reflection nora - Kuckelkorn/bubble-machine Wiki

Reflection Nora

Personal

I learned a lot during this project and used a lot of new techniques. Starting off I had never used d3.js before or even knew what it was. I also had no experience making an application like this with other stakeholders, you can read more about this here. I also learned a lot more about Git. This is something I still find difficult and just takes experience I believe. Its hard sometimes to understand merge conflicts or really see what version a certain branch is on, but it all worked out eventually.

d3.js

Regarding d3.js I kind of underestimated it. I knew things could get really complicated in these graphs but I did not know how hard it was to make a graph from scratch. I sometimes get stuck on trying to understand every bit of a tool instead of learning by doing. I think I spent a little too much time trying to understand it instead of just grabbing some code from someone else's project and editing the parameters. I think this would have cleared up a lot more than trying to just read it.

Design

I spent a lot of time styling the page with CSS and Javascript. While It's always useful to go back and do those things it did not teach me a lot. I used some new Javascript concepts like .match but it was not very hard. I used some new techniques in CSS but mostly I just went through it on autopilot. Its a shame because I could have done and learned more I think. Regarding onboarding, I should have started only when there was a clear plan. I spent 4 days making something that was then completely changed. I should have left it to a time when the plan and design was more set in stone but the deadline was approaching so I had to get started. Doing this I did learn a fair amount about how to approach onboarding screens on one page.

Conclusion

I learned a lot of new techniques in this project and I am proud of what we did as a team. I definitely see room for improvement on my part but this was something I had seen happen in other courses as well. Mainly getting stuck in the "understanding" phase of a new feature. I should try it out first instead of spending hours reading and looking at how it works. Similarly I have the same when I run into an issue, I will keep trying and trying even though I could just ask someone for help. these are things I am really trying to work on.

The team

I was very happy with the collaboration in our team. We were all motivated to do well in this project. Everyone was invested in each others work and they were always available for help or questions. We made clear agreements on code style and git flow but also when and how we were going to work together. We agreed that we were going to work on the project Monday Trough Friday from 09:30 until you wanted to leave. This way we could see each other and hold each other accountable when being there. This worked really well for us. If someone was not able to make it or was late the would tell the group via WhatsApp so we know what we could expect.

I feel like everyone showed the same amount of effort in the project. While some people were really good on the tech side others made up for that by taking the lead on project management or writing documentation. By using GitHub projects we were able to see each others projects and intervene when something was not working out for someone.

The collaboration with the developer and product owner

The collaboration with Marcio worked really well. He was open to additions to his API via teams. He was also available to speak with us about problems, bugs or questions about the API which I really appreciated. He told us he appreciated the feedback on his API from us and that we seemed involved in the project and asked him questions.

The collaboration with Yuri, the project owner also went well, I think. From the start he was positive about the project and the work we were doing. He had ideas about how we might approach this project and make a data visualisation. He was open to meet about updates and we met along with the UX students a few times.

The collaboration with the UX design students

Our collaboration with the UX started off very positive. We seemed motivated about this project and had a lot of ideas. The first week they showed an idea for layout which we incorporated. From that point on the communication was spotty. We did not really know what the other group was working on. Their project was individual so they had three designs every week. They chose one to show to us for us to make. From the start I told them I wanted them to think with us to design new parameters that are usable and understandable for the user, and step away from sliders. I also wanted help with the data visualisation and what kind of visualisation worked for this kind of data. They started on that in week one and then never continued. They did some research about other projects and presented a few ideas in week 1. After that they only presented new designs for the application to us. To be honest, I did not think this was the main focus of the project, I do not really care which combination of colors is used as long as the correct patterns and hierarchy are followed.

They also did not inform us about the amount of iterations they were going to make, which meant that I spent a considerable amount of time on CSS that was all going to scrapped. The designs were sometimes not finished, did not have states for click or hover. They added features that we built and were later scrapped. I understand that iteration is a part of the project but it was difficult if they proposed something that we then made only for them to remove without even looking at it.

I think part of the issue was that they did not understand the data or the model. They had a lot of questions about how the model behaves and what kind of data is in it. They could have asked Marcio to give a short presentation explaining it to them, like he did with us. I feel like Marcio was open to questions but they did not take advantage of it. They did try to talk to him at the end of week 4 but I think that did not end up working out, it was also kind of late in the project at that point.

Lastly, another thing the application had to do was clear up the parameters and redesign them. Some parameters were not fit for sliders since the number represented was too big and a slider would not be specific enough. They also did not do this. They changed position and harmonica menu a few times but kept the parameters in sliders.