Octava – UX/UI Design
App Development | Performance | Professional Work
Octava, an app designed to augment live performance and arts events with contextual information in real-time, has been in development for 5 years, as a collaboration between myself, and composer Linda Dusman.
The UX/UI design challenges were very unique to the development of Octava. A blend of institutional memory, tradition, dedication to loyal audiences and a general resistance technological adoption has made many orchestra organizations resistant to the changing perceptions and tastes of the contemporary public.
Essentially, our goal was to augment the traditional concert experience with supplemental information that is queued to precise moments in the musical score, providing supplemental context that enriches the over all experience. It was hoped that this would elicit more of an active listening experience as opposed to passively allowing the music to wash over the audience.
Having spent a decade working on multi-disciplinary teams of scientists, artists, earth scientists, and satirists (to name a few), I very much knew the role data could play in broadcasting any information to the public. With this in mind, from the beginning of the Octava project I knew we desperately needed a way to gauge user impressions.
The challenge here is that aesthetic impressions are qualitative, not quantitative, so we needed a metric that could allow users to quickly assess their experience in an unguided way. Collaborating with Human Centered Computing at UMBC in 2011, I developed a hybrid qualitative reaction survey that fueled 3 full revisions of the Octava app over the next 5 years.
While not empirically conclusive, the data yielded from these surveys gave clear impressions of our user test audiences that guided my UX/UI design decisions, allowing us to completely revert many of the initial critiques.
To get a better glimpse of how the app functions, please view the videos below.
Adobe Creative Cloud
- After Effects
- Tortoise SVN
Skills and Abilities
- 2D Animation
FX & Compositing
- Color Correction
- Motion Graphics
- Digital Print Production
Management, Education and Research
- Pipeline Development
- Technology Research
- App Development
- User Testing