Using earcons to improve the usability of tool palettes

Brewster, S.A. (1998) Using earcons to improve the usability of tool palettes. In: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Los Angeles, California, USA, 18-23 April 1998, pp. 297-298. ISBN 1581130287 (doi:10.1145/286498.286775)



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This paper describes an experiment to investigate the effectiveness of adding sound to tool palettes. Palette shave usability problems because users need to see the information they present but they are often outside the area of visual focus. Non-speech sounds called earcons were used to indicate the current tool and tool changes so that users could tell what tool was in use, wherever they were looking. Experimental results showed a significant reduction in the number of tasks performed with the wrong tool. Users knew what the current tool was and did not try to perform tasks with the wrong one.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brewster, Professor Stephen
Authors: Brewster, S.A.
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
Publisher:ACM Press
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 1998 ACM Press
First Published:First published in Human factors in computing systems: CHI 98 summary, Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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