The acoustic and visual experiences of musicians in the spaces they perform in is complex and organic in nature, entailing a continuous interaction with the environment. With this project, we leverage the power of Virtual Reality (VR) to support musicians in their creative practice by transporting them to novel sonic and visual worlds. For this, we developed a musician-centered VR system, featuring various acoustic and visual virtual environments, VR Rehearse & Perform, based on design requirements gathered with musicians and performance experts. To investigate how VR can be designed to support music-makers in their creative musical practice, we performed iterative tests with 19 musicians followed by semi-structured interviews. Our findings suggest that VR has the potential to support different aspects of the creative musical practice such as rehearsing, performing and improvising. Our research provides insights and inspirations toward designing musician-centred VR experiences for a variety of musical activities.
Digital interfaces are shrinking, driven by pressures of mass production and consumer culture, and often accompanied by a discourse of control, precision or convenience. Meanwhile, human bodies remain the same size, and the changing size of interfaces has implications for the formation of user identities. Drawing on embodied cognition, effort and entanglement theories of HCI, we explored the impact of interface size on the co-constitution of humans and technology. We designed an oversized digital musical instrument and invited musicians to use the instrument to create original performances. We found that both the performances and the musicians' self-perception were influenced by the large size of the instrument, shining new light on the ways in which designing technology is designing humans and in turn culture.
Auditory interfaces increasingly support access to website content, through recent advances in voice interaction. Typically, however, these interfaces provide only limited audio styling, collapsing rich visual design into a static audio output style with a single synthesized voice. To explore the potential for more aesthetic and intuitive sound design for websites, we prompted 14 professional sound designers to create auditory website mockups and interviewed them about their designs and rationale. Our findings reveal their prioritized design considerations (aesthetics and emotion, user engagement, audio clarity, information dynamics, and interactivity), specific sound design ideas to support each consideration (e.g., replacing spoken labels with short, memorable audio expressions), and challenges with applying sound design practices to auditory websites. These findings provide promising direction for how to support designers in creating richer auditory website experiences.
Most current dance support technologies focus on dancers, teachers or choreographers who are engaged in a single activity.
We are interested in creating tools that support professional dancers over longer periods of time, as their careers and personal practices evolve.
We interviewed 12 professional and pre-professional dancers about a critical moment in their careers:
the transition to a new dance style due to shifting interests, ageing or injury.
We identify three key challenges -- overcoming habits, learning new forms of movement, transitioning over time -- and their strategies for addressing them.
We argue that successful tools must help dancers change their mentality about new movement styles, rather than focusing solely on movement mechanics.
We suggest three possible implications for design:
develop ``movement substrates'' that handle multiple movement representations; integrate learning and reflection in a single session;
and create movement definitions through movement.
We conclude with a discussion of directions for future research.