New interface artefacts are changing the way we interact with machines, and this is particularly important for the musical domain. Conversely, the growing do-it-yourself (DIY) culture is subverting the manufacturer–consumer model. Regarding music, software such as Pure Data and Max/MSP allows users to build their own interactive systems. These factors contribute to the emergence of new digital musical instruments (DMI). However, DMI creation still requires a strong technical background. Based on the importance of prototyping in the process of designing things, this paper presents the Sketchument, an environment devoted to help non-technical users to easily prototype DMIs, using multiple input modes and allowing the integration to other useful technologies. From a lo-fi paper prototype, to functional ones, passing through movies, questionnaires, interviews, Sketchument has been developed following the same prototyping philosophy we intend to propose to its users. The cyclic process of design–implementation-evaluation has produced valuable feedback from potential users, which has been very useful to back design choices and to push modifications.
The paper is avaiable here.