Dance With the World

Group 09: Intrepid Futons
Anna Kang, Daniel Kim, Victor Lu, Sophie Zeng, Andrew Zhao
UC Berkeley CS160 Spring 2016

As we considered how to use IoT technology in creative ways, we came upon the area of dance. Dance requires a lot of space and time to learn and practice. We aimed to address these needs, specifically targeting ballet and tap dancers — groups whose dance is largely driven by foot movements. Shoereo is a companion app that pairs with insole devices placed in user’s shoes that record and save foot movements into “movesets”. Shoereo also supports creation of “marksets”, which signify to teammates where on the stage they should be. Both movesets and marksets are shareable and allow for rapid collaboration and include automated feedback.

Target Users

Our target users for Shoereo are ballet and tap dancers. For these dancers, finding spaces is a persistent problem. Furthermore, as with anything that involves more than one person, dance classes and practices are hard to schedule. As we iterated through various versions of our app we ended up narrowing our user group from dancers in general to ballet and tap dancers. As such our interface evolved drastically — going from vibrant and crazy colors to a more muted and elegant color scheme that alluded to the dancers who we were trying to serve.

Design Process

Through early stages of user testing we learned that most users found multiple buttons for viewing, managing and creating sets confusing. we cut down this repetitive information on our home screen as visible above. Further, we had initial difficulty signifying to our user which parts of our screen could be interacted with. The most prevalent problem our users faced was accomplishing the task of finding their dance feedback. We added simple things like a caret dropdown button so that users would know what to tap in order to find their feedback.

A user also mentioned that once viewing the step comparison screen, the words “actual” and “result” were confusing. Instead they preferred the terms “original” to mean the dance sent out by the instructor, and “my steps” to mean their performance.

We also found that users had trouble understanding our initial terminology. As such we added a help button that moved to a screen that introduced new users to our terms.Though people initially questioned why we introduced new terms at all, we found it important to introduce clearly defined terms that did not come with a previously defined meaning. For example, if we had chosen to call “movesets” dances, there could be the assumption that a much more comprehensive breakdance of dance moves was included, rather than simply a recording of foot movements.

Some positives that we discovered through our many iterations of user testing was a narrowing and focusing of our user group, as well as an explanation of new possible applications for our application. It was a tester who initially suggested that we narrow our user group to ballet dancers rather than hip hop dancers. And another tester suggested that we consider possible other applications of our app, including for things like marching band.

In one of our last iterations we found that our device needed to give feedback for user’s to feel secure in the knowledge that the device was recording. We added a colored bluetooth signal that would change color in response to pins from our device. We also added a blinking line that showed the user that our app was indeed recording.

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