Week 9

Rika Matsubara-Park - Sun 10 May 2020, 11:28 pm
Modified: Sun 10 May 2020, 11:28 pm

I realised I hadn’t considered the instrument as much as I could’ve. The xylophone was a bit of a “in-the-moment” idea. In my feedback for the previous report, the tutor suggested I looked at doing a guitar which is more body-controlled, and it put me into quite a bit of panic considering I had to potentially change my idea completely. After calming down a bit, I chose to simply do research on what instruments were good for visually impaired children, since I had not considered that at all, unfortunately. I learnt that while pianos, guitars, and violins were great for visually impaired children, instruments like a xylophone is terrible, as one source stated - due to the requirement of a stick to use it. I realised that the entire time I had really been creating an electronic piano, rather than a xylophone, however chose to conduct a bit further research into the instruments, since taking the form of a guitar is something that may feel a bit more comfortable to the user, and just from some brief thinking, having something similar to guitar hero could be interesting and rather novel. If users could press a number (simulating the holding of a string/chord), and then strum to input that number, it means that there doesn’t have to be an awkward placement of the braille on the key of the xylophone.

For now, I've stuck with a piano and will consider it for the next prototype. With the piano idea, the keys go down similarly to a real piano, which is a physical indicator that a key has been pressed for users. This is what a big part of my "xylophone" idea was causing me to think too closely about the instrument and trying to make it work, rather than finding an instrument that worked for visually impaired people, and making that work with my prototype.