HCI Working Blog

Pros and Cons

Cover idea


  • The user recognizes easily the  buttons .
  • The buttons are marked with Braille letters.
  • The “piano” keys have triangular shape and therefore the keys are bigger and can be pressed easier.
  • The navigation between controls and menu is pretty intuitive.


  • The cover is designed for this application only (it can not be used in other contexts).
  • Because of the small size of the screen it is hard to not press by mistake another key.

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Help Beethoven

We proposed 3 possible methods of interaction with the application. But now, Beethoven cannot decide which one is the best one for him. So please help Beethoven choose one on them. Read the rest of this entry »

The third idea

Previously we wrote about the first two ideas we had for poor blind Beethoven so now we’ll explain the third one. This one consists in “reading” user’s gestures. The idea is very simple: the user wears gloves that are sensible to pressure.  Read the rest of this entry »

Today’s meeting was again very fruitful and very fun. The main tasks were to design a cover for the iPhone that could help us to develop the 4th model described by Alex here and to establish  the Personas for our project. The second task was successfully done (as you can see in the previous post), and the first one was..half done. :d

Marina suggested that we can build a nice prototype for the cover using..plasticine :). So we took the sketches that we draw last time and having the main material in hands, we started the “work”. Andreea was very excited by the plasticine (and I must admit,  so was I),  so we were the ones busy with the modelling.

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This application is developed for a certain segment of users, namely for those who have sight disabilities. They either lost their sight at a certain age, either are blind since birth. They have different ages and occupations. The table below provides information about them and a brief description of their occupations and their experience with the music.

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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? Read the rest of this entry »

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). Read the rest of this entry »

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