Skip to main content

Interactive learning at Experience Music Project

Experience Music Project is a music museum located in Seattle. A few steps from the Space Needle, visitors can learn about music history and instruments by way of well-designed, interactive exhibits.

The 'Northwest Passage' chronicles music in the Pacific Northwest from early jazz in the 30s to more recent artists Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Sleater-Kinney. Video interviews, concert footage and listening stations are available along the way.

The 'Jimi Hendrix Experience' has an interactive timeline, large monitors showing video, ipod listening stations (built into side tables at the edge of a couch) and a soundboard station where you can learn how to mix music (above). The station intuitively combines a touchscreen and hard buttons that make learning easy.

The 'Sound Lab' has a variety of real instruments kids and adults can play by way of audio and simple on-screen instruction and 'Spaced Out', a collection sci-fi album cover art also has a theremin you can play. Just wave your hands to control the volume and tones! The variety of interaction makes the museum a great user experience.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Buying gear on Reverb

A couple of weeks ago, I wanted to buy an inexpensive stand for my acoustic guitar. I was already familiar with Reverb, which is an online marketplace to buy and sell music gear. Without knowing much at all about guitar stands, I did a search, landed on their site, and within several minutes I was able to research and purchase a new stand. From the helpful information about different stands to the last step of the checkout process, the user experience was great

After Googling 'guitar stand Reverb', one of the first results was a super helpful article on Reverb titled, 'The 6 Best Guitar Stands for Every Budget'. It listed all with all of the comparative specs I needed right on the page (saved me from having to look at each stand's page). Knowing my budget was small, I selected the On-Stage XCG4 Classic Guitar Stand. The price was right, the design was simple, and reviews were good. There's only one I caught that could be improved - when I curiously tried a sim…

Setting a price alert on Stubhub

A few weeks ago, my wife and I really wanted to see Alvvays and Frankie Rose at Metro in Chicago. But the show sold out and I was left to look for tickets second-hand. I've used Stubhub before to purchase concert tickets but up until now, hadn't tried their Price Alert feature which lets you set a ticket price max and be notified when the price goes below it. The user experience from beginning to end was really good. The feature is easy to find and provides very mobile-friendly controls to create the alert.



The Price Alert tab was prominent on the event details screen - very easy to find. Note: today (1/5/18), Stubhub has removed those tabs and you have to tap an Info button top right of the viewport to look for the same feature. It's a still a good UX once you get there but it's an additional step.

The Price Alert feature is intuitive and uses tappable numbers to let me pick the quantity of tickets (not a clunky dropdown menu or less efficient plus/minus pattern). And…

An arpeggiator made with SVG!

Before attending the An Event Apart 2017 conference in Chicago last month, I didn't know much at all about SVGs, or even what an arpeggiator was. One of the speakers, Chris Coyier, gave a fascinating talk about the possibilities of the vector image format. And some of the examples he used included things like logo animation, shape morphing, spinners, art.

He even had a music example - an arpeggiator created on CodePen by Jake Albaugh.

If you're interested, there's a great article about arpeggiators here. In short, an arpeggiator is commonly found on a synthesizer, and 'provides synth players with an easy way of playing complex synth parts via simple chords'.

Besides being built entirely with SVG, Albaugh's arpeggiator (which you can interact with) has a good user experience too.
Areas of the screen are clearly labeled and the bright yellow color stands out for selected items, The screen is laid out well - you select options in each section and finally simulate …