic, quadratic or natural combinations, saturating colors to focus attention, and creating a mood through the cultural symbolism of a color.

Highlighting:  Highlighting is a way to bring attention to an area of text or within an image.  This can be done through the typeface, bolding, italicizing, underlining, use of color, inversing elements, and/or blinking.  Highlighting should be used sparingly otherwise, the affect looses power.


Constancy:  Constancy is tendency to view objects as unchanged despite changes in sensory input.  This includes size, brightness, shape and loudness. Constancy is useful for the brain because it eliminates the constant reinterpretation of a set of objects when seen in different conditions.


Orientation Sensitivity: Orientation Sensitivity is the visual processing of line orientations that is more quickly and easily understood than other line orientations.   The minimum recommended difference in line orientation is 30 degrees due to it requiring the less effort to detect.  Orientation Sensitivity is based on the oblique effect and the pop-out effect. The oblique effect is the ability to see and judge line orientations that are closer to vertical and horizontal orientations.  The pop-out effect is the tendency for elements in different orientations than the rest to pop-out as figure elements and can be easily pinpointed.

Image result for orientation sensitivity

Cognitive Dissonance:  Cognitive dissonance is when a person’s attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs conflict and create a mental discomfort. People will reduce dissonance by reducing the importance of dissonant cognitions, adding consonant cognitions, or removing or changing dissonant cognitions.  Cognitive dissonance also involved incentives.  A small incentive will likely increase a person to change their beliefs more so than a large incentive.  Cognitive dissonance can be used in successful designs and advertisements to persuade people by challenging their initial believes by encouraging them to invest their time, attention, and participation and then giving a simple way to reduce the dissonance such as buying the product.

Connection of Terms

Each of these terms seems to be connected to cognitive dissonance.  Starting with color, it can be used to create conflicting thought by not using the correct color symbolism for the style.  This can also be done by highlighting incorrect areas or too much.  Also, when the truth of constancy is pointed out, it can create dissonance for a person because it’s different than what they initially believed.  Finally, orientation sensitivity is connected to constancy and cognitive dissonance.  All of these are associated with optical illusions which can cause dissonance.


Good Interaction vs. Bad Interaction: Door Edition

We use doors every day and the way they are designed is a huge effect on us.  At some point, we have grabbed a door handle and quickly jerked it towards us as we move forward only to be met with embarrassment and feeling like a slight idiot. However, I’m in the belief that no one should feel like an idiot when grabbing the door incorrectly other than the designer.  

When a door has a handle, especially a vertical one, it is the user’s instinct to grab it and pull.  A “push” sign can help but usually this is not read until after the user has incorrectly interacted with the door and confused as to why the door isn’t working.


On example of this is the entrance door at Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA).  It’s has long vertical handles on a glass door on the right side when entering and the left side when exiting.  This is actually a good example of a good interaction and a bad interaction.  When entering, the bronze handle is easy to see, allows people of different heights to grab the handle to pull the door towards them, and because the door is glass, it allows easy visibility to whether someone is coming out.


However, on exiting, the same door is used but gives a different feeling. It has the same benefits about being long for different heights and easy to see.  This time instead of being able to pull, the user has to push.  The problem is the handle indicates a pulling motion.  The user wants to pull it and may just do that a couple times before realizing that they have to push.  It’s interesting how such a small interaction can evoke feelings of embarrassment and awkwardness.

In contrast, there are a few examples of a well designed doors.  One being a motion sensor door.  For a place like retail store, a motion sensor makes a lot of sense because it allows people easily to come in and carry out the items they may have bought.  It is especially nice for stores that have carts because the customer does not have to deal with opening the door and then dragging their cart out.

However, this is not necessarily the overall right solution. A general solution that can work is a hand plate with a sign that says “push” on one side and a handle with the a sign that says “pull” on the other.  

Another great solution is a horizontal push bar that requires the user to push on the bar which then pushes the door. This is a great solution for a door that needs to be securely closed.

Overall, I think by the awkwardness of a bad door interaction can be helped by remembering it’s not you, it’s the door.