Reflection On Project II

In the last few blogposts, there was all kinds of information about a mysterious project called “Flowergotchi”. Now, the time has come to finally unveil the finished project! Yay!

Watch a quick video to see it or read the full blogpost to find out more details on the creation process.

Week 1

We started off assigning tasks to everyone. To meet the team, please check out the previous blogposts. Kenzo wanted to do the back-end, whilst Yentl asked to do the front-end of the app. Kenneth would take care of the hardware. My task was to write the API. No sooner said than done.

We created our tasks on Visual Studio Team Services (because we had to work agile) and got on with it. Everything went extremely swift and after a day or two we already finished all the work that was supposed to happen within the first sprint (A scrum sprint is a regular, repeatable work cycle in scrum methodology during which work is completed and made ready for review, source). Whoops. Oh well, why not finish the work for sprint 2 as well?

The time came to schedule a meeting with our coach. This task was easier said than done because she’s very very busy. But since the work went so well, it wouldn’t matter if we met her a day earlier than our original sprint ending. Thankfully she was really enthusiastic but she advised us to slow down or we would run out of work. That’s when we said goodbye to our hopes for an early vacation and started week 2.

Week 2

In week two an expo of the Industrial Product Design students was planned. We promised our client, Stijn van der Heijden, we would have a working demo by the time he would present it. The sign-up process was finished in week one so this week we would concentrate on the final parts of the app. Two pages needed a lot of attention: the homepage with the overview of one plant and the shelf page with an overview of all plants. The remaining two pages just had to be static images so that wouldn’t be too time consuming.

The expo got closer and closer, and our work pace faster and faster. Except for one thing. Our app kept on crashing at random moments. I can tell you this, trying to find a bug without any indications whatsoever is very nerve-wrecking and asks for a lot of patience. After placing breakpoints on almost every single line where anything could go wrong, we finally discovered the images we used were way too big. This is a mistake no-one in our team will ever make again because this was the first time we worked overtime. Thankfully the culprit bought pastries for breakfast the day after and a new tradition was born. Every team member would buy pastries once a week. This of course helped with the atmosphere in our little group.

Eventually the expo arrived and everyone who visited the Flowergotchi stand left with a smile on their face. We also got the chance to see the other Industrial Product Design students and were allowed to evaluate them. This was really fun and also super interesting. We finished week two on a cloud of creativity, which was nice.

Week 3

Like week two, an exposition was on the agenda. This time for external parties interested in NMCT. Uh-oh, now everything had to look super fancy because we were told we would get filmed and interviewed for promo material. Time to add extra features! A more detailed page on profile info got added, options to edit and add plants were implemented and the catalog page’s image got interactive. On top of all this, Kenzo found out how to actually scan a QR code. How cool is that?!

This expo was way smaller and unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to interact much with the other NMCT teams. On the other hand we got useful feedback from the visitors so that gave us some new insights.

At the end of this week we suddenly got loads of other assignments like making a video, a PechaKucha (a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each, source), a user manual and some other stuff. Thankfully there still was week four.

Week 4

Week four was the most boring week because we had to do lots of administrative work. Fortunately we still had lots of energy left so we put everything we had left into these documents and other items. One of the results is the video, which I put together using Adobe Premiere, at the top of this post (go watch it if you haven’t seen it already). On the last day of this week we had to present our work to a jury and even though I wholeheartedly detest presenting but fortunately my teammates thought otherwise. Because of their joyful spirits I calmed down and we all pulled of a presentation for a happy jury in the end!

These last few weeks were very educational and I will miss the team. Now we have to go our separate ways but hopefully we’ll meet again in the future to create more projects.

P.S. if you ever want a Flowergotchi for yourself, please contact Stijn van der Heijden because I’m pretty sure he’ll have it commercialised sooner or later.

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