Digital Tools are Our Friends: When Data Analysis Meets UX Research

It is interesting to see how digital tools and today’s development of technology affect the field of archaeology. In today’s digital world, archaeology meets a lot of “grand challenges” that are related to humanities – to be specific, people, trends, order, culture, and environment (those are my summarization for the 5 categories of “Grand Challenges”). Data plays an important rule in archaeology research. Since the middle of the 20th century, archaeologists collected massive amounts of data, and these help researchers to answer unsolved historical mysteries, meanwhile with a “multi-/inter-/transdisciplinary collaboration” to optimize the research methods.

The similar direction of thought exists in the world of art and design, including visual arts, interaction/UI/UX design, etc. Digital art isn’t a new thing, either. Since computer became a thing, artists started getting involved with computer graphics, photography, animations, and film-making. However, it became an approachable thing for most of us since the beginning of the 21st century, with the popularization of the personal computer and mobile devices.

Using Digital tools to implement arts and design brings convenience for creators and evolves the whole industry, but it also comes with a few issues.

One example is the research study for the User Interface/User Experience Design, including product design, web/app design, etc. Just like archaeology researches which also needs the support by other fields of study like molecular anthropology and material culture (Kintigh, p.10), UI/UX research also has this interdisciplinary characteristic – it mixed with graphic design/visual communication design, interaction design, and psychology. It is also an important component of the study of HCI/Human Factors. A product with a great UX will make us think the product “understand” you in both visual comforts and a psychological aspect. However, how to make a user-friendly interface? How to make it easy to use for end users?

To make the product “understand” us, the person or the team (we call them UI/UX designers, or even product managers) who makes the product need to study about human.

A faster way to study human is to using digital tools. One important thing that we need is data. Data comes from the experiment from our participants. Like any research, participants are helpful for either testing a product, prove something is right or wrong, or even find out some principles that could apply – like this example that I’ll talk about – people’s habit of browsing a webpage. Using the data collected from the experiments and applying data analysis, we will get a persuasive conclusion.

Applying Data Analysis for UX research

The study of User Experience focuses on how people will interact with the product, including websites. A great web design will make the content easy to read. Also, for businesses, the webpage layout should match the user’s reading habit, so that important information will not be missed.

A 2006 study by Nielsen Norman Group (a UX research group) found that an “F-shaped pattern” is the primary reading pattern for most readers. (Nielsen, 2006) Using the eyetracking technique, researchers collected data from participant’s eyetracking results for three major user scenarios – A plain text article, an article with a picture and a Google search result. They analyze these data and created a “heat map” that demonstrates the frequency of which parts are mostly being read, or we can say, which parts in the webpage are mostly seen.

F-shape example 1

The discovery of the “F-shaped pattern” could help the web designer, marketer, and editor to optimize the structure of contents, and attract visitors to read as more important information as possible.

While there are some arguments (I’ll talk about that later) states that the “F-shaped pattern” is not the only principle to follow, this psychological find still helped a lot of web designers and delivers a huge influence over the past 12 years.

In conclusion, with the support of data, digital tools, and the collaboration with allied disciplines, Digital Humanities will affect how we do researches in any fields.

Extended Talk: About the Argument on “F-shaped Pattern”

The discovery of “F-shaped Pattern” sounds very persuasive because the result is based on the eyetracking experiment from 232 participants. However, another study from EyeQuant has an opposite view and stated that designer shouldn’t completely rely on “F-shaped Pattern”. (Morrison, 2017) EyeQuant used the similar data analysis technique and turns out that they got a lot of new patterns in different scenarios, and these examples are different from what Nielson Norman used. Instead, it seems like “F-shape” is not applicable to online shopping and book flights or hotels.

This is not F-shape.

My opinion is, it really depends on the layout of the webpage. “F-shaped pattern” could be considered in some cases, like news articles, but not for some special layouts that are being used in photo galleries, shopping, etc.

Jakob Nielsen, F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content (original study),

Kurtis Morrison, Eye Tracking Studies: Does the Famous F-shape Pattern Really Exist?,

I am a Pirate

This is an article I wrote for my Philosophy of Technology (formerly Technical Lives) course by professor Adam Nocek as a Final Paper in December 2016. Since I will be graduating, I would like to do a summary, also a tribute, to my past few years of study in ASU Herberger Institute, my adventures of re-thinking about my future and changing major, and some of my thoughts about how to create and innovate in the whole tech and digital media industry.

DECEMBER 9, 2016

I am a Pirate


As the title said, I am a pirate, at least I think I am, and I want to be. What does that mean? From my initial observation of the concept of “pirate” to the change of thinking and decision I made in recent years, I am willing to talk about my view of “pirate” based on the concept of philosophy, the views by another artist, technicians, or whatever they are, and my personal experiences. In addition, at the end of the year and the whole 2 academic terms since I changed the major to Digital Culture, this is a great opportunity to share my point of view about my thinking of the relation between science and art, and how I think about my field of study and my future.


It looks like “pirate” is not a positive word. The definition of “pirate” in the English Oxford Living Dictionaries is a noun that represents “A person who attacks and robs ships at sea”. For a generalized meaning, pirate means “A person who appropriates or reproduces the work of another for profit without permission, usually in contravention of patent or copyright” (“the English Oxford Living Dictionaries,” 2016). They break rules. They steal things. However, the word “pirate” in this context is not a “bad thing” that without the respect of people’s intellectual property and the exact “copy” without moral responsibility.


The concept of “The Great Pirates” was come out by Buckminster Fuller, an American architect. In Fuller’s Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, he outlined the formation of contemporary educational, political and economic systems as the product of the energies of Europe’s sea trading interests, the men Fuller referred to as the “Great Pirates.” (Kent den Heyer, 2005) For the Great Pirates, they understand and know how to use the existing resources to gain success. For more specific, “He would use the science of ship building to amass a fleet, he would use his people skills to manage his crew and to negotiate with representatives of far away lands.” (Flemming Funch, 1994) Also, they have the courage to challenge the common sense and rules. “The Great Pirate knew the world was round when everybody else was kept in the belief that it was flat.” (Flemming Funch, 1994) The Great Pirates holds to their own views, even they are not mainstream.


Or in my words, the “unity”. Analyzing a thing as a whole is extremely important for developing a product, or manage a team or company. “when people know what it is all about they don’t need someone else to tell them what to do.” (Buckminster Fuller, “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth”, p.16) With the awareness of many functions of the ship, The Great Pirates could clear about the whole thing, like there is a gigantic control panel that all the elements, buttons, and organized graphs are in their sights simultaneously. “the only real competition they had was that of other powerful outlaws who might also know or hope to learn through experience ‘what it is all about.’” (Buckminster Fuller, “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth”, p.32) And the thinking of all, in my opinion, is a “unity” that should be the principle of making a thing that can be worked synergistically.


In Chinese scholar circle, there is a word “copinism”(拿来主义) presented by Lu Xun, the famous Chinese novelist active in the 20th century, that was used for representing the idea of “using the existing thing for making their own things”.

In the past, some of the people have an opinion the innovation should be done from the very start, in other words, the most significant part of the development is the core of technology itself, rather than the development based on the technology. However, in my opinion, sometimes the “shells” is more important than the “kernels”.

“Real Artist Ships”

Figure 1. Apple’s “Pirate” flag. (Picture from Mashable)

There was a “pirate flag” in Apple’s headquarter in the 1980s. Apple is a “pirate”, and their spirit of “pirate” affects them making outstanding products for 40 years.

Back to the old time, the user interface of computers is just a blinking text cursor, and user needs to learn the syntax for executing the commands. Learning computer by remembering the commands is tough for customers.

Steve Jobs bought Xerox PARC’s technology of graphic user interface and used it as their personal computer product Lisa for the first time. In computer science, a graphical user interface (GUI /ɡuːiː/), is a type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and visual indicators such as secondary notation, instead of text-based user interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation. (“Graphic User Interface – Wikipedia”). Lisa was a successful product, and the original Macintosh continues this innovative GUI design for the Macintosh operating system “System Software 1”, and added a lot of fonts that come with the Macintosh that was a groundbreaking idea that changed the desktop publishing industry forever.

“Real artist ships.” Steve Jobs said, “Picasso had a saying said ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’, and we have, you know, always by shameless about stealing great ideas.” (“Apple CEO Steve Jobs Interview – ‘I hired the wrong guy…’”) Apple didn’t invent the graphic user interface. In fact, they bought the core technology from Xerox and made some development for their product. However, that does not mean that Apple is an infamous copycat without the morality and innovation. The brand-new way of interaction with the computer is a revolution, and Apple changed not only the whole computer industry but also the desktop publishing industry.


Before I changed my major to Digital Culture, I was struggling with my decision for a couple of weeks. In fact, before I started my freshman year, I heard about this undergraduate program and it really attracted me. I read the idea of this program, the courses list, and of course, the career opportunities. I was constantly asking myself, why do I need to do just one thing? Why I cannot do the thing I love to do? Why I am self-restraint and have no courage to make changes?

Thanks to my talents and the passion of my life, I have a lot of things I want to do. I keep coming up new ideas, and some of them already became true, while some of them I am currently putting effort on. I love using a computer since I was a child, and I would like to do anything with a computer. Besides, I think I have talent in arts, design and directing. For software development, I prefer to design the user interface and user experience, while I also learned some programming language since college. I also love making short films of my daily-life stories by using the linear-editing software.

I was a Computational Mathematical Science major student, and I was trying to switch my major to Computer Science that belongs to the Ira L. Fulton School of Engineering.

It was October 2015, when I was a sophomore. That was a tough time for me. First of all, I need a satisfied TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language) to switch the Computer Science major to meet their prerequisite. However, my attempt in earlier that October was failed. I have only one or two opportunities due to my schedule for the test. Plus, I had some difficulties for my Calculus 2 class that also prepared for the changing of major, which I think I have a risk to fail.

Moreover, the most important issue is, I started seriously considering about my future that Computer Science is not what I want to do, and switching major to Computer Science might be a big mistake.

I finally made my big move. One year later, also the beginning of Fall 2016, I was asked about some couple of questions in one of my Arts, Media and Engineering (AME) classes.

Please describe your history with computers… Have you ever programmed before? Have you ever made and edited videos? Why did you pick the Digital Culture program? What would you love most to do after you graduate?

Of course, I love computers. When I was 6, I started to learn using computer and fall in love with it. It was a PC in my mom’s office that running Windows 98, and I enjoy using MS Paint for sketching whatever patterns and using Word 2000 for type anything I want. When I was 10, I surf the web a lot by using a laptop installed Windows XP. Youku (a video sharing website like YouTube in China) was my favorite website that has a lot of videos.

I was impressed by the magic of computers, the operating systems, and the software… Besides the Apple Mac OS X, its hardware was more advanced and allows me to learn some new skills, like editing creative videos using Final Cut Pro X and fixing pictures using Photoshop. However, I didn’t try learning to code before college. Although I am curious about the making of software and apps itself, I mostly enjoy and concentrate on the design and creative ideas of these apps. Until freshman year I started to learn Java, and I also learned Processing and Max/MSP for my Digital Culture courses, and I am currently enrolling a programming course that will cover C, C++, Scheme/LISP and Prolog.

Also, editing videos are one of my huge hobbies. I enjoy creating videos like a director, using appropriate music, add fancy subtitles… I often record videos during my daily life, edit these videos together and make “movies” about my life.

Digital Culture program is focused on the relationship between technology and life, and concentrating on the creative thinking and skills in many fields including code, graphic design, marketing, etc. I strongly agree that art and science can be combined and work together, and in today’s digital world, the “art-and-science” combination could make great masterpieces for people to appreciate and use. So, we are using some powerful tools and technologies for building, designing, and developing programs. “As new tools and new knowledge become available to the world of science and technology, they also become available to the art.” (“Scientist? Artist. Pirate! Who is Joe Davis?”) Students can make fancy products and projects. The DC courses, including this class (it is called AME 294, Introduction to Interactive Environments), also emphasizing the concept of “interactive”, which concentrate on user experience and the technology in people’s daily use.

I personally more interesting on the design of interaction and visual communication of a product, and that is why I choose Digital Culture as an interdisciplinary program instead of Computer Science that I found it is more concentrated on the technology theories itself like circuits, chips, processors, etc. “A lot of what passes for true science is quite incremental and doesn’t really change things.” (“Scientist? Artist. Pirate! Who is Joe Davis?”) The new idea for me is more important, while I didn’t mean that these are not important when making a product.

In addition, I personally would like to engage in technology companies and become an interaction designer for the products like apps or even larger interactive systems, to make these cool things with a fantastic user interface and user experiences.


After a year of study, I would like to add some of my new points about why I prefer Digital Culture program and want to be a “pirate”. In recent years, there is a new concept called “building blocks of innovation” that inspired me for my thinking of how I really want to do. For more specific, this kind of innovation is using the existing technologies and combine them as a new product with new ideas for implementing new functions. Joe Davis also believes that “Creativity is the ability to put things together in new ways”. (“Scientist? Artist. Pirate! Who Is Joe Davis?”) I also had some discussion with my friends which is the same major as me, and some of their opinion that makes sense for me. Digital Culture teaches a lot of areas of technology. We have a responsibility to understand, or just get familiar with at least a little bit, but a wide-range of each technology. That will help us to make products that are usable, more efficient for running, user-friendly and even saving more energy, while guarantees the quality. Back to the discussion of The Great Pirates. They knew many functions of the ship, so they can handle the “technology” of their ship and made their management as a unity.


2016 was the best year ever for me. I keep doing the things I love. I do visual art programming; I do the “combination-of-art-and-science” things, I make arts interactive.

Of course, in my field of study, there have some differences between the professional study of computer science or electrical engineering, and my field of study has some limitations while I wanna realize some of my ideas. While I am responsible to familiar with the existing technologies and use these technologies to make new things, the problem is we might have more obstacles when we want to, or coming out some ideas about the new technologies that they do not currently exist. In addition, when we thinking about making a new product, we might have difficulties in choosing which kind of technologies that are better for us to use. We might use the wrong technology, and they cannot realize our ideas, or they can, but with unsatisfying results.

However, I personally think that makes sense for me. First of all, making new things by using existing technologies that I treated as materials are the thing I love to do, and that is my personal choice. However, the most significant point is, we cannot make big things without the power of the support by another. In other words, we need collaboration.

During the study process of building projects in my study of Digital Culture, we usually make groups for our projects, and each group members have their own tasks that depend on their strength of talent. For example, I personally good at graphic design and programming in Max 7, so I basically do the coding in Max and design the user interface; and, for the project that needs music, I prefer making a group with someone who is good at music producing and using MIDI keyboard.


Be a pirate is my destiny. Inspired by Buckminster Fuller, Steve Jobs, and Joe Davis, and my observation for the relation between arts and sciences, I will make my step further on my ship and be a great pirate.


Pirate. (n.d.). In the English Oxford Living Dictionaries. Retrieved from

Heyer, Kent den, R. (2005) Buckminster Fuller’s “Great Pirates: An investigation into Narrative Analysis in World History Courses. World History Connected. Retrieved from

Funch, F. (7 December 1994). The Great Pirates. Retrieved from

Fuller, R. Buckminster. Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (Page 32). The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller. Kindle Edition.

Fuller, R. Buckminster. Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (Page 16). The Estate of R. Buckminster Fuller. Kindle Edition.

“Graphic User Interface – Wikipedia.” Wikipedia. Retrieved from

Apple CEO Steve Jobs Interview – “I hired the wrong guy…” . Retrieved from

Scientist? Artist. Pirate! Who Is Joe Davis? . Retrieved from

The cover photo on this page is retrieved from an article from The Verge:
Macintosh designer is selling $1,900 replicas of Apple’s legendary pirate flag,

Building My Design Gallery.

Since this site,, is my primary website as a blog site and a portfolio includes multiple types of projects, I also thought that I need a place that looks like a gallery to highlight only my Graphic Design, web and UI/UX/Interaction Design skills, just like I did for my videos by doing a YouTube channel, coding projects on GitHub, and Processing sketches on OpenProcessing.

Behance, a creative community network by Adobe, is a great place for people who get involved in creative industries like designers, animator, and artists, to promote their works and discover more people and their talents.

I’m always a heavy user of the Adobe services and their software, especially Experience Design, Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Muse, which is a web design tool that I’m currently learning. Also, 95% of my design works was created by using Adobe suite.

Therefore, Behance should be, without a doubt, the best place for me to combine all my design works together as a showcase, or I call it a “Design Gallery”.

There are two major differences between the gallery and this site.

  1. Like I said, the gallery will only focus on my Graphic Design, Web design, and UI/UX design for apps.
  2. In this site, I will sort my works by organizations/projects. For instance, for the SoDA Branding and Marketing project post, I put everything about SoDA stuff in one article. However, in Behance, each of my work will be shown individually – it means that every single work, like the flyer, logo design, banner, web design, etc. will be listed one by one.

Adobe also offers a powerful website builder, Adobe Portfolio, that is adhesively connected to Behance and allows you to make better web pages, and show your Behance posts in the meantime. Since this site is still my premier website, I will try the Adobe Portfolio thing that might allow me to build a better design gallery.

I will constantly update my Behance gallery by updating my past design works since mid-2016, and I’m also really excited and looking forward to making more sophisticated and excellent design works in 2018.


Tool used

  • Adobe Behance
  • Adobe Portfolio
  • Adobe Suite

My Paperless Dream: A Journey of Taking Notes in Digital | PART 1

Nowadays, we are living in a digital world. Tablets, laptops, and smartphones are essentials that we cannot live without. Plus, of course, they changed people’s way of entertainment, business, and for college students, study.

Going paperless is not an untouchable dream for people anymore. Instead, it is a trend that must be happened with the popularity of digital daily devices. Almost every college students have a laptop. As a Sun Devil, we check our grade on our MyASU page, download and upload our assignment through the Blackboard. We do video editing, graphic design, programming, and 3D-modeling, etc. It seems that we are doing everything using our laptop.

Or, we can use a tablet. And of course, a lot of people have a tablet. Maybe tablets are not as powerful as a laptop that you cannot do something on it, but something that tablet can do, but laptop can’t. For example, those are portable so we can even use it as a camera; we can play games using the gyroscope and touch screen that provides a new way of interaction; we can even drawing on the tablet and taking notes.

Wait – taking notes? It sounds interesting and cool, but I didn’t even try it…

Just kidding. Actually, I already tried it, and have used my iPad Pro for daily note taking for more than 1 year. Today, I’m celebrating the 1-year anniversary of my 9.7-inch iPad Pro that is one of the most significant tech gadgets that changed my life, and also, this blog is a review of my long-term discovery and experience of paperless note-taking and document processing in the past 5 years. I will tell my story with the different kind of devices I have used (and some of them are right now obsoleted), and my observation of the changing status of the tablet market and people’s views of the paperless officing. (Note: This is not a complete tech review for the products I used, but I will emphasize my feeling as a perspective of a user.)



Back in 2010, I was addicted on drawing and sketching on my iPad (1st generation). While I was a middle school student, I didn’t use digital devices for studying a lot, so basically, those devices, including my iMac and iPad, were used for entertainment, including games, videos, and of course, apps for creative drawing.

In May 2012, when I got the new iPad with retina display, I realized that it should be a great device as a reader. Instead of playing games, I spent more times reading magazines, newspapers, and eBooks. I also downloaded an app for reading and editing PDF documents that user can add comments and highlights on the PDF documents we imported (I forgot the name of that app). That was the first time I’m thinking about “doing writing and highlighting on an iPad could be a good idea”.

I bought a case that came with a free “pen” – a stylus, and a stylus holder on that case. Of course, that stylus is just a pen-like thing with a soft nib that is responsible for Apple’s Multi-Touch screen (see Figure 1~2). The stylus works fine, but the experience of doing regular writing and sketching on the iPad was not as good as I expected. First, the nib feels weird during writing that it is so soft, and sometimes has huge frictions with the screen if the screen is dirty. Second, there’s no palm rejection because it is not a Bluetooth stylus (I didn’t even do a lot of research of Bluetooth styluses in 2012). Some apps have built-in palm rejection (I also forgot what app did I use), but I still feel not really comfortable, compared with the natural writing on a real paper. Overall, my first attempt at paperless writing was basically failed. I still draw on my iPad for fun, but that’s it.


Figure 1. The stylus (the second one).


Figure 2. Highlighting a newspaper in PDF using that stylus.



2014 was a remarkable year for me – I’m going to be a college student! In that summer before my freshman year, I got a birthday present from one of my mother’s friend. It was an iPad mini 2 (unveiled in late 2013). I was excited, while I was having no idea how can I use this in my daily life.

I was thinking, maybe I need to do something using this iPad for productivity, not only for entertainment. During that summer, I was preparing for college, and read a lot of documents from the ASU website. Many of those documents are in .pdf format, so I am able to download those files and open in third-party apps. I purchased an app called “GoodNotes“, and suddenly, I was thinking about the same thing that I did 2 years ago. However, this time, I started doing some researches about “the pens that can write on the iPad”. In 2014, there were already a lot of stylus products, especially with Bluetooth for palm rejection and even pressure sensitive, on the market.



Before I finished the first semester of my freshman year, I stopped using my Adonit Jot Script just after a few weeks since I bought it, and back to the age of notebooks and paper. It cannot replace the traditional note-taking at all because of its own imperfection, so I need to find out a better product in the stylus market. Also, some of my handwritten assignment need to be written on a normal college-ruled paper, so a complete paperless officing was not applied for me as a college student.

However, it doesn’t mean that I DON’T NEED paperless officing and get rid of the paperless lifestyle. Indeed, writing on a tablet looks like I’m a cool tech guy living in the future.  The significance is, its advantages compared with the traditional way are really helpful for improving productivity.

Question. Why paperless? 

The main reason why it is productive is its natural digital genes. I mean, besides writing and erasing, we can also simply undo and redo, and even drag our paragraphs (it was really helpful when I think my note looks not tidy enough). Also, we can add multimedia in our note, like a photo of professor’s whiteboard and voice recording, or simply add hyperlinks to the note so the note can be more vivid and interactive.

Another benefit of digital notes is we can access and/or edit our note anywhere. Imagine that I make notes on my iPad, and it saved in my Google Drive or OneDrive, so I can just open my notes on my laptop if I don’t want to edit it but need to see those notes when I am doing WebAssign homework or writing essays. Even though you don’t have your devices with you, you can go to the library and view or download your notes from the cloud.

So, go digital is great, but do we really need to write using a “pen” for taking notes? Are there any other options? I was trying to take notes without a pen – I mean, just typing. And how? There’s a lot of articles criticizing how bad taking note using the laptop is, but I still tried it by myself.

It sucks, especially in my math class – I can’t type the math equations easily in my calculus or physics class. The fact is, jot down an equation is easier than typing.

Also, typing cannot help me concentrate on what the lecturer is talking about, and constantly making typos on my notes with limited and even wrong autocorrect is annoying that distracts me a lot during the class.

Another reason why typing is not good for classes is etiquette. Looking at the laptop screen and typing when the professor is talking to us looks like I’m not listening to him/her, even though I do. Handwriting, which is a traditional way of note-taking, seems more acceptable. My professor in Introduction to Art class didn’t even allow us to use the laptop during the class.

Therefore, I was trying to find a way that I can not only enjoy the convenience of digital devices and services when taking notes but also get rid of those disadvantages of keyboard note-taking. It seems that the combination of stylus + tablet is a great solution, and it is cool.

It’s 2014. Welcome to the future.


CHAPTER 1: Jot Script + iPad mini 2, October 2014 ~ November 2014

I’ve heard about the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, which has a fancy stylus and considered to be “a tablet that can replace your laptop”, yet also an iPad competitor. However, since I’m a hardcore Apple fan and just got my new iPad mini 2, I started doing researches on stylus products and solutions for iPad.

On October 2014, I bought an Adonit Jot Script (1st generation) Bluetooth stylus (see figure 3) for my iPad mini and officially started trying to get rid of my college-ruled papers. This stylus is also an “Evernote edition” that is compatible with its companion app “Penultimate” developed by Evernote. I was expecting that this kind of Bluetooth stylus could provide a better experience with palm rejection and precise handwriting and drawing.


Figure 3. Adonit Jot Script 1.0 Stylus.

However, the result is disappointing.

The feeling of the nib hitting the glass feels weird a little bit, but it’s understandable because I was writing on a glass. It also makes noises, so it feels weird if I use this in some classes that are just a few classmates and quiet.

The main problem is, the inking result is unsatisfying. It’s unprecise that makes my writing looks ugly. Sometimes it even has no response. When I’m taking notes and just do basic writing on my iPad using GoodNotes, I constantly lost my strokes and I need to rewrite them again, maybe again and again. I also tried both regular mode and the “zoom-in and write” mode in GoodNotes App, and I found that zoom-in is better than writing in a smaller size in regular mode, but still not perfect. You can customize your holding position in order to get a better result. I set the holding position to my preferred one as a right-handed, but it did not improve the handwriting significantly. Then, I tried a few other holding positions, but helpless. I tried a lot of apps, including GoodNotes, ZoomNotes, and even Penultimate, but the same issue happens. The palm rejection is fine, but sometimes it has an issue that some dots or short lines inked under my palm. Overall, the writing experience is way far from a substitution of writing on a real paper.

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 5.32.09 PM

Figure 4. A “just-fine” sketch using GoodNotes App + Jot Script.

Evernote Penultimate Sketch 1.png

Figure 5-1. The unsatisfying results of my sketches using Evernote Penultimate + Jot Script. The handwriting looks meh, and the palm rejection seems not working well as promised. (Sorry for the profanity)

Evernote Penultimate Sketch 2.png

Figure 5-2. Malfunctioning of not only the palm rejection but also the handwriting itself. Strokes are significantly missing.

On the market, this edition of the Jot Script product (1-st gen) received a low user satisfaction rate. As of September 2018, it has a 2.9 out of 5 stars rating.

So far, it seems that it has technical difficulties in replacing my traditional way of note-taking. It has a good concept, but its own imperfections are affecting my productivity, while this kind of digital note-taking solution is supposed to make things more productive and convenient. Therefore, I stopped using the Jot Script and my iPad mini as daily note-taking devices.

However, it didn’t mean that I’m giving up. The advancement of technology needs time, and the market for styluses are growing with the popularization of tablets and the needs of art, business, or study like I am doing. My Journey did not stop yet.






  • Previous Generation Styluses,
  • Adonit Jot Script Evernote Edition Fine Point Precision Stylus for iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPhone [Previous Generation],
  • Adonit Jot Script Evernote Edition Fine Point Precision Stylus for iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPhone [Previous Generation],
  • Penultimate – Evernote,


  • October 12, 2018
    • Update categories and tags.
  • September 24, 2018
    • Added contents for my experiences of using Evernote Penultimate;
    • Added more details;
    • Added more thoughts;
    • Added more information for reference;
    • Added more hyperlinks;
    • Improved some sentences for avoiding confusion;
    • Fixed grammar mistakes;
    • Aligned center for the image captions.

To the start of my personal website

Late-March 2017 for me is groundbreaking.

– On March 20th, I updated my resume version 3.0;

– On March 26th, my Google AdSense account was approved for the monetization of my YouTube channel. It means that I’m about to start earning money using my video editing talent;

– On today, March 28th, I’m starting building my personal website.

In the past few years, my life has been brightened by many things that I’m putting passions on them, and I appreciate those things I love and enjoy that shaped my lifestyle and determining my orientation of major and careers.

However, here’s the thing. Until today, I do not have a space that can show me all of my works, and all of my efforts, to the rest of the world. Over the past year, I’m completing my portfolios, and of course, updating my portfolios with my new works and products. You can see them on many platforms, including YouTube, Adobe Portfolio, Behance, and soon I’ll complete my GitHub for my software and digital arts products. The problem is, how can I integrate and manage everything in one place that produced using different software (so I don’t need to worry about upload my Microsoft Office Publisher work on the Adobe Portfolio), also with blogs that I can fully express my ideas, and even make this place decorated in the style I prefer, to show my characteristics and ideas?

That’s why I make this place.

Today is a significant start. In the next few weeks, I’ll constantly update my works and write something here, while I’ll keep going forward to make more fantastic things that I love, and you might love them, too.

Junshu Liu

At Hayden Library, ASU Tempe Campus

5:57 PM (GMT-7), March 28, 2017


Updated 4/5/2017 – Grammar correction; added something.