Announcement: Toscanini User Experience Overhaul

The Toscanini Gestural Control Interface was a big project for me, and involved a lot of heavy coding in Max/MSP. At the time user experience was important, but still secondary to working algorithms. At this time my partner (Kyle Montag) and I are beginning a user experience overhaul, which will include the following steps:

  1. Improve the UI.
    The minimalist modular UI is useful for MSP hackers, but inefficient for musicians who are unfamiliar with MSP programming. We aim to enhance the UI by adding a better control system and a more user friendly control flow.
  2. Expand the documentation.
    The documentation for Toscanini is severely lacking. This is ok for experienced users, but we want to make the initial user experience easier to get into. Improved documentation will help highlight the more subtle uses of the interface.
  3. Broaden the target audience.
    The following two steps will make Toscanini more acceptable to a wider range of users. From amateur DSP hackers to experienced interactive musicians, my interface is abstract enough at its core to  appeal to a large audience, but not without a better UX and documentation.

Our process will follow a two prong approach. The first course of action is to collect data on usage from multiple subjects with varying of degrees of experience in audio software. We will accomplish this through video taped sessions in which the user will be walked through actions and will asked to complete tasks un-aided. After the session has concluded, we will collect more data via a questionnaire to be completed by the subject. We will also evaluate the video taped sessions. This is our data collection phase.

The information gained from the data collection phase will fuel our UX overhaul. As we reach milestones we will bring the subjects back in for further evaluation. This iterative process will result in a wealth of information that will assist in finalizing the new and improved UI/UX.

At the conclusion of our process, we will have a new user interface for the core Toscanini application which will be available from the git repository, along with improved documentation. If there are any users who would like to be involved in this process, feel free to contact me to express interest.


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