This interactive wireframe features several design revisions over it's previous form as a paper prototype.
Revisions include the removal of the enter button from the track header. Phrases now sound by clicking the radio button on the phrase selector pop-up window, which saves a click and is more intuitive.
The transport is more streamlined with large buttons, and a group modify area was added, which will hopefully be more clear to users as well.
To try the wireframe, click here or on the image above.
In use: Similar to the paper prototype GIF in the previous post, the above video demonstrates the app in use; but with audio and the look and features of the current wireframe.
As much as I like the idea of displaying the notated phrases in realtime––to support music literacy and for fun––I don't think its working as shown in the video, with the notation refreshed each fourth beat. It would be clearer if notation were generated with each beat, and the currently sounding beat were in a different color. This would also help users visually track the notation as it is playing.
Per-beat scrolling of notation is also a better fit with the piece; as "In C" has a quarter note pulse, but intentionally lacks a defined beats-per-measure with it's layering of oddly lengthened phrases.
PERSONA: COLLEGE STUDENT
Alex and Jonas are undergraduate college students. Alex is a music major and Jonas is studying communications.
Play-testing: While I played or muted tracks of a GarageBand project to simulate interactive audio, I had Alex and Jonas test the interface using the wireframe. They went from the "title" page to the "how to play" page and after reading that page, they then clicked "start" to begin the playtest. Alex, the music major, had trouble recalling which button to press to begin the drone (the "record" buton). However, once 'recording,' Alex was then able to use the phrase selector to play other instruments without additional prompting.
Jonas was able to begin the drone and start other instruments with the phrase selector without help. Due to limitations of the wireframe and the GarageBand project, playtesting the group modify" section wasn't possible, but I asked each of them what they thought the group modify section was for and how they would use it. From their responses I most users would quickly figure out how to use a functioning version.
After they playtested the wireframe I had each student watch the above video and asked for feedback. Both liked the idea of scrolling music notation and Jonas suggested having pop-up window prompts or animations as a tutorial.
Alex was familiar with "In C" and thought that the app would be fun to use.
Playtesting: After mixed results with Alex and Jonas, I decided to have Mary watch the video demonstration before playtesting the wireframe. She then sequenced through the "title" and "how to play" pages into the playtest. Mary picked right up on how to start the drone and other instruments with the phrase selector. I asked her how she thought the group modify section would work and she nailed that, too; as well as which buttons she would use to stop, playback and share her version. She must take after her mother.
Final thoughts: While I still like the idea of modeling DAW software and using notated phrases as regions, the "how to play" page and the interface are not clear enough without a tutorial or better UI. But, "Me in C" could be a fun and educational app with further design improvements.