Designing a Tangible User Interface - a physical object that combines electronics, code and a three-dimensional form.


Video, physical objects, Hardware and Software Integration, Prototyping, Conceptualization, Usability Testing, code Compiled package, framework diagram, game simulator.


reacTIVision, TUIO simulator, processing, sandblaster, laser cutter, vinyl cutter. Illustrator


Ggul-Jaem (which is a Korean slang for fun) is a tangible collective learning tool that helps non-native Korean speakers learn the language. The problem is language learning is often an isolated experience especially when it is done online.

Based on Natalia’s previous design research, which evidences that learning with friends is more effective, we created a new way of learning. Through this collaborative game environment, we hope players are able to stimulate their learning potential by engaging physical motion.


4 weeks


Team leader, coder


Why tangible design


The purpose of tangible user interface  is to empower collaboration, learning, and design by giving physical forms to digital information, thus taking advantage of human ability. According to a research paper, tangible tools have impact on children with dyslexia, through improving reading and spelling acquisition.
Why collaboration

Learn with a team

Based on research, people learn quicker when they learn with friends or teammates. Ggul-Jaem creates an environment where you can gather your friends in a physical space and use this tangible tool to learn a new language.
gaming principle

Distributing tasks

This game constrains the number of alphabetical tiles each person has, thus reducing information overload during the game and helping beginners learn quicker.
digital interface

Instant feedback

Pre-coded program gives instant feedback to enhance your gaming experience.


This project was designed for implementing our research finding from other projects and converting it into a tangible user interface. We briefly went over and shared out our own research project among teammates and Natalia's project, Hatch, caught our attention.

Hatch is a peer-to-peer skills exchange platform designed to create a more conducive learning environment for students by encouraging them to help one another. They found that learning with friends is more effective, which is a perfect fit for a collaborative game. Hence, we decided to design a collective game for learning a new language because language learning is often an isolated experience; there are potentials to help non-native speakers learn more effectively by learning with others.

Paper Prototype

In this video, we are testing whether this collaborative experience would help non-native speakers learn better. As you saw in the video, we ended up learning from each other as well as having fun. You wouldn't be able to experience this if you were learning by yourself through a screen.


There are two roles in the team-work distribution; the physical makers and the program coders. We worked together to brainstorm, paper prototype and create the basic set up. After that, we distributed the tasks according to our roles. Jamie and I being the coders, dived right into coding after we have all agreed on the basic interactions of the tangible interface.

Framework Diagram

Artifacts on the process

Complied code from this projectSketches along with the project Hatch--Research finding basic ReacTIVision Fiducials

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