Correcting menu usability problems with sound

Brewster, S.A. and Crease, M.G. (1999) Correcting menu usability problems with sound. Behaviour and Information Technology, 18(3), pp. 165-177. (doi: 10.1080/014492999119066)



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Future human-computer interfaces will use more than just graphical output to display information. In this paper we suggest that sound and graphics together can be used to improve interaction. We describe an experiment to improve the usability of standard graphical menus by the addition of sound. One common difficulty is slipping off a menu item by mistake when trying to select it. One of the causes of this is insufficient feedback. We designed and experimentally evaluated a new set of menus with much more salient audio feedback to solve this problem. The results from the experiment showed a significant reduction in the subjective effort required to use the new sonically-enhanced menus along with significantly reduced error recovery times. A significantly larger number of errors were also corrected with sound.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brewster, Professor Stephen
Authors: Brewster, S.A., and Crease, M.G.
Subjects:Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Journal Name:Behaviour and Information Technology
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 1999 Taylor & Francis
First Published:First published in Behaviour and Information Technology 18(3):165-177
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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