Twooter

Affiliations:
Human-Computer Interaction Lab, University of Maryland

Duration:
January 2013 - July 2013

 

Role

  • Research
  • Interaction Design
  • Prototyping (Adobe Flex)

Twooter is a tool for non-verbal, music-based expression in an online social network.

Borrowing ideas from popular social networks and influenced through recent educational endeavors by a large cultural institution, Twooter was designed with the hope of bridging the gap between the ease of updating one's status in a profile and the difficulty in content creation. I worked on Twooter for my undergraduate research project at the Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) with Greg Walsh, a PhD student in the iSchool.

I co-wrote a paper, based on our reserch and findings, which was accepted to the Interaction Design and Children (IDC) 2011 conference.

 

Music composition to music expression

My idea for Twooter started with my personal frustration using existing music composition programs. All these programs required knowledge of western classical music, which I did not have, and therefore slowed me down when I wanted to document my compositions. This idea morphed with some previous research done at the HCIL along with Carnegie Music Hall morphed into Twooter

We wanted to learn how people would express themselves through music and decided to develop prototypes based on ToneMatrix, a grid based music generation app, and test these with Kidsteam an intergenerational design team at the HCIL. I facilitated design activities such as "Big Pieces of Paper" to generate ideas and "Sticky Notes" technique to gather feedback on the second iteration of the prototype, which I developed in Adobe Flex.

Sound + Visuals

Based on our design sessions we learned music-only interactions seemed too abstract for design team members to interact with in a production manner, and therefore the app must support a visual element as well.