People /


Questionnaire //

The first piece of research into people in my development phase was an online questionnaire which i posted again on the Ninja Tune and Warp Records Forums, a place where i can find an honest reliable opinion from DJs and Producers. I was enquiring into the .mp3 DJing market where asked people if they DJ with vinyl or .mp3 tracks and who were the people doing this? I also asked the DJs for an age group they were and the youngest age group, not surprisingly, were the people most using .mp3 mixing tools, such as a computer or Serato. I also asked these people which genre of music they play, and those that used .mp3s to DJ played more 'Dance' based music. This shows me that there is a growing market for .mp3 DJing within the up and coming DJ community. As you can see, 48% of the people i had feedback from DJ with .mp3 which is a strong sign that my product could be successful.



Storyboard //

To sell how the product can be used I created a small storyboard of a possible scenario of it in use. It sells the idea of how possible and simple the use of my product will be in a real world situation. The Storyboard follows...

1. The DJ heading to a club that already has the product, armed with only his laptop computer..

2. The products each connect via USB to the DJs laptop..

3. The DJ can then load songs into the product via the free software..

4. Then play to the crowd in a club easily.




Experience Prototyping /

To truly understand the way my product will work and understand what it needs to do i have created a couple of prototypes, where i have provided people not with a visual or fully operating prototype but i have given them the 'experience' of what it will feel like to use. I used touch screens in my prototypes, this provided the closest feeling what my final product will be...


Traktor //

My first Experience Prototype was using a a piece of DJ software, Traktor, but with a touch screen. I did this to emulate the feeling of how my product will work, and if it will work. I had a couple of DJs and people who have never been DJing to have a play and everybodys thoughts were similar, the way the music was controlled was simple, it was easy, and it was fun. The control buttons were easy to use and very reactive, when they were big but smaller buttons were harder to access. Everybody agreed that the mixer in the software was useless, it moved far to fast and sometimes not at all when the faders were touched, this is why i decided to make my products seperate so they can plug into tradional mixers, so the level of control over the audio is at a maximum, which is a huge requirement of what my product.






The Touch Table //

The only true way to understand how my product could be used was to work closely with DJs. To understand the way the product will feel and to experience how it could work i created this prototype that i called the 'Touch Table' where DJs could manipulate an .mp3 file as if they were controlling a vinyl on a turntable, except in a straight vertical motion rather than rotation, but with a touch screen. The prototype was a screen running a patch i created on Max with a touch-screen overlay and it was hooked up to a mixer along with a standard turntable, the idea was that the screen acted as another turntable...

The 'Touch Table'


I used this interactive prototype to research how well the concept will work and the requirements of the product from DJs. They had a chance to just have a play on the screen, and i asked them to do different tests to help me gather information on their opinions of the functionality and interaction of the product. I have made short videos of the tests i conducted, showing how good the prototype and concept is for mixing songs, scratching and different elements of the design of it, ie. screen size. To do the tests i had help from two professional DJs from a local club, Dj Barry On Safari and Dj Point To C. The DJs had a play with the Touch Table and i interviewed them afterwards to see what their thoughts were on the concept and using the prototype, here is the videos...



Mixing and Scratching /

This video demonstrates how strong a comparison the screen has to using a real vinyl record. An .mp3 file can be manipulated freely with the touch of a finger.




TouchTable // Mixing and Scratching from Scott Hobbs on Vimeo.




Motion /

I created flash applications where the music wave travels in two different directions, i did this to see how the DJs felt most comfortable controlling the song, whether that be vertically, top to bottom or bottom to top, or horizontally, left to right or right to left. We all agreed that the wave was most controlable when it was vertically travelling upwards (bottom to top).




TouchTable // Motion from Scott Hobbs on Vimeo.



Screen Size /

I gave the DJs two 'L' shaped cuts of cardboard and i asked them to move the shapes to show the smallest screen size they thought was required to still make the product easily usable and compact. This really helped me decide on what screen size i needed to use in my product.




TouchTable // Screen Size from Scott Hobbs on Vimeo



Angles /

The angle that the screens sit at is crucial to the usability of the product so i tested the prototype with the DJs at three main angles, i sat the screen at +15°, 0° and -15°, so the screen was sitting raised at the back where visibilty of the screen was at it's maximum, it also sat flat, similar to a turntable and it also sat raised at the front where visibilty was at a miniumum but it was very comfortable to manipulate the wave when travelling vertically upwards. From this test i learned that should make the screen flat or slightly raised at the back, at maybe 10 degrees.




TouchTable // Angle from Scott Hobbs on Vimeo.



Screens /

I then asked the DJs to draw me what each of their ideal Touch-screen Interface and what the size of it would be, they each had different ideas of what it would be but i liked both of them, although i would like to simplify them much more...