Can we borrow bikes, please?!

Twelve excited interaction design students are ready to get their game on when we launch the very first SPOKED two-week competitive game spree on Monday. Problem is that we lack a few bikes…

Tina (@tinabeans), Benjamin (@bgadbaw), Prachi (@prachipun) and Christine (@cayanna) got totally SPOKED about biking when we announced the launch. They even picked out their color to paint the city streets! Unfortunately they don’t own bikes. Yet. We secretly hope that if they get the taste of the NYC bike life during our two-week game, they’ll be bike-owners in no time, and SPOKED forever.

Can you help them out, so we can get as many wheels rolling as possible? Get in touch with them or us (Carrie and Kristin) if you can!

We honestly believe that people that ride bikes are happier. They are beautiful inside and out, because there’s really no limit to what fresh air can do to a person. This is why we have created SPOKED – a service that helps you build bike cultures among your workplace and friends. Here’s a snapshot of the web interface, and a tiny circle of bike friends:

When you’re playing a SPOKED game, by tracking your rides with a smart phone, you get to make snazzy patterns on a map with the color of your choice. You get to share the patterns and feel the wonderful social pressure by people around you to bike a little more than usual. You’ll also get encouraged in the currency “smiles” to bike consistently, and nudged on twitter when your bike is calling for you to get on the streets. Most importantly, you get to take part of a little two week adventure that just might change your lifestyle forever!

Here’s most of the SVA IxD SPOKED team just after they got their color, prepared to bike and collect the most “smiles” starting Monday (3/26):

Follow us @iamspoked!

Under Construction, v.2

Oh yes, our SPOKED site is seriously good-looking right now! We’re spoked and proud that we have a working thing. We owe all database and javascript magic to Yang Yang. We’re also super happy that a few of our classmates jumped in to donate data to us. It’s very valuable to have more rides than just mine and Carrie’s when figuring out how to visualize and animate the rides. Thank you to Allison, Guri and Tina for tracking rides and sending them into a black hole. Hopefully our developing cocoon will very soon become a colorful butterfly for all to see :)

We’ve developed different views when looking at the map. You can go to a certain profile, or you can see one person’s rides versus someone else’s, like above. Yes, Carrie is beating me. Arrgh.

We’re using the most amazing organization and collaboration tool, Trello. Totally addictive. So very satisfying to move the cards from To do to Doing to Done. And I think it’s even moving us forward in our process. So that’s good.

One would think that when we’re that deep into code, there’s no turning back. But there is. Sometimes, when new features add complexity, we need to use paper and yarn to make sense of it all. Does it make sense now? We hope so. Cause we’re launching a prototype test very, very soon.

The Bike Pen

Our prototype is coming along, and we’ve showed it to a few people lately. Faculty members Paul Pangaro, Frank Chimero and Amit Pitaru along with our fellow classmates gave us a lot of valuable feedback. They made it clear to us that while it’s cool that we have this prototype, it needs to have a distinct world view. What do we want people to do with it? Bike more? Bike different? Discover new places? Bike together? Just draw patterns?

As our thesis advisor, Willy Wong, said: “So, you’ve made a bike pen…” He then suggested that we should just get it out there, see who uses it, how, and so on. We definitely want to get it out there, and we will! But we still felt there was this missing part, and had a longer brainstorm whiteboard session to find our world view:

The image displays our possible directions when we try to go from Bike Pen to something more:

- to get poster and/or become elite etc
- minimum 200 miles unlocks …
- visit all hoods unlocks …
- number of consecutive days riding unlocks …

- advocate biking
- recruiting

- nurture community
- nudge laxy people
- outsource to local experts
- reward/acknowledge

- poster
- share on facebook/twitter

- storytelling (photos, notes, places). Twitter/Facebook

- constrained time
- versus people
- currency: miles or hoods or number of recruits

- bike habit insights
(weather, frequency, night vs day, hoods)

- take new routes
- discover more of the city
(number of hoods, place suggestions by friends/SPOKED, info about hoods)

- group rides

- share data with city to inform

- air in tires
- tune-up
- change chain
- change tires
based on mileage, season, time

- bike personification
- “joymeter”

Under Construction, v.1

Our project is coming along! We are currently coding up the front-end using HTML, CSS, and Processing at The rides you see on there are our recent rides drawn in Processing. Carrie is pink, I’m yellow. We’re battling with colors. Yeah! However, these rides are currently pulled from a static files.

Our awesome developer buddy Yang Yang has written some scripts and done other developer magic to pull all our rides from an email account into a database. Above you can peek into our data. Below you can see the first attempt to visualize our data directly from the database:

And finally, we have a splash page up at The model has such a beautiful bike. But shame on that girl for riding on the sidewalk!

Tracking Instructions MotionX

If you want to contribute your rides to our SPOKED platform, please get MotionX for the iPhone. We chose this because it is the easiest app for sharing your rides with us on SPOKED right now. Below follows instructions for setting up MotionX, and how to track your rides.

SHARING SETTINGS: Menu > Setup > Share

1. Scroll down to Email share.

2. Set Email Share switch to ON.

3. Write your Display name: Firstname Lastname

4. Send to:

5. To keep track of whether or not you have shared all rides, you could add your own email address too in another field.

6. Set One-Click share to ON. Then you can easily hit the Share button after you biked, and your data will be sent to SPOKED immediately.

TRACK RIDES: Menu > Record track

1. Hit Reset track if you have previously tracked a ride, to make sure you start at 00:00:00.

2. Hit Start track. This typically needs to happen when you’re outside so the phone has GPS signal – when globe is blue & green.


3. Pause track when you’re at your destination.

4. Save track

5. Share track. With the click of one button the ride will be shared with SPOKED and your own email account if you provided that in the setup.


Please try to share your rides immediately after you stop tracking. But if you forget, you can share a track from Menu > Tracks, or Menu > Share:

VOICE COACHING: Menu > Setup > Voice Coaching

Depending on how often you want this sexy woman to update you on your pace etc, change settings here. The 3,2,1 countdown is kinda entertaining, so leave it on if you want to feel like a rocket ready to launch every time you jump on your bike!

Web Dev Stuff

Read the HTML5 for Web Designers book by Jeremy Keith.

Went through the whole W3C CSS tutorial to brush up on the skills. Took lots of notes that are in draft mode.

Will go through W3C JavaScript tutorial as well.

Considering responsive/adaptive web design as a framework, but unsure how our geolocation-based visualizations on top of a map will work if we take an approach like this.

Testing pretty simple stuff here:

Based on tutorials like these:

Not really working at all. Grrr. Will update all my browsers.

Let’s talk about the weather

I personally think that biking in the rain is pretty awesome – I can sing and nobody hears me, I can bond with the few bikers that are actually out there, and I can verify that my rain pants was sooo worth paying a fortune for. However, I still care about knowing what the weather will be like. I’d also love to see some stats on how many times I actually jump on my bike seat even though water falls from the sky. Weather impacts the ride tremendously, whether it’s pouring down or the sun is shining. We might want to add weather information to our service in some way. That’s why this link here might be important:


Two pieces of news from us to you. The amazing Yang Yang (developer at Turntable) has agreed to help us develop a prototype for our thesis. That is the greatest news. On top of this, we now know what our thesis-social-tracking-platform-product-service-movement-thingy should be called. It’s called SPOKED. So now we can call it by its short name rather than the confused long one. The domain is, because we unfortunately do not have $50,000 to spend in a GoDaddy domain auction :/ Oh well.

The name came about through collaboration with a lot of people. However, we definitely need to thank the creative brain and our studio’s systems administrator Frank Bonomo, as well as our very helpful and brilliant classmate Tina Ye. Yeah!


Having physical activity worked into a busy day without carving out extra time

Being outside and experiencing the environment and nature

Freedom to act on my curiosity, explore and experience new places

I express my image in the things that I wear, the products I use, and I like to create and document my life

Sharing the things that make me happy with my friends and being connected to something bigger than myself

Making progress and getting better at the things I do

Having a bike-friendly city and the feeling that I am doing my part to make the world a healthier place

Good design and quality products. Care about

Independence and transparency

Tracking apps and file output

We have been researching different tracking apps to be used in the prototype:

MotionX GPS for iPhone $1.99
Outputs in .gpx and .kmz
Share tracks by email (one button click)
Has live updates to email/twitter/facebook

Cycle log for iPhone $0.99
Outputs in .gpx and .tcx
Share tracks by email

RunKeeper for Android and iPhone $0
Outputs in .gpx and Google Earth (.kml)
Share tracks through website

MobileLogger for iPhone $0
Outputs in .csv
Share tracks by email