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Investigating music listening experience

Collaborations: MIRAGE, RITMO and MusicLab

Year: 2022

Skills: UX Research,Interaction Design

Design method: Data Collection such as surveys and user interviews, user testing; Data analysis and data visualisation.


Our senses are interconnected, we constantly make sense of the information that is available in our environment. We give meaning to the information based on our knowledge and experience (mental models). Something we seem to know from ordinary life is that moods have colours, colours suggest flavours, sounds can be heavy or light and personalities can be spiky. We take for granted that the stage lighting for a concert is the “right” stage lighting and we seldom experience mismatched senses. When we do, it´s strange: a piece of slow pace music paired with yellow, rapidly flashing lights, for example, would seem wrong to some individuals.

The work in this project with Bjørn Dreyer and Olivier Lartillot touches a little on these kinds of topics but in a less dramatic way. I wanted to inquire into how the things we pay attention to affect the way we hear things. Artistic researcher and guitarist Bjørn wanted to share his cross-sensory experience with the audience; researcher Olivier Lartillot created visualisations in the concert. He also wanted to make an app called “Synesthesizer” that allowed listeners to assign colours to the music. I was able to work with these colleagues to find out how the audience reacted to the sounds and colours. I also asked people who weren´t at Bjørn´s concert about their sensory reactions. My main roles here were to design the interactions, conduct user research, develop data collection and data analysis methods and evaluate the data. There were two phases of experiments (concert and non-concert settings).

Infographic of the process
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