The design of the handlebar is closely connected to the core interaction. The unique point of the handles is the non-visual navigation, so the user can focus on the surrounding traffic as well as the nature sights. A rapid user testing with a prototype out of bluefoam and arduino vibration motors brought out to the open that a very well constructed vibration is sufficient to indicate a turn to the user. With this simple interaction in mind, the design of the handlebar is straight forward. The handles are made out of solid wood, which mantled in leather transfers the best vibration. The bar rod itself in the first iteration is made out of three poles. Therefore the user will automatically only hold the wooden handles, which are featured with the vibrations. The middle circle is an input opportunity for the user. If a break is needed during the microadventure, the cyclist taps the circle and the nearest location to stop is implemented into the navigation. This interaction needs to be refined though.
The design inspiration is drawn from the Banjo steering wheel.
With the component of vibration in mind, the form follows the function after all, the part where the person has to hold the interactive handles needs to be made out of a comfortable, tangible material, while the part which is separating the left from the right handle (basically the rod) needs to be left alone and therefore out of a cold material like steel. Many beautiful designs for handles nowadays have been made out of a single piece of wood, but in this case it would defeat the purpose. Many beautiful designs for handles nowadays have been made out of a single piece of wood, but in this case it would defeat the purpose. The making of the handles for a design prototype consists of wood handles and 3D printed components. It is time to go to the workshop and refine the design of the handles.