What aspects of experience are most important when using a fish eye lens with a smartphone?

The goal of this project was to facilitate a fun and easy experience for using a fisheye lens and a smartphone to document artifacts. Finding interesting ways to showcase magnified objects was also an objective.

Final Concept

Interacting with the microscope feels precise and satisfying due to the kinesthetic feedback of the rubber bands stretching. Mobility was a key attribute I sought after which opened the door for serendipitous exploration.


My process for this project consisted of quickly sketching and modeling different microscopes, assessing their varying qualities, and building on what I learned.

Pulley 1.0

My first pulley design relied heavily on human skill and tape to consistently work. I did like the straightforward connection between using a pulley to lower objects and the fish eye lens needing to be close to an examined object.


Pulley 2.0

I got carried away with this prototype, using two pulleys and devising a method to keep the string under tension. Quick conversations with my peers helped move me away from this needlessly complex design.

Wedge 1.0

After increasingly complicated pulley designs, I wanted to move towards the simplest design possible which afforded an easy magnification interaction.


Wedge 2.0

For my second iteration, I utilized a simple push interaction, as I felt this would retain simplicity while introducing a more enjoyable interaction compared to “Wedge 1.0”.



In this project, I actually think I sketched too much. An idea would form in my head, I’d understand the prototype within the first 10 seconds of sketching, but I’d take time to finish the sketch regardless.


I magnified many objects in my search for interesting ways to showcase the magnification of a fish eye lens. The lack of context surrounding these images is what inspired me to display the magnified pixels on a laptop screen at the same time as the un-magnified pixels.