As you might have noticed, I’m still working on a few unfinished projects. Nevertheless, I needed to squeeze a new one in: The final homework for my visual computing class.

The instruction was simple: Use blender and model something. Sounds easy, but we are talking about a beginner’s class. Most students haven’t really used blender before, including me. So luckily, nobody expected amazing art from me. After all, the exercise was meant to help students to get to know the program a bit better.

I decided to model things I keep on my desk:

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Unique != Distinguishable

Had you asked me a week ago, “What’s the most difficult part about generating identicons?”, I would have answered, “Making them look good, obviously.”
Turns out I was wrong. It’s actually quite easy to configure an image generator to produce beautiful images: Take care your colors don’t clash and you should be fine.

The problem lies somewhere else. It’s obvious and easy to overlook at the same time: Images need to be complicated enough to make them unique. At the same time, complexity makes them harder to distinguish. Sadly, this only occurred to me when my image generator was fully implemented and I tested it with some strings.

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Quiz Design

When building a GUI, I tend to spend way too much time on style decisions. I’m pretty sure that there are ways to speed up that process, but I have yet to figure them out. For my Amino Acid Trainer project, I’m trying to make decisions faster by structuring objectives in a TODO list and working my way through.

My TODO List

  • Choose general style (modern, retro, funny, cute, professional,…)
  • Choose fonts
  • Find fitting color palette
  • Sketch layouts for most views (positions and sizes – no color!)
  • Decide how buttons should look (mostly shape, but also a few color ideas)
  • Color all elements on my sketches (revisions might be necessary)
  • Create images (buttons,…)
  • Implement most views with dummy data
  • Add missing parts

Doesn’t seem too complicated, does it? Let’s take a closer look at my objectives.

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