Chapter 4 – Interstellar Visitor

Week 4: February 6, 2023 – February 12, 2023

Blog entry by Damian Xie

Summary of the week: This week Anthony Daniels come to our project room to discuss at-length the idea of a magic book/portal to another world. After meeting with the client, we decided to focus our storytelling direction on 2D, relatively simple graphic stories. Besides, we hosted 21 11–13-year-olds and their teachers in our room for further research. For technical part, we moved from projection to promethean display and Created a UI playtest in PowerPoint and conducted a preliminary playtest with ETC students.

Logo and half sheet iterations

Randi finished the design and draft of half sheet; the logo kept the original version.

Client Meeting

During the meeting with the client, we discussed the scale control and difficulty of the project, as well as the final storytelling effect of the tool, and we decided to focus on simple 2D graphic stories.


This week we completed the design of the basic interaction interface and imported the designed interface into the PPT for visualization and user testing. We invited some ETC students to participate in this test and get feedback on the readability and usability of the whole UI through targeted questions.

User Interface

After completing the UI playtest, we got two main feedbacks:

  • Rethink suggested interactions and presenter notes layout
  • Add physical interactions of some kind (not just those facilitated by the storyteller)

Design Documentation

In order to ensure that our design content had direction and focus, we started to write a special document to record all the design details, and with the help of the specification document we were able to better understand the direction of the subsequent prototype development, which was also an important step to ensure that the project could move forward steadily.

Equipment change

After a meeting with the client, we obtained new equipment support to replace the projector with a promethean, which is an 80-inch touch screen. This screen is now being used in the Museum Lab for the Community Garden project, and we found that ETC did not have a similar device available for testing, so we will use the existing screen for testing. (Think of it as a normal screen-only device)

Anthony might be able to help us test at the Museum. He will be there on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so we will find a day to test.

Use Example

Childre guest

We hosted 21 children aged 11 to 13 and their accompanying teachers on Friday and asked them about their favorite books, games and apps, and surveyed them about their familiarity with iMovie and PowerPoint. In addition, we asked them about their favorite museums and the contents of their exhibits.

In the end, we found that the children were not familiar with the two software programs we mentioned, and they were more likely to use easier graphic editing tools such as Google Slides, which we needed to adjust and simplify in the subsequent design for ease of use and user-friendliness.


We brainstormed about the existing equipment promethean and brought together the views and ideas.

Interstellar Visitor

Exciting things happened! Anthony Daniels, the actor who played the C3PO droid in Star Wars, visited ETC this week and was our visiting professor! He came to our studio and gave us a lot of useful feedback based on our current design.

We discussed at-length the idea of a magic book/portal to another world; the facilitator is almost like a magician, dragging assets into the world and setting up the environment as they tell the story.

Programming progress

This week’s programming effort partially completed the simple animation functions needed for our tool and included the following features:

  • Spinning,
  • Keyframe articulation,
  • Scaling, Position set

That’s all we’ve accomplished this week, we’re steadily moving towards 1/2, and hopefully we’ll end up with a result that everyone is happy with!