HCI Working Blog

The story

Ludwig van Beethoven, a famous composer and pianist of the 18th century… is back! He still loves to play the piano and compose music. It’s what he does best, as we all know it. However, we live in modern times, with powerful computers, multi-functional mobile devices and versatile technology all around us. So Beethoven would very much like to make use of all these opportunities to improve his compositions, to manage different versions of his songs in an easier manner, and to even share his songs and taste on the Internet using his Last.fm account.

There is just one minor detail: Beethoven has gone blind! He can hear (despite what history though us 😀 ), but he can’t see. So using technology is a bit tricky for him.

Let’s help him! Read the rest of this entry »

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Video demo

Composing a song :

Browsing and editing a song :

Sharing on last.fm :

In a previous post we told that we had some problems finding a material easy to shape and conductor in the same time, in order to create a cover for the phone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Real size model

These pictures show a 1:1 representation of the cover used in our second proposal for this project, built using  modeling clay.

The second picture can be used to get an idea about the actual size of the model.

As you can see in the “storytelling” post, some of the elements or actions repeat after a precise pattern. In this post we will explain some of the pattern we will use for making Beethoven’s live better.

  1. Always-visible tools – Like the name says, Always-Visible Tools are always visible instead of hiding them until the user needs them. We have “Home” and “Help” buttons always there ready to be used in any circumstance.
  2. Navigation – The user needs to navigate among sections of the application while having clear indication of what section the user is currently looking at.
  3. Undo – People tend to make mistakes when interacting with applications. Making one mistake can throw away hours of work. Therefore users should have an option to easily undo their actions and get their work back. We have “Backspace” button and the entire “Edit” section of the application built for this.
  4. Input feedback – The user has entered data into the system and expects to receive feedback on the result of that submission. In our case, the users will have the device vibrating and an audio warning when they made a mistake.
  5. Display collection – The user has created a collection and wants to share it with other people.
  6. Direct manipulation – Actions take place with no apparent wait time.
  7. Edit in place – Offers an editor directly in the place where the user could modify a composition.
  8. Spring loaded mode – permitting users to change the mode of interaction by pressing a button (“Change” button).

Create a new song

Read the rest of this entry »

QOC

How about Questions, Options, Criteria?

Q1: How about note input?
O1: Vectors (Drawing),  note keys (Cover, Glove)
C1: efficiency, hardware dependence, piano experience

Q2: Ease of use without being able to see?
O2: Braille alphabet, sensing button limits
C2 : effectiveness, usability, easy to learn

Q3: How about getting feedback from the application?
O3: Audio  instructions/responses, haptic feedback, vibration on errors/alerts
C3: user satisfaction, effective communication, trust and security

Q4: How about getting used to (or learning to use) the application?
O4: Audio tutorial, previous experience with real piano keys, Braille alphabet knowledge
C4: accessibility, user satisfaction, learnability

We all remember our sweet childhood, when our mother or grandmother spent a lot of time telling us different stories and we went to sleep with a smile on our faces, dreaming about fantastic scenes.

As it turns out, those times are not gone yet. What we need to do now is tell a story, just like grandma used to. Well… sort of, anyway. 😀 Read the rest of this entry »

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