Week 4 - Critiques

Maria Harris - Sun 29 March 2020, 3:07 pm
Modified: Sun 29 March 2020, 10:03 pm

Critiques about Team Garfunkel’s Idea

The overall feedback, about how the idea of exploring sounds through everyday objects, was positive; however, people were confused with our concept.

These included:

  • What are natural sounds?
  • Will natural sounds be used or instrumental notes, when a user interacts with the object?

These questions stemmed from a lack of clarity with parts of the video. I had edited it to play piano notes when the user interacted with the object. At the time I was thinking that the piano notes would be used as an example for when and what type of sound will be produced. I should have also explained that when a person first interacts with the object, the natural sound the object produces will be used and manipulated, using other interactions, to change it into an instrumental note that is similar to the natural sound. From there, the person can create a tune. This was not effectively communicated and there were still errors, such as not being able to record the natural sound and use it later to create a tune.

All the feedback received has been useful in being able to build upon and improve the idea. They also allowed me to figure out what the next steps will be. The feedback given gives a clearer understanding of how people viewed the concept. This gives you different perspectives, to keep in mind when you’re continuing to expand and explore the idea.

The majority of the feedback focussed on making the context and target audience more specific as the initial idea was too broad and general. Originally, the focus was on allowing anyone, who was not a musician, to be able to create music anywhere. The main objects would be those that could be found or placed on a table. This made it hard to come up with a concept that was broad enough, because of the potential that users wouldn't share enough similarities to create a successful product, therefore, narrowing the user base will provide a clear idea of what important functions and purposes should be focused on when creating the concept.

Issues that people found with the broad concept were:

  • The concept could become bothersome after a while;
  • Making every object musical will take away the novelty;
  • Possibly irritating for those around the user.

These issues will be taken into consideration when further exploring my pathway as I want to create a product that users will continue to use, find playful, enjoyable, interesting and motivates them to use it without becoming bored and irritated by the sounds that are produced or even the interactions themselves.

People did give suggestions about what type of context to focus on and whether to use natural sounds or tunes. The ones that stood out to me were about using the concept for educational purposes. This got me thinking about schools and what area do students have trouble with and where the exploration of natural sounds could be useful. I wanted to have a way to incorporate these sounds as a lot of people were interested, particularly in regard to the natural sounds of objects and how the interactions and size would affect the sound.

Critiques about the Presentations

It was a different experience from what I had done before when viewing presentations and critiquing them. I was curious about how this would be accomplished before the contacts; fortunately, the technology and tools used made critiquing easier than I thought it would be because of how we got to watch the video together, hear discussion on Zoom and write the critiques in slack. I have always found it hard to write critiques, whether this is on paper or online, as I normally prefer a face-to-face conversation because then you can use facial and body expression to determine how the person is taking the critique and whether you need to clarify. This is a skill I need to improve on, as well as working on techniques such as writing quick notes on what to include in the critique or the idea itself, rather than long sentences or paragraphs, as my critiques start to become generic rather than specific and useful over time because I miss or forget information. Overall, I found the presentations had aspects in all of them that would be interesting to explore and investigate whether this is teaching people certain tasks through simulation. Other interesting aspects were interactions with materials, objects, familiar concepts or spaces in a new way. Teams could explore their idea in a new context, situation or place. They can also look at specific features of the idea or different focus groups.