Visualization App


Project : A mobile visual design application for entry-level smartphones

Proposer: Edwin Blake

Abbreviation: mobvisap

Brief Description: Design and build an application for a mobile device which allows small
and micro entrepreneurs to create printed and digital visual materials, and generate branding
(e.g., Logos) for a social media presence (Facebook Page, Multimedia Messaging (MMS),
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), WhatsApp).

Creative disciplines are fundamentally involved with digital media in the world today –
creative software, social networks and mobile interfaces pervade formal and informal
creative practices globally: enabling bedrooms or garages to become micro- recording
studios, fashion houses or advertising agencies, to name a few.

Our recent research shows how aspiring creative people overcome constraints to produce,
market and network their creative media on mobile phones: a fringe network of free
applications, low data costs, Bluetooth sharing, and real world communities which are
seldom taken into account in the design of creative applications.

This project will encompass the development of a micro-branding application for lower-end
touch screen phones within the bounds of these resource constraints. This project will be
split between team members and will include building

  • basic image and text compositing tools
  • a logo builder, including a vector drawing tool
  • include design templates (e.g., Facebook cover page, profile pic, mobile ad)
  • export to various image sizes for social media sharing and if possible, printing

This is part of a larger Nokia/Microsoft research initiative for visual design on mobile,
exceptional work may be taken further or considered for inclusion in publication
Computer Science Content: This project falls in the ICT4D sphere where the challenges
are both technical and HCI related. Technically the challenge is to make responsive apps for
things like vector drawing and image manipulation on a phone. There are also HCI issues
related to design and usability of the mobile interface.

Specific Learning Outcomes: mobile programming and performance measurement, user experiment design, visual design.

Skills Required by Team as a Whole: This project requires a diverse team with both mobile programming and HCI skills.

  • Theory: Android Programming, Visualization and 2D graphics, HCI, Experience in vector drawing and graphic design is a plus
  • Implementation: This project will include mobile programming and some graphic design concepts that might be unfamiliar. Assistance will be available.
  • Other: Similar software might exist for more sophisticated hardware, the challenge is to simplify these and present an appropriate interface for a lower-end mobile device and mobile-primary end-user
  • Facilities needed: Android mobile phones, access to users
  • Supervision: You will join in activities of the interdisciplinary ICT4D centre. You will have access to mobile programming expertise and will be co-supervised by Dr Marion Walton (Media Studies) and Anja Venter (PhD student and experienced graphic designer). Please see for more details.
  • Number of Students: 2 or 3 (4 possible depending on the scope tackled)
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