The end is nigh

The last few weeks have been very eventful. Our project has finally (almost) reached its end and now we are waiting to hear back from our project partner if the are licensing our solution or not.

Just after the new year celebrations we worked on the Playbook and our own documentation. After many hours of typing and formatting, the documentation was ready. In the end, it was 47 pages long and it included branding, business model, front- and back-end plans, mock-ups for the UI, and dozens of feature ideas for the system.

Last week we finally had our final pitch. Antti spoke well at Mediapolis and we also presented an actual working demo of the product, presented by Aapo.

This week it was time for our final meeting. Our team, our facilitator, project partners and teachers met and went through our project’s achievements. Antti also pitched one more time: we were today at our project partner’s office to tell their employees about our results with another Demola team.

So, this is it. Thank you for staying with us for all this time and take care!

Cheers,

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Progress and struggles

Long time no see blogging world! Unfortunately, our blogging activity has been lacking a little bit lately but we’ll try to improve on that in this last month or so what we have left of our project. So what have we been doing these last couple weeks?

We planned our technical implementation and demo but then we struggled with actually developing the demo because our team doesn’t have so professional front-end development skills and time is limited. Luckily, that’s not a problem because our project partner, Oscar Software, is a software company so they don’t expect us to develop fully functional demo. We decided to document our technical implementation ideas on paper as a one example how the product could be developed which can be a starting point for Oscar. As a little extra, we also managed to develop a small interactive front-end demo using some templates found from internet which might be usable for example in the final pitch…

We have also created different UI mockups to showcase our ideas. We have different kind of mockups for different kind of end-customer companies, for example maybe a little more fun UI mockup for younger startup kind of companies and a bit more formal type of mockup for bigger older companies. In our project partner meetings, we have valuated our mockups and got good constructive feedback on them so we know what’s working and what’s not.

We have valuated our concept and ideas with interviewing Oscar Software’s real customers which are interested in our product. That’s a good way to get some thoughts on our ideas and also get some totally new ideas what customer companies have had in their mind. We also interviewed one Oscar Software employee and are interviewing another employee in the coming week to get even more feedback and thoughts.

Our team has been quite a busy in these last couple weeks with school projects and exam weeks thanks to an ending autumn semester so our progress with this Demola project hasn’t been a huge but maybe somewhat steady. Also one member of our team, Shakeeb, has been visiting his home country Pakistan the whole month so our team has lacked a manpower little bit. The Christmas is coming so we are going to have a little holiday break with our project but we are sure we are going to get back to work fully energized in early next year and make a good final push until the end of this project!

Our team wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we’ll be back!

Is Data Visualization and Machine learning the next big thing?

Hi guys, a big update about a relevant topic and some new information about the project.

We are currently living in an era of data. The world is so well digitally connected such that the actions which we perform starting from the terms which we search on our search engines till our previous orders in an online shopping website, everything is captured, visualized and suggestions are given to us in the form of advertisements of what we might like or the products which we might be interested on. To simplify it we are beginning to customize everything and show relevant data to relevant people.

How could this impact our lives? Yes there will be a significant impact of “predictive analysis”. We have many tools in the market which enables us to visualize the data. The tools perform the operation of processing data into a meaningful one. But on the contrary it again comes into the hands of humans to make decisions. There would be greater impact if we combine machine learning/ artificial intelligence ideas along with excellent data visualization tools. This in turn will produce a greater tool which can make complex decisions on its own. Increasing inclination towards machine learning leads to providing suitable or best algorithms for complex problems. So ideally if we mix the decision making skills of a human in the form of a machine learning algorithm and provide it with a tool to visualize the chunks of data, we can make the decision making process easier.

There is a long way to go to make something as good as a human in terms of decision making, so ideally human involvement is needed to make sure whether the decision made will work out or be successful. This idea can be applied in almost all possible industries. But from my point of view healthcare industry would be the ideal one. Since we have all possible data regarding a peculiar disease documented, if there are hundreds and thousands of possibilities which could cause it, ideally a machine with visualization power would be helpful in finding out or figuring which could be the ideal solution and which is the main factor in triggering out an outbreak.

So personally I feel, data visualization is part of an important aspect in terms of decision making and understanding complex situations, if it is coupled with artificial intelligence/machine learning capabilities ideally this could be the next big thing in the future.

An update our progress in the project so far…

We had our mid pitch event last week and Antti did a wonderful job in presenting/pitching our solution (The presentation conveyed ideas clearly so kudos to Antti). We received constructive feedback from the audience as well as the judges. We have started planning on our implementation phase and working on it as well to produce a “Minimalistic Working Prototype” and a document with our ideas in proceeding further with the development of Corporate Infopoint system. (Bi-weekly meeting with project turned out to be a good one, since we pitched in our current status and made sure that we are on the right track with regards to the project).

 

… Better late than never, right?

Last week our team had two important days. First, on Friday, we had a brainstorming session with our team facilitator Raúl. And on the following day, it was time for Demola Jam #2.

We had asked Raúl to come and brainstorm with us. He had planned three different methods for us to get the most out of us. We started with different themes (there was for example The Lord Of The Rings/Star Wars, Wearable Technologies, and When I was little I wanted to be…) and we each combined those with random emotions and then we were to think of a new way to combine the theme, the emotion and our infopoint. Some of the combinations were interesting, to say the least, others actually made a good point.

Next we wrote everyday technical objects on post-it notes, each of us had to write 5 to 7 of them, each item on its own post-it note. Then those post-its were placed upside down to the table and each of us picked up two in random. We then had to combine those two items and our info point. At this point it was starting to get a bit late on a Friday afternoon and our ideas definitely reflected that. However, many of those ideas might prove usuful as long as we think them through again and actually find the usuful part in them.

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The last method of the day was five scenarios or situations and each of us had to write down, how our info point could solve the situation or at least help with it or adapt to it. This method was maybe the most concreate of the three and it also gave us some almost-ready ideas that should be given to our project partner at the end of the project.

Fast-forward to Saturday morning, and we were back in Demola. Like last time, the Jam began with breakfast. Even though many of us had coffee or tea, luckily the first thing on the actual agenda was Wakey-wakey which did just what it promised. After having used different bofy parts to write our name in the air, it was easier to stay focused on the actual agenda.

Before lunch, we had some workshops. Team members could choose which workshop interested them the most. We could choose between business, art and media, green, management, and design. We had some time before lunch to discuss what each of us had done in their workshop but we are still going to go through all of that later this week to make sure we have every important idea written down.

After lunch there was many presentations. We learned about good storytelling, the mom test and how to avoid bad data, and how to make beautiful presentations (fonts and colours and stuff). There was also the part of the day which many had dreaded: speed-date pitching. All of the people from different projects were placed in to circles, one inside the other and facing the outer circle. Then, we had one minute to pitch our project to the person standing in front of us. After they gave us some feedback, it was their turn to pitch. After the second feedback, the outer circle moved to the next person and the pitching started again. We did this for five or six times. Personally, I didn’t feel it was as bad as it had first sounded. But let’s be honest, by the time we were pitching the last time, it was getting a bit exhausting and it showed in the quality of the picth.

The day was over around four, we got some snacks and time to discuss with our team. We made plans for our next meet and sortly after went our separate ways to spend the rest of the Saturday evening.


The contrast of surrounding colors impacted how well we remember the color pattern. In other words, color differences between the content and the background may enhance our ability to focus our attention on the content itself. x

Starting to develop something visual

Last week we had our biweekly meeting with our project partner Ilona from Oscar Software. The ideas have been sparkling up all the way creating an atmosphere a little bit too hectic, but fortunately our this weeks MVP (most valuable player) team member Aapo came up with the MVP (minimum viable product) chart that he had sketched. That was a beautiful moment of clarity to all of the team members, organizing our thoughts and ideas in a specific order regarding the project. We understood that even though a great part of our project is to create new and crazy ideas, right now it is essential to focus on the concrete prototype and discuss new ideas on the side, and probably, in the end of the project, implement some of the crazy ideas in some sort of way to the prototype. This leaves us the opportunity to start to develop the prototype technically but also the freedom to add our ideas on the go.

As we started to discuss about the concrete visualization, how it literally should look like, one of the questions was, how can we commit the potential users for our tool, to the data we have visualized? Why on earth somebody would like to use our tool? We have to make the visualization better than anybody else and create an UI that is interesting and easy to catch. What kind of starting point would be great? How can we develop a visual concept that attracts most of the users at glance, gives the needed information in a couple of minutes and leaves the info to the users subconscious? Let’s learn from advertisers. 

I know, most of the time advertising is quite horrible. There’s still a lot of good advertising techniques and most of the horrible adds are as they are for a reason – you will remember them. So as we don’t want our UI to look horrible, but we want to have as much relevant info as possible in a small space that is easy to absorb, we have to focus on taking ideas for how to visualize the data from the adds that are used in newspapers, bilboards and online banner advertising.

How adds attract people? There are a lot of techniques that advertisers use for required attention, but the most common are shapes, colors, positioning, size and iconicity (we are attracted by images that shake our concept of reality, in other words, when a picture violates reality, it draws our attention very effectively). However, as a part of our project, we are probably going to focus on the shapes, colors, positioning and size. Let’s toss the basic diagrams and graphs to the garbage can and create new concept with more simple and more committing visual shapes!


“Iconicity does not have to entail a complete surface similarity between a picture and reality as long as the picture reproduces visual cues that we use in real world vision. This concept is not confined to just to the content of images but can also be characteristic of their formal or stylistic qualities”

 

Two week update

These past almost two weeks since the last update have been hectic and not as much stuff has happened as you could’ve hoped for. That’s not to say nothing has happened, the team has just been so busy with other courses and life that wwe haven’t met as often as we maybe should have.

First of all, we had our Playbook meeting last week. Our project partner was there as well as one of our teachers from the universities, too. And of course, our team facilitator Raúl was there too.

We went through what we had written in the Playbook. Each of us got some questions that were more or less the same as had been in the playbook and then the person with the question explained what we had thought about it when we had been writing the Playbook.

After we were ready going through the Playbook, we also showed out project partner how we had progressed since our last meeting. There had been the Demola Jam #1 and Antti had brought with him the s****y prototype we had done there.

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Us explaining the s****y prototype.

We also told our project partner what other progress we had made since our initial meeting with the project partner. Alltogether, the Playbook meeting went well and we got some valuable comments from both the project partner as well as from our teacher and Raúl.

Like stated before, we have all been terribly busy and we didn’t have time to meet again last week. We did find a time slot that worked for all of us this week and so we met (again at TUT) on Thursday.

This time we were planning on discussing the ideas we had had since our previous meeting, we had posted those on our team’s Slack so we wouldn’t forget about them. We were also continuing to refine our ideas. We spent three hours bouncig ideas back and forth. Some of that time was spent figuring out the best way to prototype our ideas in the next meeting with our project partner.

Furthermore, we got to the concept of visualizing and what it meant for us in this project. All of us seemed very pleased with the progress and the direction of our project. The visualization part still needs to be worked on quite a bit but we have made a good start and know what we want to do next.

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A sort of tag cloud might be something we could use, depending on how things turn out. We thought this might be something a bit more “warm and fuzzy” and not just cold data and numbers turned into information. But this is just one idea we’ve been thinking about, might be those ideas run over the tag cloud, or maybe they don’t. We’ll know more about that once the project is coming to an end.

Hopefully, the next blog post will not take two weeks to be published and that it will be less of a novel. Until then!


Time – unlike money, opportunity or good looks – is the one resource that is allocated equally to all of us. No matter what our financial or family situation, we each get 24 hours a day. x

Introductions and such

So, our team has been active for a few weeks now but we still haven’t really intoduces ourselves. Let’s fix that right away.


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Hey people this is Arjun!!

Am from Chennai ( a big city in India ) doing my masters in Information technology in TUT.

I am a vivid reader of adventure / sci-fi novels and a part time story writer. Now am learning a little bit about photography.

I love to eat and try different cuisines !! Well that’s pretty much about me.


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Hi everybody! I’m Marja and I’ve been living in Tampere for a few years now. I moved here from the western coast of Finland and that’s where my heart will always be.

I am a third year student of computer science at university of Tampere. Before coming to university, I completed two other lower level educations, I am both a chef and a car mechanic. Besides just studying, I am in the executive board of my student association at uni.

I read a lot of books, especially those of fantasy and sci-fi genres. I also love (probably too much) tv shows and movies, as well as the Internet in general 😀

I love spending time with friends, baking, and caffeine! And autumn is my favourite season so I am trying to enjoy it as much as possible while I can!

 


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Me: Shakeeb ur Rehman Shirazi. I am from Lahore Pakistan. I love to travel and cook delicious food.

It think i am good in UX/UI designing and coding stuff

In this project i am looking to enhance my coding and UI design skills by working on industry related project. I have skills in c,c++, PHP ,java, JavaScript programming languages also have hands on experience on hyper text markup languages like HTML5, CSS3. I worked on web-publishing sites like WordPress. I am really motivated to enhance my communication and intercultural skills by working with talented and multidimensional team members. I hope everyone in my group finds me helpful and supportive.


img_20161006_110523Hello! I’m Aapo Tanskanen, Information and Knowledge Management student from TUT. Thanks to my studies I’m all about processing data into information and further to knowledge and making value out of it. My studies are also a good combination of IT and business stuff so I understand both worlds which come very handy in projects like ours. In this project I will most likely focus mostly on the concepting side and let the technical implementation for our team’s other talented coders.

I’m enthusiastic and optimistic about startup culture and new technologies so I feel like home in this Demola project and I can keep my creative juices flowing with concepting our product. I believe that in the end we will come up with something truly fascinating because if we have been able to send successfully a man to the Moon and back in the 60s with the computers as powerful as today’s calculators, anything is possible. Teamwork makes the dream work!


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Hi people,
I am Antti, almost a born and raised original from Tampere. I am managing the project as the first touch of project managing in software industry, so I am quite excited! (had to read some books about the topic though)
Currently I am studying in School of Management in the University of Tampere. I am bringing in some understanding about business concepts in the tech industry, also I am quite good with numbers and factors.
I love nature in all of its forms, doing sports, food, drinks and books.

My goals for the project is to get connected to the real world of technology industry, improve my project management skills and get a taste of how it is to work in a multicultural team. Looking forward for this Autumn with morning frost and fresh ideas.


That was us, you’ll hear more from us as the autumn goes on!