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date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter highlights disjunctions between usability approaches and the needs of creative music practices, drawing on research into creativity and human–computer interaction (HCI) to integrate concepts of flow, virtuosity, and liveness into the design of digital notations. While computers support the production and transcription of creative ideas, current user interfaces are less suited to exploratory creativity, sketching, and the early stages of the creative process. The chapter discusses properties of interfaces and notations that influence such support. It then presents both a set of usability heuristics for virtuosity, to aid the design of user interfaces supporting skill and learning, and a technique for modeling aspects of flow and liveness within the creative user experience, emphasizing user focus and system feedback. Findings and theories are discussed in the context of examples from desktop and studio music software, such as sequencers and trackers, but they can also be generalized to other scenarios in digital creativity.

Keywords: notation, flow, liveness, virtuosity, HCI, computer music, sequencers, trackers, user experience, digital creativity, feedback

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