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Combining visuals with audio for DJs via a midi controller.

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Design Skills


Project timeline

The Brief

The aim of this project was to develop a lighting controller that could be used by DJs through several stages of iterative design, employing several UX and interaction design techniques to reach a final solution.

See it at Reveal 2019

The project

The first step was carrying out a questionnaire survey to refine the user needs for the proposed controller. I wanted the respondents to voice their own opinions and provide the basis for my initial ideas. Following the survey, and using the answers I got I designed four potential controller set ups. I then conducted a pilot study where I asked a DJ to run through certain scenarios such as changing lighting, activating certain presets, and turning the lights on or off. I created a fake DJ set up and monitored where he naturally moved when asked to carry out theses scenarios. I ran the test again, but this time introducing the different set ups in paper prototype form. I again monitored how he reacted and moved with the different set ups and used this to decide where the controller should sit within a DJs set up.

Next, I worked my way through ten iterations before deciding on a final design, making sure each component / set of controls were designed with user research findings at their core, or heavily influenced by current DJ industry standard equipment such as Pioneer CDJs. Finally, I was able to test my prototype at a DJ practice session at uni. I gave a small group of attendees instructions as to how to use all the different modes and presets, and then let them use the controllers as they pleased. I was very happy with how all three stages of user testing went, but particularly the final stage. I was able to see how my prototype held up within a professional setup, and how DJs would include it in their workflow. The prototype worked very well and after a little getting used to the DJs were really enjoying working with the controllers.

Overall, I see this project as being very successful, I designed and built a working prototype using three different user tests, and produced a solution that could be used in a professional environment.