Story generator and mnemonics

By Mikko Mutanen — 


I was moving on from the analytical phase to the creative stage. Looking at the conceptual network of by brief and imagining possible solutions and ideas, modules and interfaces.

is the time to narrow down the possible options and make critical design decisions (this is the transformation stage) about what to include, where to go, and how to do it. I answered the 10 questions for the designer (by J.C.J) for each of the main elements in my design, taken from the concept graph. The outcome was a step-down list of all the features I decided to include, and also stating some things I needed to leave out.

The most important decision today was to leave out the story generator, generating memorable stories for every Kanji automatically. It is not possible to do with my resources, and goes contrary to the basic idea of mnemonics as a memory aid. The generated stories must make sense in order to be helpful. An algorithm cannot do that.

The story needs to be human. No point in trying to use the computer to create something personal. 

This wikipedia page about mnemonics helped me to the decision.

The next stage in my process will be to build a timeline graph about the 6 steps in the Heisig method, still using the same graph tool in NodeBox..

That graph will be printed out, and act as a concrete checklist of the individual modules I need to write in the production stage, and the NodeBox libraries they will use. It needs to be exact, and easy to read. Onward, ho.

After that, I will leave the actual production of my interactive Kanji visualization tool to wait for better days. Because, there is the poster I need to finish for this workshop. An idea dawned on me over lunch. It will have mountain plateaus from somewhere deep in China, and a foggy base, mountains reaching up beyond view. That would be suitable for an inspirational poster, but not for the brief.

It's funny, how the simple limitation of having a brief beforehand, and having to do a poster ...both effectively stop me from doing what I really want to do and what I value as being meaningful and important. That's the dilemma in following orders.

I was so enthusiastic in the beginning. Imagine! Finally a workshop that just gives you time to do what you really want to do, supporting you in what are good at. But then, limitations. Limitations assaulted me from behind, and dragged me down to the depths. Had I not learned my lesson yet? Freedom is an illusion.