I decided to immerse myself in the industry and focus on learning its design language and vocabulary.
To understand the market of portable field recorders, I did desktop research. This included trends in form, interface, and device specifications. During this stage I also explored blogs and gained a broad knowledge of sound designers preferred brands, specifications, and their formal and informal vocabulary.
I immersed myself into the life of the user, in order to observe their behavior and experiences. The four methods I used were: Active and Passive Observations, Interviews, and Surveys.
I observed sound designers recording live sound from film sets, and recording sound effects in the field. I collected this data by taking notes, pictures, and gathering first person video footage. I asked questions along the way about their interactions with the equipment and the people around them.
I observed sound designers in the recording studio, recording live sound from film sets, and recording sound effects in the field. I collected this data by taking notes, pictures, and gathering video footage. On some occasions I asked questions after the observation to clarify their reasoning.
I spoke with sound design professors, student sound designers, professionals, and a key member of the Audio Engineering Society about their experiences with audio recording and their view points on specific devices.
I wrote and conducted surveys to gain more statistical data. This allowed me to see rich view into the behaviors and reasoning of the user. For example, I identified key features they consider when using a recording device.
Customer Journey Map
Below is a journey map that shows the user touch-points throughout the process of recording audio, highlighting specific pain points within this process.
I decided to do general ergonomic tests on hands. I did this by making models of the two most popular devices on the market and sliced them into different thicknesses. With this study I noticed what dimensions users liked, giving me a rough guideline to design within.