Loom Knitting for Dummies
UX Design, Visual Design, Prototyping, Sketch, ProtoPie
"Loom Knitting for Dummies" is a product I created based on my own experience in learning the loom knitting and design guidelines established by a classmate. My goal was to develop the solution that fulfills these guidelines and suitable interaction design.
Design Guidelines and problems
Before reading this design guideline, I talked with my colleague a lot, and it became a part of the processing the process. She emphasized that while there were few online resources including YouTube videos, the learning curve was extremely high for an absolute beginner because of intricate patterns and unfamiliar terms.
Based on conversations I had with her and design guidelines, I summarized a few problems.
- While there are fruitful online resources for loom knitting, one for an absolute beginner that includes new terms and essential knitting guide is absent which causes a first-timer to hit a wall as he or she follows through.
- Since knitting, including loom knitting, is very portable, the product that supports users’ learning process must also be easily transportable.
- I don’t know anything about knitting in general. Therefore, I have to learn how it works and experience frustration to understand the design guidelines.
- If I choose to create hardware, it shouldn't interrupt knitting movement which involves both hands.
Solution and role
- Create a beginner-focused tutorial that includes necessary equipment to start with, terms to know, and a video guide on one pattern to learn. Additionally, provide additional resources after completing the prepared material.
- Create hardware or software does not interrupt tutorial material while learning and easy to place and carry around.
#1. Choosing a platform
After understanding the problems and how to solve the issues, I brainstormed whether to choose either hardware or software. For hardware, I ended up that the ideal concept would be Google Glass-like AR device that can recognize the current knitting pattern and visually guide a user on the next step through augmented projection or video. In this situation, an app would be still required to provide necessary information including terms and additional resource.
For software, I imagined a smartphone app that has three primary structure: necessary information, video tutorial, and additional resource. Smartphone and video tutorial targeted for an absolute beginner seemed more realistic and familiar to a current and upcoming user. It also fulfills portability criteria since a user doesn’t have to carry an extra device to get help. Therefore, I chose to go with a smartphone app.
#2. Learning & Struggle
To understand the guidelines and solve the problems, I knew I had to learn loom knitting. I got few resources from my colleague which she used to learn and bought essential toolkits and yarn.
For text material, I went to Knittingboard but didn’t spend too much time looking around because I couldn’t understand most of the stuff on there. Seeing new terms without description made me hard to know how this particular pattern works. While there were images for text tutorial, each section was separated into different pages and was still not helpful for me to understand. Therefore, I focused more on video tutorials on YouTube.
While a video tutorial was easy to follow, during the process, I learned I made few first-timer mistakes that had to go back and fix. Also, since the video kept going while I was still in progress, I had to pause and roll back several times until I finish that step. I realized dividing videos for each section would be easier to interact and learn.
Following up on #1, I wanted to create a simple smartphone app. Also, I tried to practice how to adapt to iPhone X screen resolution and its new human interface guidelines.
Using Sketch, I created a basic structure of the app “Loom Knitting for Dummies.” Since there are only three main elements, I want these to be visible as soon as the app opens. Therefore, I created big thumbnails on the main screen and listed “Loom Knitting 101” and “Video Tutorial” since these two are more important than “Additional Resources.” When tapped, the screen moves to each page and present containing information.
After designing the basic layout, I used ProtoPie for an interactive prototype to demonstrate how the app would function to the class. For the video tutorial, I chose to reiterate one video tutorial I saw on YouTube to teach myself. For this, I Used my iPhone X to shoot each clip in 60FPS then slowed down so the video would be slow and smooth enough for anyone to watch and learn. I also divided the clip into each step so people can watch only that specific part repeatedly. When played, the video automatically repeats until they pause it.