I invited two people to test my device. I did not have any labels on the box and left it to the interpretation of the user. The first candidate found it pretty straightforward and played with each knob and button to discover the individual beats and effects mapped on each. He was looking at Ableton live at the same time and was able to detect the changes in genres. This was perhaps due to the person’s background in music.
The second candidate was pretty confused and did not know what each button did. She suggested I label the “genre” buttons and each of the knobs for more clarity. Another frustration that came along was the fact that one of my buttons was not working, which made the user press on it multiple times before I told her that it wasn’t working.
Since the last candidate would reflect that typical user that I would encounter, I decided to label the buttons and knobs to improve user experience. Another observation from both testers what the absence of a stop button to stop the whole music in case they want to start from scratch. They thought it would be a great way to make another mix if the user decides to.
Overall, the feedback was really helpful in matching both music-experienced and non-music experienced users’ needs and seeing how people interpret the box’s use in general. However, I found that some explanation would be necessary either way before the user utilizes the box to give some context and details about the functionality of the device.