Collaborating with a local organization for middle school girls, we introduced a group of girls to the HCI iterative design process through a series of hands-on workshops using Lilypad Arduino and textile computing methods.
The workshops took place over ~4 sessions held at the Carnegie Mellon DevLab. We began by introducing the girls to some projects the workshop leaders completed using textile computing concepts. I made a tote bag with a Beyonce cut-out on it, whose eyes would light up with LEDs when the handles of the bag overlapped. Then we helped the girls brainstorm ideas. Each girl picked a project or two from the brainstormed ideas to paper prototype. The paper prototypes also enabled the girls to preplan their circuitry and where the electric conductive thread would go. The next step was to implement the ideas by sewing onto a belt, sweatshirt, or teddy bear (according to whichever idea the girl had selected). Workshop leaders then helped debug and program the Arduino to perform the behaviors the girls had designed. Most of the the focus was on implementing simple switches and LED outputs.
Kutznetsov, S., Trutoiu, L., Kute, C., Howley, I., Siewiorek, D., & Paulos, E. (2011). Breaking boundaries: Mentoring with wearable computing. CHI 2011, 2957-2966.
Brainstorming and Paper Prototyping
Sewing Lilypad Arduino with Electric Conductive Thread
Programming the Arduino