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The Button Friends

How it all started!

Who created the Button friends?

Hi everyone, my name is Fiona and I work at Cardiff Met University in Wales. I have been teaching and doing research in computing subjects for nearly twenty years. My particular area of interest is human computer interaction (HCI), for those of you who are not familiar with this research field, it is all about making computers, apps, technological experiences etc. that are usable, engaging and satisfying. In essence, HCI strives to make digital experiences accessible to everyone. To achieve this goal, it is crucial to encourage more people to actively participate in designing and developing technology. This is precisely why we've initiated the Button Friends project—to inspire and motivate more people to delve into the world of coding. Let's come together with the Button Friends to create a more inclusive and innovative digital landscape!

As a youngster

I grew up on a farm on the west coast of Ireland in the 1980’s and back then, computers were not as abundant as they are now. The closest I got to technology was a casio digital watch. I know it might sound quite strange now but there were no computers in my primary school, and it only became an optional subject during my last few years at secondary school. Needless to say, I was quite old (25 years old) when I eventually started to learn to use a computer but I was immediately hooked. I still am!

Learning to code

For a long time, I would entertain the idea of doing some coding but for some reason, other things always took priority. This was the way until the COVID-19 lockdown when I finally found the time to really think about coding and more importantly how it needs to be presented in order for me to want to fully engage with it. I started to draw from my background in design and to explore the idea of aesthetic computing. Around this time, I discovered p5.js and I introduced it to my children (2 girls and a boy). We were all engaged and whilst having fun coding our different characters, we came up with the idea of The Button Friends to share this fun experience and inspire others into coding.

The Button Friends

The Button Friends introduces a new multidisciplinary approach called aesthetic programming to enhance children’s engagement in the fundamentals of programming.

Get In Touch

Porthcawl, Wales, UK.

+012 345 67890


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