Students / Melanie Löff-Bird, Madeline Bone Course / Sophomore Design Studio Role / Research and Design
Second year graphic design students Melanie Löff-Bird and Madeline Bone employed participant observation and interview methods to understand the audience, setting, and object relationships within the media and music production rooms, in James B. Hunt Library, at North Carolina State University (NC State). Their research helped them identify some of the problems that occurred when using the media and music production rooms, and propose a solution that will improve the user experience. Additionally, a conceptual touchpoint was conceived to make the broader audience in the library aware of these resources.
The existing reservation process requires understanding the security procedures in the library and interacting with online and in-person resources. New users tend to hit knowledge or comfort barriers, and often give up. Many library patrons are unaware of the resources available for them, and the for ones who are using these resources there is no platform to share work or connect and collaborate with others.
Encourage engagement by streamlining the reservation process from start to finish.
To simplify steps to reserve a space, the new reservation system is accessible from the tablets mounted on the wall next to the entrance of each space. Users can claim existing reservations and make new ones, without having to go to the Ask Us desk two floors below.
Easy Login: To confirm or claim a reservation, students can swipe their student ID in the card reader located below the tablet, eliminating the need to manually input university login information the existing online reservation system requires.
Faster Response: Once a users has confirmed their reservation an on-duty Hunt employee will be notified via text message to come to the room in order to unlock the door. Once at the room, the staff can swipe their University ID in order to release the iPad from the mount, and transfer it to the standing mount located inside the room.
Audiodrive: Inside the room when the tablet is vertically placed on the mount stand, the app switches to the Audiodrive display that connects to a complementary desktop application.
Together, the Audiodrive phone and desktop apps are the heart of the music room experience for its users. It allows them to seamlessly save and share files to the connected Hunt Pods. The Audiodrive also includes a help guide with video tutorials for equipment setup and use.
Desktop Upload: Users can simply drag and drop their audio files to the Audiodrive module displayed on the screen to save projects.
Connecting to the Pods: Users can view the saved files on the mounted tablet after uploading to Audiodrive via the desktop app. Additionally, users can select a snippet of audio content to tag with labels such as emotion or genre, and anonymously share it to the Hunt Pods.
The Hunt Pods: The “Sensory Music Pods” installed in the library amplifies the impact of the media and music production rooms by allowing other patrons of the library listen to the music produced by NC State students. Inside the Hunt Pods the combination of surround-sound speakers and LED lights immerse listener's in a full sensory experience as they browse through sound samples shared via Audiodrive using the physical control knobs. The knobs located on the pedestal enable users to choose from a range of emotions to play corresponding sounds and adjust the intensity. Inside the pod the flexible web of LED lights pulse and change in response to the users' choices.
Anonymous Voting: Anonymity encourages media and music production room users to share works without hesitation. Additionally, listeners can respond to the works shared by pushing down the knob on the right to “favorite” a selected sound sample.
Listener Feedback: The number of “favorites” and “plays” are displayed on AudioDrive when the creator of the sample logs in. The voting of listeners allows creators to get feedback on their work.
Two sessions were observed and video recorded when participants were using the space.
In addition to library staff, four other media and music production room users selected to be interviewed among first-time, one-time, and frequent users.