Using non-speech sound to overcome information overload

Brewster, S.A. (1997) Using non-speech sound to overcome information overload. Displays, 17(3), pp. 179-189. (doi:10.1016/S0141-9382(96)01034-7)



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With ever increasing amounts of visual information to take in when interacting with computers, users can become overloaded. One reason is that computers communicate solely by graphical output. This paper suggests the use of non-speech sound output to enhance the graphical display of information to overcome overload. The question is how to integrate the display of sound and graphics to capitalise on the advantages each offers. The approach described here is to integrate sound into the basic components of the human-computer interface. Two experiments are described where non-speech sounds were added to buttons and scrollbars. Results showed sound improved usability by increasing performance and reducing time to recover from errors. Subjective workload measures also showed a significant reduction. Results from this work show that the integrated display of graphical and auditory information can overcome information overload.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Sonically enhanced widgets; Auditory interfaces; Sonification; Buttons; Scrollbars
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
Journal Name:Displays
Publisher:Elsevier Science
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 1997 Elsevier Science
First Published:First published in Displays 17(3):179-189
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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