Music programming for your hands and ears only

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An experimental evaluation is presented of the usability properties of a multimodal interaction style for music programming. The experiment investigated task performance and learning of procedures while performing music programming tasks in the presence or absence of a visual display combined with a tactual and auditory interface. The participant's task was to compile a music programme as quickly as possible. Task performance was measured by compilation time and number of actions executed. Procedural knowledge was assessed by a posttask questionnaire. Participants performed equally efficiently, i.e .. not significantly differently, with and without a visual display, except for the first programming task. In the first task, performing a task without a visual display required significantly more time (approximately one additional minute) and more, but not significantly more, actions, probably due to explorative behaviour required to develop an internal representation of the interaction style. Earlier experience with a visual display did not improve task performance without a visual display. It also appeared that participants who had performed tasks non visually had learned more procedures. Nonvisual interaction requires the explicit discovery and memorization of procedures, which induces a higher degree of cognitive processing. It could therefore be demonstrated that tactual and auditory feedback can compensate for the visual modality in contextsof- use, in which visual display of information is impoverished or even absent. e.g.. portable devices, remote controls, and car equipment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalIPO Annual Progress Report
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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