Archived Posts from this Category

Online Shop for Baby Clothes

Posted by chanxj on 23 Feb 2012 | Tagged as: Thoughts, Youth Activities

Its been a long time since I last post as I have been very busy with life. Maybe I will get back to posting articles soon later in the year when time permits.

Anyway a friend just opened her new online shop which is focused on cute looking baby clothes. So please go on down to support!


User Interface in Applications

Posted by chanxj on 23 Jan 2011 | Tagged as: Thoughts

Today, when browsing through my google reader feed, I saw this comic:

This really reminded me on the basis of why PEN21 was developed. The consumer oriented world have come to their senses that the UI to any application can either empower or cripple the people using it. Sometimes as developers, we really have to think of people using the systems we design as “Humans”, not just a mere “User” in a user case diagram.

Sadly this is not the case in the enterprise world. Companies and governments are still thinking of IT systems as data storage and processing units, not so much as things that we interact with. Top piority in any system design will of course be data integrity and availability. But at the very same time, we cannot forget that if no one likes the interface, its going to have adoption issues and bring down morale of the people interacting with it.

When I was at a hospital in Yishun the other day, I really pitied the doctor using the system in place. It was a mashup of various applications with inconsistent UI design. It was an application filled with text boxes and text boxes with no subtle hints to guide the user on the steps required to use it. The system also couldn’t foster communciation with the other clinics in the hospital. My referral letter had to be hand written, instead of virtually stored on tagged for my next visit. This is the huge disarray our health information is in.

When I spoke to the guys dealing with the EHR project the other time during my FYP, I got the feeling that the project was approached with creating a huge database, but not on creating something where healthcare professionals would like to use, cherish and allow them give better care to their patients. It was not something where the aim was to create a unified interface where doctors wherever they are deployed can understand and use. It wasn’t something that was designed to withstand a crisis where there is a sudden in flood of emergency cases.

Hopefully, one day the big boys in town will realize the inherent defect in the systems they designed. Some companies have realized this, but many have not as evident in our daily life. The problem here is not that we do not have talented programmers and designers, but more of having people understand the benefit of dedicating time and resources towards building a cohesive interface which people love to use.

There is a certain product that I market, that is very innovative, but does not meet my benchmark when it comes to UI. It has many functionalities no doubt, but it was too complicated for mere humans to use. It is good though that this Singapore company is bringing about change after much feedback,

There are many products I have come across that have innovated and inspired me that the future holds many great possibilities. That includes the iPhone and iPad of course, but beyond that there are many others. One of them is n-trig’s dual touch/tablet technology. The microsoft surface. The android OS. The soundcraft VI6 sound mixing console(One of the best mixer interface I have experienced). The Versonic mixing console(though I felt that the technology it was based on is a bad choice).

What is hardware without software? These very devices cited above would have been crippled if heart wasn’t taken to ensure that the UI was well built and loved by many.

Launch of Filmgarde Cinema at Iluma

Posted by chanxj on 28 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: Impress, Thoughts

Just came back from the preview of a cinema by one of Singapore’s newest cinema chain Film Garde. This cinema is the 2nd one for the chain and is located at Iluma, ibe if the newest mall in town which is opposite Bugis Junction, beside Bugis Village.

It is a great cinema with great sound, great projection, nice ticketing and food area and best of all Great Seats!

Yes! Great Seats, for tall people like me above 1.8m, I treasure the extra legspace given as compared to other cinemas. I think it has the most legspace out of all cinemas in Singapore.

Personally, I think this cinema would give Shaw cinemas a run for its money as their cinema at the opposite Bugis Junction is of NO FIGHT! This new cinema is one of the best in town, and can rival that of the nearby cathay offerings which are already very good. Plus with the promising mix of tenants in Iluma itself, it would be a great place for your free time to go shopping too!

Ok, enough rambling. Go and see to belive. Opens today! 28th March 2009.

Imagine Cup- Photography Competition Ended

Posted by chanxj on 07 Jul 2008 | Tagged as: France, Photography, Singapore Polytechnic, Thoughts, Youth Activities

Yes it has ended. Will update later.

Imagine Cup-Photography Category

Posted by chanxj on 23 May 2008 | Tagged as: Photography, Singapore Polytechnic, Thoughts

Today has been a crazy day.

First, I got news that my fellow committee members of the SP Videography Club have all been awarded the directors roll for excellent result. The whole committee of 7 people man. Thats news.

Little did i know that there was a bigger surprise waiting for me, and that is Soon Bing and I getting to the finals of the Imagine Cup Photography Category in France, Paris! This is such a huge surprise for us. So many people participated. Just within Singapore Polytechnic, there were more than 4 teams participating(and some teams had members studying in media and design courses) while Soon Bing and I, the art terrorists actually got through the the finals where the final 6 teams fight out for the 1st position.

For those who would want to see our lousy entry, here it is :

Extraordinary Out of Ordinary- GEMS TRDP Tutorial 1

Posted by chanxj on 11 May 2008 | Tagged as: Photography, Thoughts, Uncategorized

National Museum of Singapore-Where History Survives

I took this photograph at the National Museum of Singapore. What I wanted to portray is that in Singapore, it is extraordinary that old buildings can blend in with its new surroundings as the country prospers. The building may just be an ordinary one, but what happens is that it blends seamlessly into its current surrounding, and that is due to the hard work and thoughts put in by the architect during the design process. The composition technique used behind this photo is the rules of thirds, triangle technique, and the use of Blank Space. The shadow of the new building and the old wing in the photo gives depth to the picture. In this photograph, which is also the National Museum, I wanted to show that the architect made extraordinary use of clean lines and curves to shape the building. Futhermore, the use of glass panels gives the building a grand and magnificent look in the night. The composition technique used in this photographs is leading lines and patterns. The pathway for vehicles  and the cylindrical curve of the building guides the viewers towards the drop off area where lights light up the building in the night.

Singapore Polytechnic – The common staircases

Buildings in Singapore have many thoughts put in during the design process, but many people fail to appreciate the though put in by the designers in enhancing the buildings feasibility while not letting off in the design section.

This picture is actually that of the air vents of the stairway in Singapore Polytechnic. What amazing is that the architect thought of using the vents as part of the building design, and at the same time allowing light and air into the interior of the building livening the otherwise boring and stale stairways.

Composition technique used here is actually the Triangle technique. At the same time, the perspective was chosen to give a sense of depth to the picture by making use of the lines to allow the picture to show the continuous lines.

Some other aspects people always miss out is actually what the interior designers of the buildings have done. Over here, the wall has been painted with blocks of colors to liven up the place, where especially at night, where a blank wall coupled with dark lighting will give a ghostly feel.

Composition technique used here was the use of repeating patterns.


In my life other than my family members and friends, I have three other loves

1st love:


Music plays a large role in my life, although its not a subject i study. I love to sing, and play the piano. In primary school, i had been in the chinese orchestra as a percussionist, and in secondary school in the choir. I also play the piano.

The use of the piano as the foreground here has two purpose. One is to add depth to the photo. Next, to show my love/interest in music.

2nd and 3rd love:

Photography & IT

In this photo, I wanted to show that i am frequently in front of the computer(if not out having a life or photographing) , either post processing my photographs or doing IT related assignments as part of the course I’m in.

I used the screens to partly illuminate my face to give the mysterious feel, as in the cyber world, people seldom get to see my face.

These two photos were self taken with a tripod.

John Wood

Posted by chanxj on 20 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: Thoughts

I had just read a book titled “Leaving Microsoft to Change the World” by John Wood, and I have to say, the work done by him has just been incredulous.

John left Microsoft (the closed world) after a trip to nepal opened his eyes up to the reality of life, where many people are struggling and not given the chance for proper education. He started room to read, an organisation that “partners with local communities throughout the developing world to establish schools, libraries, and other educational infrastructure.”.

One lesson i learnt from this book is that although the path one walks is uncertain, we certainly can walk it one step at a time, learning from our mistakes, learning from our sucesses.

snail walking up pathway

Just like the picture on top, the determined snail(which is very slow) has a long path take goes on with the journey, the path we take can be long, but as long as there is determination, we can certainly finish the job/work set out for us to complete.

The Environment

Posted by chanxj on 10 Apr 2008 | Tagged as: Thoughts

Ants are a hardworking lot of insects. I have a friend called anthony who i will describe as someone who works as hard as ants.

Ok so why are we talking about ants here?

Today, i was the photographer for a “lecture” and Q&A session by Lord Nicolas Stern who wrote the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change (Although i thought that he could have travelled to the lecture in a greener toyota prius rather than a BMW). There is a point that i totally agree with Lord Nicolas Stern and it is that everyone has a part to play in making recommendations work.

If we as humans can work together like ants :) there would be so much more that can be done in conserving our environment.