Conference paper Open Access

A User Experience Review of Music Interaction Evaluations

Brown, Dom; Nash, Chris; Mitchell, Tom

The need for thorough evaluations is an emerging area of interest and importance in music interaction research. As a large degree of DMI evaluation is concerned with exploring the subjective experience: ergonomics, action-sound mappings and control intimacy; User Experience (UX) methods are increasingly being utilised to analyse an individual's experience of new musical instruments, from which we can extract meaningful, robust findings and subsequently generalised and useful recommendations. However, many music interaction evaluations remain informal. In this paper, we provide a meta-review of 132 papers from the 2014 -- 2016 proceedings of the NIME, SMC and ICMC conferences to collate the aspects of UX research that are already present in music interaction literature, and to highlight methods from UX's widening field of research that have not yet been explored. Our findings show that usability and aesthetics are the primary focus of evaluations in music interaction research, and other important components of the user experience such as enchantment, motivation and frustration are frequently if not always overlooked. We argue that these factors are prime areas for future research in the field and their consideration in design and evaluation could lead to a better understanding of NIMEs and other computer music technology.

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