Sunday, April 18, 2010

What have i LEARNT!

Finally, my hell-ish final semester is over... I might not be Dante Alighieri, but I do have my own version of Inferno to tell here:

1. "Not Everyone Thinks Like You Do"
I remember this statement was told by Chewy Chong, the guest lecturer from Microsoft in one of the classes. I strongly agree with this statement that people just don't have the same mentality as yours. This statement had been proven over and over again throughout my whole experience in this module. For example, during discussion, great ideas can never be delivered to people without a good communication. You simply cannot expect people to understand your thought without proper communication. Unfortunately, communication skill is always my greatest flaw :(.

At the same time, I do realize that some people (not you guys from the class :)) often think too highly of themselves. They often label others "less intelligent" than them, categorizing people without even try knowing them in person. This kind of people often believe that they know others well but in fact they are not. However, there isn't a need for people to prove what they are not, life is short and there're simply too many important things to do.

2. People Learn the Best In Worst Situation
This is in fact the most busiestest semester I ever had in my whole university's life. I had at least one deadline per week throughout the last 13weeks. However, I believe only situation like this that people can be driven for success. I always believe that pressure is the healthy. Without these pressures, I can never be able to complete 2.5 applications, participate 2 competitions, and learning a lot random but useful skills. Also, only time like this that people will start to value their time, and hence learn to manage their time better.

I also learned that disaster tends to occur when group of great people working together. When one working with many strong partners, he/she will tends to migrate to comfort zone, and start relying on others. This will eventually turning into a negative vicious cycle, where people will soon gain more and more inertia, and finally disaster happens.

3. Opportunities Everywhere!
I have also learnt that, opportunities are everywhere out there! You just need to look for it. I'm glad that I grab my opportunity to join this module which I always wanted to join. I would have missed the chances to meet great people, stories, and other opportunities such as Imagine Cup, Google Wave API challenge etc if that one day decided not to join CS3216.

Some of the entrepreneurship talks I had in this module had strongly motivated me in many ways. I'm really thankful for that.

4. Besides of that, I have also learnt :
i. Technical Skills : Facebook API, Google Wave API, Microsoft Team Explorer, MVC2.0 etc etc
ii. Do or Die
iii. Stop Complaining and Do it NOW
iv. Experience > Success

Thank You.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

yourBrainStormer goes public (soon)!

As the Google had just rolled out the new public extension gallery (not the developer sample gallery), so is my newly revamped google wave app: introducing to you, the yourBrainStormer 2.0!

This gadget allows users to share ideas across more efficiently during brainstorming session. The new yourBrainStormer will have extra features such as Printing Outline, Real-Time Activity Tracker(show users who is editing), etc.

Besides of that, we are currently planning to add more features into this wave application such as the voting and videos/images embedding function.

Currently this application is still under reviewed by Google Reviewing Team. It will be publicly available soon! Be sure to check the extension gallery (on the links navigation panel on the left). For now, there's a preview version available here at:,!w%252BWMpghGG1M.1

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Project Case Study

GetHelp! is one interesting app. Overall, the UI design is good and simple, some functions such as "Badge" is not well introduced, which might leads to some confusion to the users. Here are some suggestions regarding the layout (homepage) of the application below:



The app basically lack the most important element of branding, that is the app logo. The logo of the app should be shown on all the pages in order to leave stronger impression to the users. It will be convenient for people to recognize the app, especially to those who are not the app users and happen to see in on others user account page.

The front page of the app is quite empty in term of features shown. As you can see above, I have suggested to put some News Feed on the front page, showing latest help needed and top helper of the week. This makes this front page more informative and hence users are not required to do extra step just to find out some general information. I have also added a box showing the users' friends who also added the same application. This can actually improve the stickiness as it reminds them that they are not alone.

The navigation buttons on top should be more consistent by assigning the same button layout on "Overview" and "Recommendation" so that they look more obvious. There should also be a link to introduction and instruction on how to use the app. Current home page design is a bit messy, having the form (for additional details) displayed on the same page. Users would tend to missed out the form below the main text field. I suggest that the form to be displayed after the user pressed the "call for help" button:

This light box effect can actually help the user to focus on the form better.

Next, the "Statistic" page can be improved by using graphical diagram to represent the contribution/score of the users. Nicknames can be accompanied with small icon, allowing users to distinguish the "class" better:

Overall, i think this application is well planned and designed in term of GUI. However, the actual user experience (such as the UI flows, content richness) cannot be evaluated as there's no working app to be tested.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I'm trying my best to avoid playing this game but it seems that I have no other choice. One of my housemates plays this game a lot and sometimes I really wonder what so addictive about it. My first impression on this game was good, cute and colorful interface, too cute in fact that it actually makes me looks gay playing it =.=

Here's my summary bout the game:

1. Good Tutorial. It is definitely helpful when there's a tutorial at the starting of the game. The game is not hard though, basically clicking up the button once the timer is up. Maybe it will be more challenging when I have to prepare multiple food simultaneously. There's one small confusion though, that is overloading of information at the starting of the game, such as coin system, food recipes etc.

2. Simple yet Pretty UI. The combination of 3D graphic with 2.5D background is amazingly well done. The in game objects are quite interactive such as the stove and the counter tables. The tooltips are simple and informative at the same time.

3. Good Gameplay. This game actually keep the players occupied by requiring them to take part in the cooking progress. Player are actually required to chop, slice, grill, cook the food by clicking on the stove manually and cleaning the stove after cooking. Other than that, there are lot of features such as character customization, restaurant expansion and etc, making the game a little more than just madly clicking the stoves. This cooking thingy kinda remind me of Cooking Mama.

4. Good SoundFx and Bg Music. The first time I opened this game, the background music really reminds me of the nostalgic Sim game which I used to play years ago. I'm actually quite impressed with the sound effects as well. Almost all actions performed in the game are accompanied with an audio feedback such as sound of slicing and boiling stuff. The sounds are useful where it can remind the players that their foods are ready. The bg music is good, but i hope they add more variations of musics as it get a bit boring listening it looping over and over again for quite some time though.

1. Complexity. It took me quite some time to actually learn how to customize my character and why am I black in the first place!? There's a bit steep learning curve in expanding the cafe. New users who are not used to Sim game will have a hard time expanding their virtual restaurant. I actually had hard time adding new stoves into my restaurant initially because i didn't know that I am required to drag it (instead of clicking on it) to the empty space. The objectives and way to "leveling up" is not properly introduced too.

2. Too Much Clicking. Ok, the first time cooking for new food was fun, but it soon get a bit repetitive and some time irritating that I have to actually click on each stoves every 5 sec. Just as i thought MouseHunt was bad enough (interval of 15 min), this actually required you to sit and watch the whole game as you play it. I don't even have time to read my email when I was playing the game. Maybe they should make it like Cooking Mama where players are required to perform certain gesture to complete a certain cooking task, instead of just clicking the stove.

3. UI and Layout. I think the size of the flash window is a bit too big. Its height is somehow to big that my it just wont fit into my firefox browser unless i put it in to full screen or scaling it down by zooming out. The menu options (toggle sounds, music, save game etc) are way too small! And is there a need to have a save game button given that the game is supposed to auto save on its own? The purchasing of virtual currency should be done inside the game, so that it wont interrupt the game when users clicking on it.

This game does have a lot of potentials, but it will need a lot of consistent updates to the game (in terms of new in game items and new game mechanics) to actually retain the current users. Take for example, the Sims , the secret of their success are actually all relying on the continuous release of expansion packs. Many of the current pc / video games are actually taking the similar path by profiting through DLC.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Build 115!

I know it's already ended, but I couldn't stop myself from finishing the whole thing!

New features coming soon for DR FOOOOOOOOD!

Cloudy cloud

It was an interesting introduction of Cloud Computing (and bunch of things bout AWS) by this Amazon guy on last Monday. I did hear about this Cloud thingy from some google video before but had totally no idea what was it about. I did a few research online and I found that this technology is not actually something novel or new, just that the same technology we've been using years being repackaged in new way. From my point of view, Cloud is just a giant server, cut into pieces and distributed into different physical/digital locations, with higher performance and (they claimed) better security system. IMO, no matter how they emphasized on the better security using cloud and etc, it still possesses and generate security concern especially about privacy and reliability. I'm sure this whole cloud thingy had brought a lot of attentions from hackers all around the world, giving them more reason to challenge the so called unchallengeable. I'm also wondering if it's not only provoking more cyber terrorists, but also exposing itself to "physical" terrorists. Wouldn't it be possible for terrorist to consider taking the cloud as hostage since MANY important stuff stored in a few (or perhaps many) physical servers , of cause provided that they manage to locate where they are which seems to be very possible for them since they can even put a hole in pentagon and take down the Twin Towers. I had actually found an article regarding the terrorist risk on Cloud here :

Could The Cloud Lead To An Even Bigger 9/11?

No doubt, this cloud computing thingy will be another BIG thing in the near future (or perhaps we are already there). The main question here is are we actually ready for it?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I must post this

Seriously, I need to manage my time better. I'm writing this now because i just realize i haven't reached my 1-post-per-week quota...

Building a facebook application is easy. Building a FB app with AI + Flash is NOT! Do you sometimes feel that you suddenly got yourself in a deep pool of shit and just to realize it is too deep for you to swim out of it? This AI which we are trying to create was supposed to learn and get smarter as more ppl play with it, but so far, it seems to have Down Syndrome where it still couldn't count its own fingers! I swear I read through all the research report on Neural Network and Decision Tree or whatever, but I still couldn't find a feasible way to integrate them into our AI...

Maybe I should just concentrate on polishing the GUI instead, let it be retarded but at least pretty to be seen.


Oh yea, one more thing,
I found this on the fb developer forum, for those who wish to use Jquery on facebook canvas, you might want to try this :