01Goal Definition

When Tabd came to Codal with dreams of building the ultimate tab sharing platform, they had already created detailed documentation for how they envisioned the platform to function, but without the means to build or design it. The client wanted Tabd to feel like an extension of the musical creative process without introducing a learning curve, or otherwise interfering.

The platform had to accommodate for the following criteria:
  • Design and build an intuitive tablature editor
  • Integrate audio capture for song clips
  • Support for commenting and sharing
  • Must not introduce any additional complexity to the creative process
  • Must be compatible with iOS (now) and Android (in the works)

02Focus & Brainstorming Sessions

As a product devoted to a very niche user type, the Codal team decided that Tabd would benefit the most from community involvement, rather than our typical iDays.

The group of guitarists that we involved in the brainstorming process included a diverse range of skill levels and technical proficiencies so as to ensure that the final product didn’t alienate any segment of this niche market, no matter how small.

User interviews proved to be key to the Tabd planning phase. Conducting focus groups with participation from numerous local musicians helped garner a deeper understanding of how Tabd should be designed and built.

The most valuable information was derived from contextual inquiries in which our UX researchers observed the music creation process for just one instrument, and how that process is integrated into an ensemble arrangement.

Market research considered current file sharing and music creation platforms, both for desktop and mobile. Identifying user issues within that market allowed us to catch and address possible issues that could have formed after development.

Tabd

03User Experience Design

In keeping with the client’s wishes to design Tabd as an invisible layer between the musician and their instrument, the UX team drew on insight gained from user interviews and contextual inquiries.

User interviews showed that musicians need the ability to input their ideas as quickly as possible, without endless interactions stifling their creativity.

As such, the UX team determined that Tabd users needed to be able to use the system, edit notation, and share completed (or partially completed) files without having to wait for loading screens, or engaging with numerous menus.

The wireframes produced for this project reflect an atmosphere of extreme minimalism and ease of use. New projects are created with the tap of a single button, existing files are likewise available with one tap from anywhere in the app.

Organization of files within the app is handled by a folder system reminiscent of most popular desktop folder structures, so the learning curve will be negligible for most users.

Tabd

04iOS Development

The client wanted the Tabd application to only be available in the Apple store. As such, our iOS development team in Chicago built the application utilizing Objective-C code, and a LAMP stack. Utilizing the LAMP stack, we ensured the client that the application will be high-performance, scalable, and reliable.

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