Interface Design for Empowerment: a Case Study from Music

Holland, Simon (1992). Interface Design for Empowerment: a Case Study from Music. In: Edwards, Alistair D. N. and Holland, Simon eds. Multimedia Interface Design in Education. NATO ASI Series (F 76). Berlin: Springer Verlag, pp. 177–194.



It is very seldom that psychological theory is applied to human - computer interface design — because very few theories have yet been formulated which are applicable. For the most part designers have to be content to use guidelines and models, which have less applicability. So, the work described in this chapter is unusual, because it describes an interface to a program which teaches about musical harmony, based on psychological theories. The success of that approach is borne out by the fact that the theories suggest the use of a specific style of interface, based on a two-dimensional spatial representation of harmony relationships. This in turn has been shown to be very successful in teaching novice users about harmony.

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