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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Participatory design of a biometrically-driven portable audio player Himmetoğlu, Hikmet Gökhan


Music listening assumes a number of different forms and purposes for many people who live in a highly digitalized world. Where, how and what songs are listened to can be a highly personalized activity, as unique musical preferences and individual tastes play an important role in choice of music. Today’s portable media devices are high-capacity and easy to carry around, supporting quick access to a nearly unlimited library of media, in many use contexts in nearly any time or place. But these advantages come at a cost. Operating the music player while doing other things can involve a physical and mental demand that ranges from inconvenient to dangerous. The Haptic-Affect Loop (HALO) paradigm was introduced by Hazelton et al. (2010) to help users control portable media players by continuously inferring the user’s affective state and the player behaviour they desired through physiological signals. They proposed using the haptic modality to deliver feedback and gathered initial requirements from a single user. In this thesis, we present a qualitative participatory design study which broadens Hazelton’s single user participatory design study to include six participants. A more efficient means of obtaining information about a user is developed to support scaling to multiple participants. We then examined these users’ expectations for user-device communication and the functionality of the HALO paradigm, with the objective of identifying clusters of preferred uses for HALO. In this regard, we identified the behaviours of a proposed system that these users would find most useful, and that they would like to interact with. We collectively explored a set of exemplar implicit and explicit interaction scenarios for HALO, finding greater confidence in mechanisms that did not relinquish user control, but openness to trying more implicit control approaches where priority of control in listening music was lower than secondary tasks. The willingness to try more implicit control approaches depends on the reliability of the technology. Finally, we generated a set of interaction design guidelines for the next stage of HALO prototyping.

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