Alpine: Level Play Animations
An Interface That Shows, Not Tells
Once Alpine had settled on the idea of sorting music by some sort of musical base content score, John and I set to work designing an interface that would do more that just tell the user what it does, but show them through experience what they were adjusting/changing/interacting
After several iterations, and discussions with the client, we settled on an animated dial, that would express the amount of base the user was selecting, in form, color, speed, and haptics.
The goal of this interface was to make something that didn't just tell the user how the haptic/knetic headphoned worked but allowed the user to experience and experiment with how they worked. The interface needed to look touchable, and give immediate feedback as to choice and results.
After several weeks of explorations, sketching, prototypings, and testing, the result was a set of animated circles with a bouncy feel. The circles give it just enough of a dial feel, and the animate works to give immediate feedback.
Of the course of weeks, the ainimations were built up to ensure the user would feel the interaction just as much as think it.
I explored dozens of color options for the interface, but ultimately settled on simple four color system. The colors flow along a color scale, so that they can easly be blended without appearing moody during animation. The four colors also help to guide the user, by providing way markers along the verticle axis of the interface..
To help queue the user into the selection of more or less base, the pulsar control increases in it's frequency of pusles as the user slides the dial up, and decreases as the user pulls it down.
The goal of each energetic level was to evoke a simpathetic response between the amount of base the user would hear and the amount of energy within a pulse animation. In addition to this, each level needed to feel distinct enough to be easily identified from the previous states.
The third component to the design of the controller was the haptic/knetic driver in the headphone. As the user pushed up and pulled down on the dial, the haptic engine would increase or decrease giving the user a physical feeling of their base level choice.