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Evaluating the Usability of Software Synthesizers: An Analysis and First Approach

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Title: Evaluating the Usability of Software Synthesizers: An Analysis and First Approach
Author: Rasmussen, Curtis
Department: School of Computer Science
Program: Computer Science
Advisor: Nonnecke, Blair
Abstract: Software synthesizers play an incredibly large role in the production of modern day music. However, their usability remains largely ignored in the literature. Software synthesizers have complex user interfaces (UIs), and tend to eschew the design paradigms of more mainstream software. Instead their UIs are often recreations of those found on physical synthesizers. As a result, software synthesizers are difficult for new users to learn and use. This thesis investigates how synthesizers' UIs affect usability for novice users, as well as the level of engagement felt by novice users. Novice participants were asked to use one of two commercial synthesizers over two sessions and to compete a survey measuring engagement. Results show significant usability issues in synthesizer design choices, as well as poor levels of engagement.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/13030
Date: 2018-03
Rights: Attribution 2.5 Canada


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Attribution 2.5 Canada Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 2.5 Canada