Using compound earcons to represent hierarchies

Brewster, S.A. , Capriotti, A. and Hall, C.V. (1998) Using compound earcons to represent hierarchies. HCI Letters, 1(1), pp. 6-8.




Previous research on non-speech audio messages called <i>earcons</i> showed that they could provide powerful navigation cues in menu hierarchies. This work used <i>hierarchical</i> earcons. In this paper we suggest <i>compound</i> earcons provide a more flexible method for presenting this information. A set of sounds was created to represent the numbers 0-4 and dot. Sounds could then be created for any node in a hierarchy by concatenating these simple sounds. A hierarchy of four levels and 27 nodes was constructed. An experiment was conducted in which participants had to identify their location in the hierarchy by listening to an earcon. Results showed that participants could identify their location with over 97% accuracy, significantly better than with hierarchical earcons. Participants were also able to recognise previously unheard earcons with over 97% accuracy. These results showed that compound earcons are an effective way of representing hierarchies in sound.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brewster, Professor Stephen and Hall, Dr Cordelia
Authors: Brewster, S.A., Capriotti, A., and Hall, C.V.
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:HCI Letters
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 1998 Springer
First Published:First published in HCI Letters 1(1):6-8
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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