The testing procedure was conducted in two distinct stages.
Before testing all participants were informed of the general application that they were about to use. Each was given a consent form and informed of the procedure in accordance with IRB regulations. Each participant used the same laptop to complete the task and were given 5 minutes to become familiar with the computer keyboard, mouse, touchpad, word processor and browser functions.
The first was completing a set of tasks on a prototype interface built in Axure. Following each task in this set was a questionnaire that reflected the demand of each task using the NASA/TLX scoring system. Upon completion of all interface tasks, the participants were given a System Usability Scale (SUS) questionnaire.
Pre-Stage 2 Procedure:
At this point in the testing procedure users were given a brief introduction to SolJAMM that lasted about 5 minutes per participant. The LED cubes were also explained during this time using a sample progression (displayed on LED lights) and a simple drumbeat provided by the Casio piano keyboard. All participants were then allowed another 5 minutes to warm-up on the piano keyboard. This was done to ensure the participants could use the SolJAMM bar and become familiar with the piano itself. Each participant was also given a color test to ensure each colored cube was perceived as the intended display color.
The second was a set of “Jam” tasks using the LED Cubes and a piano keyboard. After displaying the colors on the LED cubes participants were asked to say aloud what colors they saw. The perceived order of colors was confirmed for each song. There were three levels of difficulty associated with 9 pieces of music. After each difficulty level, or 3 tasks, a NASA/TLX scoring system questionnaire was administered. Upon completion of the all 9 songs the participant were asked to complete a questionnaire with SUS style questions to gauge usability with the system.
Following the completion of both stages a demographic survey questionnaire was administered in order to obtain critical data without tampering with the mindset of the participants. Questions regarding musical experience, improvisation experience, familiarity with concepts, and others were explored in this section.