The DerbyPro team has been focusing on building our prototypes and making further research about the joint. To build our prototypes we had to do some brainstorming because we had to make our prototype work with the materials that we had available at the moment. Our first one was not very successful because we tried gluing the cotton ball on to the sock to create some sort of padding on the brace but that didn’t work as well as we thought it would because once the glue was dry the sock got very stiff. This made it really hard to put it on because it didn’t stretch. We also added some elastic laces on the top to make sure that the brace will not slip down or become loose at any moment.
After this prototype was done we had some time to go and try on everyone’s prototype as well as give each other feedback on how to improve our design. This really helped us because we were able to use this feedback to create out second prototype which already looks a lot better than the first one even though its not finished yet. On this second prototype we decided not to use any glue because of the bad experience that we had had with the first one and we decided to go toward the needle and thread. To be able to do this we used two socks and put one inside of the other. After this was done we cut of the heel of the socks and the top where the fingers go to make it loot like a brace. Once this was ready we added a padding material between both socks and then sewed both socks together to keep the padding together.
To improve this prototype we had the great opportunity to listen to two guest speakers who play roller derby on a daily basis. We were able to ask any questions that we had, it was almost like we were interviewing them as a whole class. Even though every group asked a specific question on how to protect their particular joint every group was able to get a general answer that would help everyone because many of the featured that they talked about for a joint was very beneficial to every joint. They talked about everything that was uncomfortable in a brace which helped a lot because we might of had that idea at the begging but after hearing their testimonies we realized that we needed to preform more costumer interview once the ankle brace was done just to make sure that we had meet all of the costumer needs and that roller derby players would actually want to wear it. They also talked about how important it is not not have a very bulky brace because they need to be able to do fast movements and a very big brace will not allow this, but they also said that it cant be really thin because then it will not be proving a lot of protection to the joint. So this gave us another thing to think about.
Receiving feedback from our class mates and from professional roller derby players has helped a lot in our process to improve our brace because we have been able to add new features that will make it more comfortable while still being protective as well as take away things that were really not necessary. We look forward to receiving more feedback on our second prototype so that we can improve that one just like we did with the first one to make a better and improved third prototype.