A Story of Beginnings

Written by E. Nathan Hassanzadeh

Week 1: Introduction and Brainstorming

The ever-so-wise Abraham Lincoln once said, “COGS 187a is a fast paced course, so be prepared.” Well, maybe he said that. Let’s just say that no one can really be sure. If he did say it, it remains an apt description of the nature of this class in week 1; it was exciting, engaging, and not much time was wasted in getting acclimated. Class-time tends to be busy enough that there isn’t much time to dilly dally over trivial, non-course related materials, such as making sure quotes are historically accurate.

Building a Team

Our group during a meeting. Pictured from left to right are: Ye Feng, Echo Ma, Yuqian Chen, and Nathan Hassanzadeh

On the first day of class we started right up into our first task, which was that of creating a group for our project. Proximity ended up being the deciding factor in the creation of our group, we met each other simply because we were sitting close to each other. Luckily we ended up with a beautifully diverse skill set among our members: programmers, graphic design specialists, and project management. Immediately after forming the group, we jumped into our first group assignment: finding a team identity.

Team Identity

Our team identity consists of two parts: a name and a logo. On the first day of class we collectively decided we were going to go with the name Lumos. During our brainstorming process we realized we wanted a name that resonated with the themes of life or light. We also wanted our group name to be something that we could use for the name of our app as well, so we all just started shooting out ideas until one of us said Lumos and we all immediately took to it.

Ye Feng working on a sketch for a logo idea

Next on the list for team identity was creating a logo that represented our team and reflected the name Lumos. Each group member was tasked with making three or four sketches of logo ideas before our second class meeting, so for the rest of day 1 we worked individually on our logo sketches. The next step was logo critique, which took place on Thursday of Week 1.

Our group gathered in class on Thursday and did a critique of each group member’s logo designs, to provide constructive feedback on what could be done to improve the designs. We discussed which of the member’s designs we liked the best, and honestly and respectfully discussed what worked and what did not work for the designs. Our group tried to practice effective critiquing based on the critiquing video we watched at the beginning of class. Some of our sketches are shown below.

Various sketches done by our Team’s members

Picking an App Idea

The final task for our team this week was to settle on an idea for the app we are going to create. We have brainstormed and came up with quite a few different app ideas, and are slowly narrowing down our list until we end up with just one idea that we reach consensus on. Currently we are thinking of ideas that can help people overcome negative habits or ideas that can assist the elderly. As of yet we do not have a concrete decision made for what app we are going to work on, so this is the first item on our to-do list heading into Week 2.

Thank you for reading! See you next week.

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