Chapter 11. Musical Instrument Design


Experience Design and Musical Instruments

Experience Design (XD) extends the field of user experience (UX), just as UX extended the older concept of usability. Usability appeared in the 1980s, applying ergonomic principles to that era’s emerging technologies: word processors, spreadsheets, and others. In turn, the emerging technology of the 1990s—online shopping, SMS (texting), early camera phones, pre-smartphone PDAs—brought forth UX.

Again, today’s emerging technology demands broader design, as previously separate elements combine to form new experiences, such as our society where almost everyone, from awaking to falling asleep, carries a smartphone for browsing and posting to websites for social media. Hence, the need for XD: as the experience is broader than one person using one device, so the designers of the phone’s components (camera, operating system, apps, network infrastructure, even its fee schedule) must look beyond their individual specialties to construct the overall experience of the individual and the society. For example, the public was unprepared for the calamity of texting while driving. Only recently has this danger prompted one telecom company to commission a famous movie director to make a documentary about it, distributed for free; but as long as the always-online lifestyle is promoted in advertisements that are also distributed for free, such films will be taken just as seriously as the brewery billboard ...

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