For the last assignment of my Prototyping Lab (Fall 2012), we were asked to “design an interface/appliance/thing of your choosing.” We had to choose a concept, create a low-fidelity mock-up using Balsamiq, and create a high-fidelity prototype in Flex, which was then presented to the class.
My first real challenge was picking an idea. While I enjoy creative freedom, I sometimes feel lost in it, not knowing where to go. But then I found myself looking at my Smartphone, flipping through my apps. I came across my chromatic tuner app, and then it hit me: music. I could do something involving music.
I wanted my program to be simple and, accordingly, bug-free. With these things in mind, I decided on a musical pitch guessing game, designed to help people learn musical pitch.
What I learned: This project reinforced the importance of iterative design. Further, it taught me the value of project constraints. Restrictions act as a framework for a project. Without them, the designer has no foundation to build on, making the job more difficult. While too many restrictions can be burdensome, too few restrictions can be just as hard to work with.
Below are my final slide deck and my working prototype.
Instructions: it operates in practice mode or quiz mode. In practice mode, users can press the key buttons freely, allowing them to learn the pitches associated with each note. In quiz mode, the users presses “start” and is given a random test tone. They then have to guess which tone it is. The game keeps score, and congratulates the user if they get a certain number correctly in a row. The user can also choose the advanced difficulty setting, which adds the sharps and flats to the list.