What music for interaction designers

28 Feb 2009 - 2:31am
5 years ago
57 replies
2156 reads
Pietro Desiato
2008

What kind of music do you listen (when you can) while brainstorming,
analysing, designing interactions?

Are there any songs that would make our design flow better?

Let's make a playlist :)

Comments

28 Feb 2009 - 2:58am
Angel Marquez
2008

Right now:The Prodigy-Omen
The Velvet Underground-Oh! Sweet Nuthin'
Jane's Addiction - Just Because

28 Feb 2009 - 5:01am
John Gibbard
2008

About 30 of us are signed up to a group, helpfully called Ixda on
last.fm which tracks the music we listen to. Granted it makes no
allowances for filtering out the music you listen to in the bath, on
your walk to work or bungee jumping at the weekend but as a general
soundtrack to interaction designers' lives it's quite useful.

There are some previous threads about this in the Ixda archives
which, if ibwasn't typing this on my phone, I!d include.

Best wishes
John

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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28 Feb 2009 - 5:38am
Michael Grillhösl
2008

http://friskyradio.com/frisky.m3u

i like it

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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28 Feb 2009 - 4:08am
mwioncek
2009

Flight of the Conchords, The Frames, Flogging Molly

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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28 Feb 2009 - 3:37am
antonella sassu
2009

hi!
in particular in the moments of brainstorming I like listen
electronic music. Sometimes I search new artists on jamendo.com.
But I like also Kaki King and Andy McKee.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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28 Feb 2009 - 6:31am
Eirik Midttun
2009

If you want to improve the design you should consider not to listen to
music at all. "Peopleware" by DeMarco & al explains a study showing
how listening to music affected software productivity. The results
showed that the music had little effect on productivity, but did
affect the quality. Those who listned to music seemed to miss certain
patterns in the work that those who worked in quiet recognised
easily.

I have often heard objections that this depends on the person and
ohter factors. The thing is, none of the subjects test for this
admits any decrease in quality or quantity of their work.

That said, I do listen to music myself at work. Mostly ambient stuff.
I'll be happy to receive suggestions for msuic without vocals.
Hearing human voices is particularly distracting. Didn't really
notice before I became aware of it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39321

28 Feb 2009 - 7:44am
.pauric
2006

I tend to think of music as having a significant effect on my
productivity. Especially when I have some low level mundane tasks
such as iterating feedback in to a design. But I do agree that
listening to music while trying to ideate can be counter productive.

I think this all ties back to a discussion here on the list late last
year about The Resistance of the Material, the feeback of the medium
you are working in and being in the design 'zone'. I've rarely
experienced the 'in the zone' feeling one gets when exercising to
music when I'm trying to capture concepts.

That all said, I'll throw this on to the list of personal favourites
http://www.oemradio.org/
I find ambient (no vocals) music great for when I'm transferring
designs from paper to computer. Not distracting enough to take your
attention away from the details at hand but interesting enough to
keep you working for an hour or two without getting bored.

I think the most important role music can play while designing is
when you need to swtich off for a while, put your mind in a different
space. Helps get past designer's block.

/pauric

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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28 Feb 2009 - 9:15am
stepheneighmey
2008

i actually listen to the itunes radio and have an ambient station i
like called drone zone. i find anything else aside from atmospheric
music distracts me a bit; i tend to pay too much attention to the
music, but the ambient is nice because i have a number of co-workers
around me who are communicating verbally quite a bit and that is also
distracting. i need individual reflecting time to thik about my work.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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28 Feb 2009 - 8:43am
Jeremy Kriegel
2009

I've found that I've been listening to music less lately. That could
be due to the amount of multi-tasking and switching.

Anyhow, I agree with those who said no vocals. I go for
ambient/downtempo if I need to stay mellow and relaxed and feel
fairly alert already. Otherwise, I go for trance. A good Tiesto mix
fits the bill nicely.

jer
www.methodSANSmadness.com

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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28 Feb 2009 - 9:57am
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

>
> Flight of the Conchords, The Frames, Flogging Molly
>

The Frames — nice choice. Glen Hansard is one of the finest songwriters on
the planet.

-r-

28 Feb 2009 - 10:20am
Rob Nero
2005

I have all 4 soundtracks to Battlestar Galactica in one playlist, and then
shuffle through them all.

I realize this sounds ultra-nerdy.... but the music has a surprising effect.
Each soundtrack includes many emotional highs and lows in the music, which
has nicely given me new inspirations during my design process.

:)

28 Feb 2009 - 10:42am
gfrances@iconta...
2008

@Eirik
"That said, I do listen to music myself at work. Mostly ambient stuff. I'll be happy to receive suggestions for msuic without vocals."

If you haven't done so, check out http://www.dataobscura.com/free.php and http://www.pingthings.com/index.html .

Two excellent sources for ambient music.

28 Feb 2009 - 10:10am
Ryan Brunsvold
2008

I have to agree with pauric's comment regarding using music to get a
fresh perspective on a problem. Recently, I've been using one, or
all of these artists for that express purpose:

1.) The National
2.) Thelonious Monk
3.) Band of Horses

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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28 Feb 2009 - 10:59am
Scott McDaniel
2007

Not to be contrary, but I consider music essential to my process.
There are times for silence and office buzz, but really now...I know how I work.

Weedling through wireframes of familiar sorts, documenting, sketching,
corresponding:
trance (esp. psytrance), dancey goth-industrial, Mozart, Chopin

Complicated issues:
Tool, Coil, Aphex Twin, Legendary Pink Dots, Psychic TV, Marilyn
Manson, Mussourgsky, Debussy

Getting people out of my office so I can get things done:
Merzbow, Diamanda Galas, Swans...

Scott
--
"I have mad skills at doing spazzy things." - Janiene West

28 Feb 2009 - 12:42pm
Elizabeth Buie
2004

I listen to music while I'm doing visual stuff and not while I'm doing verbal/analytical stuff. What I listen to while designing is generally what I listen to in general: Jethro Tull / Ian Anderson, medieval and Renaissance polyphony, Celtic stuff, and if I've got a concert coming up, the MP3s I've created from the MIDI files the director sends out to help us learn the music.

Music distracts me when I'm trying to think analytically or verbally, and it energizes me and enhances my mood when I'm doing mockups or other visual activities. I think it's a left-brain/right-brain thing.

Elizabeth
--
Elizabeth Buie
Luminanze Consulting
http://www.luminanze.com

28 Feb 2009 - 12:41pm
Katie Albers
2005

I'd like to know the conditions of this study. In my experience, the
choice for most software engineers is not between music and silence,
but rather between music and other people's chatter. Thus, I find it
hard to imagine an experiment where listening to music would enable
less concentration than not doing so.

kt

Katie Albers
Founder & Principal Consultant
FirstThought
User Experience Strategy & Project Management
310 356 7550
katie at firstthought.com

On Feb 28, 2009, at 4:31 AM, Eirik Midttun wrote:

> If you want to improve the design you should consider not to listen to
> music at all. "Peopleware" by DeMarco & al explains a study showing
> how listening to music affected software productivity. The results
> showed that the music had little effect on productivity, but did
> affect the quality. Those who listned to music seemed to miss certain
> patterns in the work that those who worked in quiet recognised
> easily.
>
> I have often heard objections that this depends on the person and
> ohter factors. The thing is, none of the subjects test for this
> admits any decrease in quality or quantity of their work.
>
> That said, I do listen to music myself at work. Mostly ambient stuff.
> I'll be happy to receive suggestions for msuic without vocals.
> Hearing human voices is particularly distracting. Didn't really
> notice before I became aware of it.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39321
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

28 Feb 2009 - 2:48pm
Eirik Midttun
2009

@Katie: I read the book a while ago, but I remember it as a controlled
experiment with only music as the variable. Those who did not listen
to music worked undisturbed.

I buy the argument that music can shield disturbances that are far
worse, but shouldn't that problem be solved in another way.
Inadequate workspace, disturbances, and interruptions are actual
productivity killers, I claim I didn't make for music. (This is also
discussed in "Peopleware")

For me the study is more of story than scientific proof. I keep
thinking of it when the work/music issue comes up.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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28 Feb 2009 - 3:30pm
Katie Albers
2005

Erik,

I absolutely agree that silence -- or a reasonable equivalent (white
noise, wind, water, and all the other W's) are optimum for creativity.
It's what I've observed to be true in my own work and what I've
invariably heard from people who find themselves in a position where
they are forced by external circumstances to work in noise-less
situation (they forgot their iPod and work in an actual one-person
office with a door, for example) have found that they work better
without the music. However (and this is a huge issue for most workers)
working in silence is not an option in the standard cube-farm or open
plan office. And in those cases where silence is enforced, it feels
creepy. This is my big argument against the idea that "open plan
offices are more productive" (and the studies I've seen over the years
have come to the reverse conclusion) because when your office is
planned for you to interact, your interaction is interfering with
someone else's concentration.

I believe that creativity and innovation require both individual,
concentrated attention in silence and vocal, messy, interaction, and
that good office planning provides for both (individual, sound
insulated spaces for individual work and "war rooms" for cooperative
work). I know that company I worked at where I was most productive
used cubes, but sound insulated and 8 feet tall, assigned conference
rooms for each project, and IMing was the preferred (by the employees)
method of communicating among the cubes.

But until we have better standard work spaces in companies, we have to
expect that people will use their earphones and their music to create
their own acoustic spaces.

Katie Albers
Founder & Principal Consultant
FirstThought
User Experience Strategy & Project Management
310 356 7550
katie at firstthought.com

On Feb 28, 2009, at 12:48 PM, Eirik Midttun wrote:

> @Katie: I read the book a while ago, but I remember it as a controlled
> experiment with only music as the variable. Those who did not listen
> to music worked undisturbed.
>
> I buy the argument that music can shield disturbances that are far
> worse, but shouldn't that problem be solved in another way.
> Inadequate workspace, disturbances, and interruptions are actual
> productivity killers, I claim I didn't make for music. (This is also
> discussed in "Peopleware")
>
> For me the study is more of story than scientific proof. I keep
> thinking of it when the work/music issue comes up.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39321
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

28 Feb 2009 - 4:56pm
Wendy Fischer
2004

When I'm really focused, I listen to Rammstein. I work in a small office and sometimes they are a little too loud, so I find that Rammstein drowns out everything. I don't know why I like it, I just do.

Besides Rammstein, lately it's been musicals: Cats, Chicago, Cabaret, etc. I also like international singers (Zucchero is good). When I need pumping up and am writing something, I tend towards 70's glam rock and 90's & 2000 britney spears pop.

-Wendy

28 Feb 2009 - 5:12pm
Jen Randolph
2008

I too listen to FriskyRadio: http://www.friskyradio.com

I usually cycle between that and ETN.fm - http://www.etn.fm - because
I love electronic music as well :)

I find that if I try to listen to my iPod, I spend too much time
skipping around for certain songs than I do working, so I'm much
more productive when I'm listening to the radio. Besides, both of
those sites always have the newest and coolest stuff :)

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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1 Mar 2009 - 3:24am
Adrian Howard
2005

Anybody out there not listen to anything?

(coz that's what I do :-)

Adrian -

1 Mar 2009 - 5:07am
stefano
2009

When I was a programmer I used to listen to music. Everyday.
Now, as Interaction Designer I do have some problems with music.
When you make code (every given day) you are all the time alone with
your screen, so you put your headphones on, and go.
Now at work I always has to talk with someone, have to go somewhere..
so, no time for being alone with music.

On Mar 1, 10:24 am, Adrian Howard <adri... at quietstars.com> wrote:
> Anybody out there not listen to anything?
>
> (coz that's what I do :-)
>
> Adrian -
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... disc... at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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1 Mar 2009 - 5:40am
Mayur Karnik
2007

I put my headphones on and don't listen to anything when I am doing
something high level / conceptual. The main idea is to not let others bother
/ disturb you. If there's noise around or any distracting conversations or
something, I turn on trip hop / lounge - anything with slow bpm and calm,
familiar... of course, there are instances when you are facing a creative
block and music can be good inspiration; i log on to some internet radio
service like aol / spinner and experiment with new music... world music also
helps.

If I am working on something low level / details (more often repetitive
stuff), then I listen to something faster - like ministry of sound / fabric
sort of compilations, chemical brothers / moby etc. to keep myself alert,
awake.

1 Mar 2009 - 10:28am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 1 Mar 2009, at 11:07, stefo wrote:

> When I was a programmer I used to listen to music. Everyday.
> Now, as Interaction Designer I do have some problems with music.
> When you make code (every given day) you are all the time alone with
> your screen, so you put your headphones on, and go.
> Now at work I always has to talk with someone, have to go somewhere..
> so, no time for being alone with music.

Personally I'd see a roomful of coders with headphones as worrying as
a roomful of designers with headphones.... but that's just me :-)

Adrian

1 Mar 2009 - 10:58am
goncaloferraz
2009

Hello, friends.

What if the music were chosen in order to meet the project's
theme/concept? Would that be part of a criative methodology...

--
Gonçalo B Ferraz @ goncaloferraz.com
Interaction Design @ faberludens.com.br
+55 (48) 3338-2827 - Florianópolis, SC
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sonho que se sonha só
é só um sonho que se sonha só
Mas sonho que se sonha junto
é realidade nova-acropole.org.br

1 Mar 2009 - 2:24pm
Andrew Boyd
2008

On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 7:31 PM, Pietro Desiato
<pietro.desiato at gmail.com> wrote:
> What kind of music do you listen (when you can) while brainstorming,
> analysing, designing interactions?
>
> Are there any songs that would make our design flow better?
>
> Let's make a playlist :)

Hi Pietro,

When things are going swimmingly, 80s Happy House, The Cat Empire, Joy
Division, and I'll even admit to Duran Duran and Frankie Goes To
Hollywood.
When there is a lot to get done in a hurry, The Presets.
When there is a lot to get done and things are going badly, KMFDM and
Black Label Society help me to reduce distractions.
When I'm still working late, and things could be better, Offspring and
White Zombie.
When things have been reduced to "curl in a fetal ball", Big Audio Dynamite.

Best regards, Andrew

--
---
Andrew Boyd
http://uxaustralia.com.au -- UX Australia Conference Canberra 2009
http://uxbookclub.org -- connect, read, discuss
http://govux.org -- the government user experience forum
http://resilientnationaustralia.org Resilient Nation Australia

1 Mar 2009 - 6:38pm
Jeremy Yuille
2007

the neck's 'aether' has been my longtime trusty companion for writing reading and creative tasks. especially in noisy surroundings.

Other Necks albums work well for me, but none come close to getting me into the zone like aether...

1 Mar 2009 - 6:38pm
Jeremy Yuille
2007

the neck's 'aether' has been my longtime trusty companion for
writing reading and creative tasks. especially in noisy surroundings.

Other Necks albums work well for me, but none come close to getting
me into the zone like aether...

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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1 Mar 2009 - 7:33pm
Angel Marquez
2008

uhmmm silence is a form of music...this has worked for me...
MORNING
Iron & Wine with calexico-Live on NPR (free to download from NPR)
My Morning Jacket -It Still Moves
M.Ward-Transistor Radio

AFTERNOON
AIR-The Virgin Suicides Soundtrack
Sasha-Air Drawn Dagger
Digweed
Global Underground

MID DAY
BT-This Binary Universe
Evil 9-Y4K compilation

EVENING
Royksopp
CSS
The Knife

With a lot of 80's synth pop and indie rock in between...fugazi, pet shop
boys, minor threat, blonde redhead...

LABELS
Naked records
Technique Recordings
OM records

Dj Shadow, The Living Legends...

I notice when people around me have a rhythm to their activities. When
people are in the kitchen some make a racket and others have a pleasant
sound to their maneuvers.

I checked last.fm. I searched interaction designer, all that came up was
some keynote stuff, no music.

If someone I was working with was quiet I would sit in silence with them.
Usually people are loud and want you to hear them that is when I slap on the
headphones and zone out.

1 Mar 2009 - 9:32pm
Damon Dimmick
2008

I wish I had a link to the study, but I remember reading the following:

The best music for doing work by has very little to do with the music
itself, however, there are a few guidelines that seem to help you avoid
distraction and get into a the flow. These include the following -

1. The music should be well known to you: "New" music requires
processing and some degree of attention, even if is background music.
New patterns are registered and you can easily be drawn into a more
assertive, active listening pattern. Music that you know very well helps
avoid the need for new processing. The better known, the less attention
required. Think "well worn music" from your salad days, could be rock,
classical, hip-hop, whatever, as long as you know if like the back of
your hand.

2. Lyrics require an additional level of processing. If you have some
music you like -without- lyrics, that would be better. This effect can
be mitigated if the lyrics are so well known that their actual meanings
are no longer processed (think Eye of the Tiger, if you know the words
well, you don't even really think about them anymore) but in general,
removing the linguistic processing level will help.

3. More spartan arrangements tend to be better. If you have a song with
a lot of sounds going on, or a delicate but recognizable interplay of
many different instruments, a more spartan composition may be better.
This effect is apparently mitigated in the case of large orchestral
arrangements where instruments are not necessarily perceived
individually, but as part of a larger section.

4. A persistent beat is apparently desirable.

Hope this gives you some ideas. Personally, I have a specific 1 hour
track of some traditional japanese music which I have listened to over
and over again to the point where I hum along to it without having to
think. It has no lyrics, it has a spartan composition (4 instruments),
and a nice, steady beat. Works like a charm for me.

Also, by using this same track, I've actually trained a Pavlovian
response into my psyche; when I hear it, I automatically feel like "it's
time to work."

Just my 2 cents,
Damon

Mayur Karnik wrote:
> I put my headphones on and don't listen to anything when I am doing
> something high level / conceptual. The main idea is to not let others bother
> / disturb you. If there's noise around or any distracting conversations or
> something, I turn on trip hop / lounge - anything with slow bpm and calm,
> familiar... of course, there are instances when you are facing a creative
> block and music can be good inspiration; i log on to some internet radio
> service like aol / spinner and experiment with new music... world music also
> helps.
>
> If I am working on something low level / details (more often repetitive
> stuff), then I listen to something faster - like ministry of sound / fabric
> sort of compilations, chemical brothers / moby etc. to keep myself alert,
> awake.
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

1 Mar 2009 - 10:04pm
Angel Marquez
2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5cWWV0KNDg

The above I think really hits the nail on the head.

Oh yea, Love Spirals Downward (LSD) and Pendulum are nice rides too.

I think the tempo of the music and your heart rate might be
the respiratory correlate.

2 Mar 2009 - 9:04am
Anonymous

Dear all,
For some years now the talented people at Intergalactic FM have been
supplying my ears with steady stimulus and unsurpassed inspiration.
They are based in Rotterdam and their 3-in-1 stream goes 24/7, no
advertising (except for stylistic ones for themselves), no talk just
quality music, if you're into
1: Electronics
2: Retro/ Disco
3: Ambient

.. that's right, you can always switch around between the three.

The address is.. and a warm applause to
www.intergalacticfm.com

Various players, embeds, itunes links etc. are to be found at
www.intergalacticfm.com/players

Hope you all like it as much as I do - and don't forget to donate!
Cheers,

Andreas
anhes at ciid.dkds.dk

On Feb 28, 2009, at 01:31 , Pietro Desiato wrote:

What kind of music do you listen (when you can) while brainstorming,
analysing, designing interactions?

Are there any songs that would make our design flow better?

Let's make a playlist :)

________________________________________________________________
Reply to this thread at ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39321

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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2 Mar 2009 - 3:26pm
laurie kalmanson
2006

techno trance trip hop 80's jpop

and the louder the better

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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2 Mar 2009 - 3:41pm
Anthony Hempell
2007

Agree with many who like the more ambient, less vocal type approach,
personal faves are American Analog Set, Laika and of course Sigur Ros,
but also enjoy a good dose of Jose Gonzalez or Cat Power if in the
mood for vocals.

Have to say when I really need to get stuff done, I need a steady beat
and some fuzz on the guitar... I keep a lot of Tragically Hip on hand
(despite it being the most MOR rawk imaginable) mostly because I end
up three hours later having pumped out fifteen wireframes... Husker Du
also on heavy rotation for this kind of duty; also find Metallica
works well at keeping the hypothalamus occupied while the cerebral
cortex gets busy.

cheers
Anthony

2 Mar 2009 - 3:26pm
laurie kalmanson
2006

techno trance trip hop 80's jpop

and the louder the better

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39321

2 Mar 2009 - 3:41pm
Anthony Hempell
2007

Agree with many who like the more ambient, less vocal type approach,
personal faves are American Analog Set, Laika and of course Sigur Ros,
but also enjoy a good dose of Jose Gonzalez or Cat Power if in the
mood for vocals.

Have to say when I really need to get stuff done, I need a steady beat
and some fuzz on the guitar... I keep a lot of Tragically Hip on hand
(despite it being the most MOR rawk imaginable) mostly because I end
up three hours later having pumped out fifteen wireframes... Husker Du
also on heavy rotation for this kind of duty; also find Metallica
works well at keeping the hypothalamus occupied while the cerebral
cortex gets busy.

cheers
Anthony

3 Mar 2009 - 12:11pm
Pietro Desiato
2008

the topic is hot :)

what I listen to while in creative mind movements:Ludovico Einaudi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAI2doCUbNc

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39321

3 Mar 2009 - 4:59pm
neylano
2007

Neko Case. Karsh Kale.

Callie Neylan / Senior Interactive Designer / NPR / cneylan at npr.org / 202 513 3672

-----Original Message-----
From: new-bounces at ixda.org [mailto:new-bounces at ixda.org] On Behalf Of Pietro Desiato
Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 7:32 PM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] What music for interaction designers

What kind of music do you listen (when you can) while brainstorming,
analysing, designing interactions?

Are there any songs that would make our design flow better?

Let's make a playlist :)

________________________________________________________________
Reply to this thread at ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39321

________________________________________________________________
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4 Mar 2009 - 1:47am
Sharon Greenfield5
2008

Thievery Corporation, Kathleen Edwards.

On Mar 3, 2009, at 2:59 PM, Callie Neylan wrote:

> Neko Case. Karsh Kale.
>
>
> Callie Neylan / Senior Interactive Designer / NPR /
> cneylan at npr.org / 202 513 3672
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: new-bounces at ixda.org [mailto:new-bounces at ixda.org] On Behalf
> Of Pietro Desiato
>
> What kind of music do you listen (when you can) while brainstorming,
> analysing, designing interactions?
>
> Are there any songs that would make our design flow better?
>
> Let's make a playlist :)

4 Mar 2009 - 2:52am
Gilles DEMARTY
2005

Since this thread is still running, let's add my brick (in the wall ?):

Trip-hop / downtempo / n ambiant :

Especially ez3kiel, The Potomac Accord, Yann Tiersen, Tara King Theory,
DAAU,

On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 9:31 AM, Pietro Desiato <pietro.desiato at gmail.com>wrote:

> What kind of music do you listen (when you can) while brainstorming,
> analysing, designing interactions?
>
> Are there any songs that would make our design flow better?
>
> Let's make a playlist :)
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

4 Mar 2009 - 8:14am
Benjamin Ho
2007

FUN!

For design work, Pandora.com. You can create your own radio station.
I just created a Timo Maas station and everything else, as they say,
was history.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39321

4 Mar 2009 - 8:57am
Bengi Turgan
2008

SOMA FM - Secret Agent
Great stimuli

4 Mar 2009 - 9:38am
Meredith Noble
2010

> Anybody out there not listen to anything?
>
> (coz that's what I do :-)

I actually have a 1 minute white noise track that I found via Wikipedia
a year or two ago. I loop it and it drowns out the chatter in my open
concept office.

Other times, when it's completely quiet, I'll go with nothing.

And when I want to get in the zone while wireframing, I'll turn on some
music that I'm familiar with that doesn't take a lot of processing, with
lyrics or without lyrics. I'm with "Live", who said they were listening
to Kathleen Edwards lately.

I never listen to music while writing anything -- particularly reports &
analysis.

Adrian, you mentioned you'd be scared about programmers listening to
music -- I find that amazing! When I was an agile coder we had a stereo
on at all times in our team room. It was a great bonding experience
because we got to listen to each other's music and hence get to know
each other better. And I find music really helps me get into the groove
while coding. Also while doing math problems back in engineering school
-- HAD to have music.

This whole topic is fascinating... the way some people break up their
music choices by task, others by time of day. Thanks to the person who
started the thread!

Meredith

4 Mar 2009 - 9:53am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 4 Mar 2009, at 15:38, Meredith Noble wrote:

[snip]
> Adrian, you mentioned you'd be scared about programmers listening to
> music -- I find that amazing!
[snip]

Headphones - not music (at least - that's what I meant to say :-)

A room full of people wearing headphones is probably a bad working
environment. Either because of bad background noise - or because the
team can't get on with each other. They are - by their nature -
isolating. In a team room isolation isn't what you want.

Cheers,

Adrian
--
delicious.com/adrianh - twitter.com/adrianh - adrianh at quietstars.com

4 Mar 2009 - 10:17am
DrWex
2006

I liked Damon's points. I work in a cubicle environment where aural
interrupts are frequent and there's nothing like white noise. So
something is required. I wear headphones and often fill them with
music. I rarely choose specific music, preferring streaming radio for
most of the time:

Pandora (mostly my own Wex Eclectic Radio - feel free to listen in)
sometimes soma.fm or di.fm - particularly vocal trance, goa, and similar.

Sometimes I hit on good DJ mixes. I've been listening to
Groovelectric lately (got the "Radiant Day" mix on right now) -
http://www.djsteveboy.com/groovelectric.html

Thanks for the pointer to Intergalactic FM; I'll give that a try as well.

On Sun, Mar 1, 2009 at 10:32 PM, Damon Dimmick <damon.dimmick at gmail.com> wrote:
> 1. The music should be well known to you: "New" music requires
> processing and some degree of attention, even if is background music.

Agree. Familiar stuff falls below my threshold of consciousness most
of the time.

> 2. Lyrics require an additional level of processing. If you have some
> music you like -without- lyrics, that would be better.

I think that depends on a lot of factors, including the familiarity of
the lyrics. Much electronic music uses lyrics not so much as a
coherent narrative track that can capture attention, but more as
another instrument in itself, including looping and beat-matching.

> 3. More spartan arrangements tend to be better. If you have a song with
> a lot of sounds going on, or a delicate but recognizable interplay of
> many different instruments, a more spartan composition may be better.
> This effect is apparently mitigated in the case of large orchestral
> arrangements where instruments are not necessarily perceived
> individually, but as part of a larger section.

I think your latter point is more important than your first. To the
extent that the music produces a coherent ambience rather than
individual elements that call attention to themselves it tends to
distract me less.

> 4. A persistent beat is apparently desirable.

Slave to the rhythm!

Best,
--Alan

4 Mar 2009 - 11:03am
Evan Meagher
2009

Damon, the four guidelines you posted make perfect sense, at least
from personal experience. When I'm coding/working I always tend to
listen to relatively-mellow, preferably instrumental music that I
know. I always save anything new or avante garde for the comfort of
my own home.

Does anything have links to actual studies on this topic? I'd love
to read something official here.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=39321

4 Mar 2009 - 11:06am
Mayur Karnik
2007

Adrian's comments are noteworthy... I was just thinking the other day how
workplace environments have changed over the last decade. As 'open offices'
and laptop / docking cultures manifest (now it seems, just about
everywhere), there is an increasing clamour for private space. Sony
Walkman's success was ascribed to so-called personalisation and we have not
only jived through those times but have made it better with Ipod. Then, we
have Zune that goes social, but not many people tag along except Sony
'Walkman' phones ironically with their dual-headphones mobile phones in the
backdrop of succesful network products like Squeezebox with its duets...

The bigger question in this very very interesting thread (the last one i
remember was 'whats ur elevator pitch, mr/ ms. interaction designer) is that
what's really happening on the music front in our daily lives, daily working
lives... yes, pop is out, ambient / trip-hop is in, headphones are in,
speakers are out...

to put it more contextually, music while commuting, music in workplace,
music at home, music in restaurant or a disc... what about music in public
spaces... karaoke is totally totally in i guess hongkong, china, india..
what about music in workplaces? u need noise-free headphones these days to
focus on work...

interesting thread for sure, since we are talking about music - something
that changes (with context and time) yet remains the same (in terms of what
we may want out of it or what it means to us or how it rescues us). are we
losing human contact when we shut out so that we could work on stuff that
enables human contact? or what... i mean, we spend more time working than
jogging, but strangely it's the same headphones plugged in our ears eh!

rgds
mayur

On Wed, Mar 4, 2009 at 8:27 PM, Bengi Turgan <bengiturgan at gmail.com> wrote:

> SOMA FM - Secret Agent
> Great stimuli
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

4 Mar 2009 - 12:28pm
Kyle Cooney
2006

Lots of Explosions in the Sky, This Will Destroy You, Caspian, Mogwai,
Kammerflimmer Kollektief. Also, fair amount of Drive-By Truckers, The Hold
Steady, and Lucero...
kyle

On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 12:31 AM, Pietro Desiato
<pietro.desiato at gmail.com>wrote:

> What kind of music do you listen (when you can) while brainstorming,
> analysing, designing interactions?
>
> Are there any songs that would make our design flow better?
>
> Let's make a playlist :)
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
co-founder: cliqcliq.com - we love iphones, web services, & web applications

4 Mar 2009 - 12:40pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Musak used to (they may still) offer a service that pumped white noise into
the office rendering the open office concept much quieter. Basically it
served to kill voices. You had to walk over and have conversations within a
cube. There was also a noise curtain under development at one point. You
placed it at the top of a door way and it projected high intensity white
noise straight down with the intent of canceling out noise that might come
from the room. Not sure what happened to that idea...
I often listen to music in order to screen out small noises and
conversations when working. I also just put in ear buds at times to do the
same thing... but allowing better focus.

Mark

On Wed, Mar 4, 2009 at 10:38 AM, Meredith Noble <
meredith at usabilitymatters.com> wrote:

>
> I actually have a 1 minute white noise track that I found via Wikipedia
> a year or two ago. I loop it and it drowns out the chatter in my open
> concept office.
>

4 Mar 2009 - 2:25pm
Meredith Noble
2010

Mark, I can completely relate to the ear bud thing. So often I put ear
buds in and forget to turn my music or white noise on, but there's
something about doing it that still makes me concentrate. It's not even
that it drowns out noise in the office, I guess it's just a symbol to
myself that I'm going to attempt to get in the zone.

So interesting.

Meredith

________________________________

From: mark schraad [mailto:mschraad at gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 04, 2009 1:41 PM
To: Meredith Noble
Cc: Adrian Howard; IXDA list
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What music for interaction designers

Musak used to (they may still) offer a service that pumped white noise
into the office rendering the open office concept much quieter.
Basically it served to kill voices. You had to walk over and have
conversations within a cube. There was also a noise curtain under
development at one point. You placed it at the top of a door way and it
projected high intensity white noise straight down with the intent of
canceling out noise that might come from the room. Not sure what
happened to that idea...

I often listen to music in order to screen out small noises and
conversations when working. I also just put in ear buds at times to do
the same thing... but allowing better focus.

Mark

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