HCI Working Blog

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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

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Storytelling, just like grandma used to do it

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. 😀 (more…)

Storm – Brainstorm

Another meeting, another set of ideas.

This time, we went a little further. Having some external inspiration, we realized a few small details. First of all, Beethoven is a great pianist. He knows the piano’s key forwards and backwards, so making him draw lines and letters might not be very intuitive for him. So the best way that we could take is to simulate real piano keys. This means defining specific regions on the screen which the user can tap to record notes. Which brings us to the second problem: there are 8 primary notes (DO, RE, … SI, DO), plus a few other so-called sharp notes. And squeezing all these on a kinda small screen (let’s say, on a iPhone) would result in very thin regions which will be extremely hard (if not impossible) to be used by a person who can’t see them, specially since a touchscreen is, well… flat as a pancake, and doesn’t offer any haptic (tactile) feedback, which makes it even harder to be used to blind users.

How can we solve this issue? (more…)

First ideas – explained

We presented in our previous post the sketch containing the ideas for the first type of interface that we thought of. As we promised, here are some details about (remember that we are talking here about an application for mobile devices).

The first type of interface was designed to be used on touchscreen devices.  It is (we hope 😀 ) very intuitive, especially for persons like our poor Beethoven, who have lost their sight. All interaction is made by simple finger gestures (taps and swipes). (more…)

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! (more…)

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