ViTune: A visualizer tool to allow the deaf and hard of hearing to see music with their eyes


College of Computer Studies


Software Technology

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Conference Proceeding

Source Title

Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

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© 2020 Owner/Author. Visualizers are usually added into music players to augment the listening experiences of hearing users. However, for the case of most members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) community, they have partial deafness which may give them a "limited" listening experience as compared to their counterparts. In this paper, we present ViTune, a visualizer tool that enhances the musical experiences of the DHH through the use of an on-screen visualizer generating effects alongside music. We observed how members of the DHH community typically experienced music through an initial user study. We then iterated on developing a visualizer prototype where we did multiple usability tests involving at least 15 participants from the DHH community. We observed how they experienced music with the help of our prototype and noticed that certain music features and elements augmented these experiences. Visualization attributes, their matching qualitative descriptions and equivalent subjective attributes were identified with the help of music experts. Also, affects hypothesized to be induced and dissuaded were identified in improving these listening experiences.


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