Just a few hours back when I was speaking to a musician friend of mine, he seemed very frustrated about the interface of a sound-mixing software. As a usability and user interface professional, I never ever understood one thing: In the music world, there are so many softwares and so many workstations used to create music and certainly people want to buy these expensive products yet they are scared of one question. The question is how do they learn them?? They have music workstations etc that cost an arm and a leg yet they barely put any effort on creating interactive tuts to get a handle on these complex systems. I would go and buy a keyboard for 3000 Euros today if I also get a tutorial DVD for 50 Euros, something which I rarely find. I just don’t get it why some of these companies are so stupid.
I say as a design professional so many people want to try technology but they do not because at times they are scared to the extent that they think learning these devices is like skating on thin ice. Since the devices are so much rich in functionalities the scare is how we will learn so much stuff yet all we need is 15 well-structured video/interactive tutorials.
These companies just don’t get it. What they give is boring ridiculous 500 page black and white manual who everyone is afraid of. Korg is selling workstations for 3000 Euros with almost no such tutorials. Of course we have sites like Youtube where we can find user generated tuts but that’s like fishing without training. Our life would be a lot easier if these companies invest as low as 5% of their budgets on making the users understand their devices easily.
Is it a deliberate business strategy? Does the complexity in musical devices sweeten the deal for them? How would they position their products in the market as desired ones (complexity is there USP??)...how would the music teaching businesses will run? If everyone could learn these devices at home...many so called music teaching shops will be closed.
But learning a device is totally different from understanding the essence of music, the rhythm, the harmony, the tone, the tempo, the notes, the pulses and all the musical attributes that constitute heart throbbing compositions.
I would like to know what IxD community thinks. Is there any research on designing effective instructions that are best for developing desired skills in music production arena?