HCDE 451 E4: Movement

IoT Dance Floor Glasses

This post continues off the two previous entries, one of which details an analog prototype and another a higher fidelity 3D model of the Dance Floor glasses wearable.

Design

This fabric prototype is an accessory to Dance Floor glasses. The glasses’ design elements are described in better detail here, but a summary is included in this post. The concept is a take-anywhere dance floor glasses wearable. After turning them on and connecting them via Bluetooth to a device, feet projections appear through the glasses that follow the user’s gaze. The user can then “pin” these projections to the floor, the wall, opposite from them, next to them, or wherever they want. Once a dance video is played on the device, the feet projections will move in sync wherever they are pinned, helping anyone become a dancer in no time! A high fidelity look at the concept is below.

This week’s task was investigating how our prototype functions in the physical space. This meant examining movements, gestures, and the user’s occupation of space while using the glasses. For this prototype, my goal was desirability and usability. I wanted to know if the dance floor glasses were even usable in some environments, but also if the movements, gestures, and dancing required to actively use the glasses were desirable/not embarrassing.

To test movement with my prototype, I pulled out my analog prototype from a couple iterations back. I also tested for desirability back then, and although I received mostly positive remarks, there was some feedback given. To make sure that those prototype flaws did not get in the way of testing the desirability of the movements and gestures themselves, I did a quick iteration on my analog prototype to fix some of them. The features I iterated upon are detailed in the sketchbook picture below, but include accessibility changes to the feet projections, a gender neutral color, and added functionality.

Quick sketches of what I iterated on with my analog prototype.

Freshly iterated upon, my analog prototype was ready to be tested!

The Prototype

When testing out movements, I wanted to ensure I was creating realistic environments that the glasses would commonly be used in. This would allow me to see any potential misuse that would be common and any large desirability issues that could potentially block the project from developing.

In narrowing down environments, both the outside and the inside seemed applicable use cases. Inside spaces are weather independent, convenient, and frequently have TV’s/larger screens to cast the dance video. Outdoor spaces also seemed feasible as well, as I could picture larger social groups or even outside dance classes gathering there. Below are the environments I used.

After deciding my testing environments, I made up three scenarios with different movements to prototype. These scenarios were made to cover breadth of use case possibilities (within reason, as access to people and spaces are limited during a pandemic).

Scenario 1: After a long day of zoom classes, one (out of five) roommates uses the Dance Floor glasses to learn a new skill and get their blood pumping. They stand in the living room, with their laptop chromecasted to the TV with a beginner’s salsa video selected. This scenario tests front to back movement.

Scenario 2: On a random Saturday afternoon, three roommates want a random social activity to do outside. They choose the Dance Floor glasses, and prop their phone up in the grass with one of their jackets to learn the basic of ballroom dancing together. This scenario tests group dancing and side to side dancing.

Scenario 3: As part of their W ednesday night routine, a single person looks to build their salsa dancing skills by adding in arm movements while trying to keep the feet correct. They chromecast their video on the TV in the living room, and project the feet up on the wall ahead of them so they can learn to look up when dancing. This last scenario tests front to back movement and arms.

I was hoping this breadth of scenarios would help me catch any embarrassment, annoyance, or issues with space while using the glasses.

The Test

Using my roommates, the analog prototype, headlamps, our living room, and yard, I played out the above scenarios. I encouraged my roommates to think out loud while they were testing, but I did prompt them with the questions outlined in the sketchbook photo below.

Testing questions for the movement prototype.

Scenario 1: The feedback from scenario one was both good and bad! The good: My roommate saw potential in the prototype for helping her learn how to dance, and overall she enjoyed the activity. The bad: She mentioned how she felt bad that she was taking up so much space (TV, living room, and floor) in an already small apartment, and felt a little rigid dancing. The video is below.

Movement prototype: scenario 1.

Scenario 2: This scenario tested the outside environment and collaboration. The good: My roommates and I were smiling and enjoying ourselves, clearly meeting the goal of being social and doing something together. The bad: It was difficult to see the phone with only three people, and would be nearly impossible with more. It was also difficult to make sure we weren’t stepping in to each other if one of us got off track.

Movement prototype: scenario 2.

Scenario 3: I decided to prototype this movement myself to see how arm + leg movements felt with this device. Overall it went well, and it was nice to have the feet projected on the wall so I could be reminded of the steps but in a way that didn’t force me to look down. However, I felt that the moving light projections were a bit distracting, and I would feel bad if my roommates were trying to use that space as well and kept seeing bright lights move out of the corners of their eyes. I also had no way of knowing if I was messing up the feet while trying to progress to a harder stage. The video is below.

Movement prototype: scenario 3.

The combined movement prototype video is below.

The combined movement prototype video.

The Analysis

In evaluating whether or not I reached my goal of desirability, I looked at the results from my movement prototyping videos and class critique. Although there were some issues, a lot of them were due to trying to simulate projections with headlamps. Once you took away the technical difficulties, many of them were just in relation to the amount of space the activity took and the amount of activity around the user.

Based on this, some revisions I want to consider for my prototype are below:

  1. Consider implementing voice reminders via the glasses to look up. Something like this could help the rigidness my roommate didn’t like from the first scenario.
  2. Investigate having a dimmer switch on the projections so it’s less disruptive to roommates and won’t interfere with the light from the TV.
  3. Investigate communicating movement direction and transitions between the main steps. That way the projections don’t seem to move randomly.
  4. Consider a setting that allows the user to choose whether a misplaced step will turn the projection red or not. This could improve dancing accuracy.

Some revisions I would consider for my process are:

  1. I would have loved more people to test in the outside environment. In an ideal world, I would have loved to test the extreme of maybe 50+ people dancing off these glasses to see how they functioned at a large scale.
  2. I wish that I had more pinpointed lights for the projections because they blended together and were somewhat hard to follow.
  3. I would have liked to test more complicated dance moves, as spins and turns look different than basic steps in a small space and could change the dynamic.

Overall, I think this was a fun prototyping assignment, and very useful for seeing the strengths and flaws of the product in real time!

An aspiring UX practitioner studying Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington.