The application of usability techniques to the development of music-related hardware is rarely discussed in the HCI literature. This is in spite of the fact that such devices could potentially be improved by employing usability methods during their development. This paper documents a case study of an existing electric guitar pre-amplifier. The ease of use of its user interface was investigated using the traditional HCI methods of heuristic evaluation and usability testing. The user interface was susequently modified, and a follow-up usability test confirmed improvements to ease of use. These findings demonstrate that HCI methods can and should be used to enhance the usability of music-related hardware.
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