STEM Visualizations

 

Project Name: STEM Visualizations
Company/Affiliation: Feynman Academy
Role(s): Co-Founder / Interaction Designer / Programmer
Programming Language(s): Javascript
Technology Stack: Metalsmith Web Application with Javascript applets embedded in static HTML content. Applets leverage ThreeJS, NVD3.js visualization packages.

Description: A working-in-progress, Feynman Academy is non-profit initiative I am working on with a number of colleagues. The aim is to develop a free and open educational platform for college and graduate level STEM content. One of the core focuses is developing digital interactive content that correspond with the content/narrative of our STEM content, which has been my primary contribution from both a design and engineering standpoints.

Design Challenges: One of the guiding principles for these interactive, is that they must fit into the context of the great learning experience in the website, it is not enough to have an interactive for interactivity’s sake. The first prototype concept for this project was based on linear approximations for the calculus. Using the text narration as a guide I focused on developing an interactive that would help demonstrate a singular concept that was stressed in the text. The development for the interactives was an iterative process, with user testing done at each step. The major pain point for users was to create an interactive that was simple enough to not be intrusive, and quick enough to hurt the flow of the entire experience but still effectively support the content. Initial versions of the interactives were far too complex in that task which users were asked to engage and this stopped the flow for users engaging with the linear approximations teach as a whole. Over three to four iterations the interactives turned into a more cohesive experience and were able to support the content without being disrupting.

Demo for Linear Approximations: http://fa.gh.l43.co/pages/linear-approximation/index.html

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