In the lead up to the launch of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music app, we’d like to tell you the story of our journey to this point.

Over the next few days we’re releasing ten blogs by project manager Barbara Palczynski, charting the ten months it’s taken to turn ideas into reality.

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Prototypes and Testing – December 2014


The vocabulary of digital product development employs a lovely word: iteration the repetition of a process, in our case, making versions of digital software. You could also apply this word to describe some minimalist music. And so we have produced our first iteration of the #ClappingMusicApp. Hurray!

Apart from the small matter of only being able to download this if you have an iPhone or iPad running iOS8, we are now the proud parents of a digital baby. You have to tap the screen along to a pulse which varies from basic patterns through to the Steve Reich Clapping Music score. And so it came to pass that in the week before Christmas, we gathered in a room in Kings Place and unleashed this prototype on willing volunteers, with plenty of juice and biscuits.

We learned so much! From what people find easy or difficult, to how intuitive the prototype was and how people hold their devices. And right there, we started to make a new list of all the things that we wanted to change, to satisfy our desire to perfect the game. Our creative thinking started to flow again because we were all so excited by the sheer addictiveness of this very simple game.  And the most important thing we learned was that people like it!

Barbara Palczynski

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