Caesura

Musician's practice room companion

Music students routinely experience long hours of practicing in order to perfect their craft. Combined with repetitive movements, this can result in long-lasting physical injuries.

 

Latin for ‘a pause or a breath,’ Caesura is a practice room companion that promotes mindfulness and self-care to prevent injury in young musicians.

ROLE

UI Design, UX Design, Branding

 

TOOLS

Sketch, Invision, Illustrator

DURATION

5 months

Challenge

Musicians have the skills and techniques to routinely perform and perfect their craft.

However, the importance of focusing on their well-being during their practice routines are overlooked. These long hours of practicing combined with daily repetitive movements can result in long-lasting and eventually, career-ending physical injuries.

Research

As this project suggests personal health and wellness, I started with an online survey that received 93 responses from music students, teachers and professional musicians. 

 

I also conducted in-person interviews with students and graduates from the UBC School of Music along with professional musicians, educators and a physiotherapist. Through both survey results and in-person interviews, the feedback I've received has been very insightful as well as very helpful with shaping the direction I wanted Caesura to have. 

Survey and interview responses contributed to creating my user persona, Emily. These responses helped dictate a friction analysis of an undergraduate music student’s interpersonal, emotional and technological interactions through a 24-hour period.

User Persona Profile

User Friction Analysis

Art Direction

Caesura is geared towards young adults which requires the visual identity to be friendly and while serving as a companion during their practicing. This includes the use of a youthful yet calming palette along with illustrations of musical instruments. Caesura’s branding derives from the symbol used to denote ‘a pause or a breath’ within a musical piece.

Ideation & Sketches

During this ideation phase, I explored different functions and features to include in Caesura via a user flow chart diagram. After multiple iterations and sketches, I came up with the Caesura's core components which include: Practice, Stretch, Breathe and Check-In.

I also needed to ensure that the text, imagery and design elements are easy to understand for my target group.

One of the many sketchbook spreads

User Flow Diagram

Wireframing

After narrowing down the features I wanted to include, I started sketching and roughly figure out the placement of elements such as text, graphic and UI elements. I also wanted to showcase the onboarding process.

User-Testing

Once the first generation of wireframes has been completed I began recruiting music students to test a prototype. During the user testing sessions, it was an eye-opener seeing the prototype being used in real-time and getting feedback. After going through the first round with 5 user-testers, it is back to the drawing board.

Portion of user-testing video

Prototype

After multiple rounds of iteration and testing, the final design was well-received with positive responses from music students and studio teachers.

 

While Caesura’s current form is a high-fidelity prototype, this app is currently in partnership with the UBC School of Music for further finetuning and testing.

Future Considerations

Some future considerations and expansions include premium content allowing for further personalization by catering to individual instruments. Caesura hopes to partner with music educators to release a version of the app suitable for elementary and secondary students with the goal of introducing best practices as early as possible.

© 2019 Evelyn Chua

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