Proposed User Tasks – Levels of Mastery

by graham

Creating Passionate Users proposes that one way for software to be engaging is to have a number of “levels” which users naturally progress through to achieve greater mastery.

Here are some proposed level tasks for Mused users and developers. They range from Level One: Music Fan to Level Ten: Grand Collage Ninja.

1. Simple Modification – Take an existing music track and speed up the tempo, or change the key.

Sample Addition – Take an existing track, add samples from another song.

Sample Addition-Subtraction – Take an existing track, delete rhythmic or melodic material to leave holes, and add material from other music to replace it.

Harmonic Meddling – Take an existing track, and change the key of a limited part of the song.

Static Tempo Mixtape – Take a string of tracks, and modify them to have the same tempo. Cross-fade between them in the transitions.

Dynamic Tempo Mixtape – Take a string of tracks, and change the tempo smoothly from one track to the next, as well as crossfading between them in the transitions.

Power Hour – Create a beatmatched one hour mix for Jim’s Power Hour.

Stylized Mixtape – Make either a Static or Dynamic Tempo Mixtape with elements of Simple Modification, Sample Addition or Subtraction, and Harmonic Meddling in each song. Come up with a creative concept for the mixtape.

Classic Mash (Sample Addition x2) – Take two familiar but stylistically different songs and interlace them.

Cover Song (Sample Addition x5) – Recreate a musical track as in Sample Addition, but draw most of the musical material from at least 10 tracks in equal proportions.

Creative Composition – Make an original composition from 10’s of songs, using bits of vocals, rhythms, and instrument lines in new arrangements.

10. Comprehensive Composition – Create a song with a totally novel structure containing samples from 100’s of different tracks, each of them lending a recognizible style to the song, but without any full melodies lifted from one particular piece.

This approach affords several benefits. It gives a set of intermediate milestones for development. Once development is finished, it provides a clear path (like a tutorial) for a user to gain mastery in progressively difficult tasks. Also, it makes us all feel like ninjas. Which is good.

Leave a Reply