Framing our design challenge
This, for us, is about understanding the needs of our users. After having a discussion together, we decided to break our interview portion down into two sessions. The first to understand how different users approach the idea of sound as a concept, and the other to understand how they interact and feel about existing apps.
Our overall design challenge is: how do users interact with sound on their phones?
Planning our research
The first step is to understand who our users may be. Our mainstream user is someone who is not a musician but has an interest within the scope of experimentation and play of sound (the kind of people who’d play with this on a tube). Our extreme users fall to two sides – on one side those who have experience with music/music technology. The other side of the extreme users scale potentially both technologically and musically naive (possibly a younger audience).
The second step is to select our methods. The first of our two methods is a ‘paper interview’, where we ask questions where the answers can be represented visually through drawing/words. The second method is shadowing and interviewing users while they use existing solutions.
Preparing our tools
In the first session (sound), we will do the following:
- Give the interviewee an A4 sheet of paper which is split into three sections.
- “Can you draw what a sound looks like to you?” This is ambiguous, but insightful, into how people view sound visually.
- Play thirty seconds of ambient music.
- “Can you represent the progression of sounds in this piece?” This is similar to the first question, but shows how people view sound in context of a specific piece and in a time series.
- “Can you write one sentence in the third pane to show what you think is required to make and manipulate sound?” This gives us tangible broad concepts to summarise this section.
In the second session (apps), we will do the following for each app in the last post:
- We will get consent to film the session and start recording.
- “Have you ever used an app like this before?”
- If yes – “What do other apps like this do that you like, which this may not have?”
- If not – “What has stopped you using something like this in the past?”
- “What did you think the point of this app was?”
- “Do you think this was intuitive?”
- “What would you change?”