Investigating the Effect of Polarity in Auditory and Vibrotactile Displays Under Cognitive Load

Ferguson, J., Freeman, E. and Brewster, S. (2021) Investigating the Effect of Polarity in Auditory and Vibrotactile Displays Under Cognitive Load. In: 23rd ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI ’21), Montréal, QC, Canada, 18-22 Oct 2021, pp. 379-386. ISBN 9781450384810 (doi: 10.1145/3462244.3479911)

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When users are undertaking mentally demanding visuals tasks, it can be beneficial to convey information through the auditory or tactile modality instead. A fundamental problem when mapping information to sound or vibration is establishing which polarity the mapping should use. Magnitude estimation is a popular method of establishing polarity preferences, however the effectiveness of this approach remains unclear, especially in more ecologically valid contexts. We investigate what impact the polarity of a data-sound or data-vibration mapping has on how well users can interpret these mappings, under two different levels of mental workload. Our results show that polarity does not affect error rate or cognitive workload, although may affect response time. We also found that induced cognitive load may influence usability. An implication of this is that commonly used methods of establishing data mappings need to be revisited, with cognitive load in mind, to help designers create more usable auditory and vibrotactile displays.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brewster, Professor Stephen and Freeman, Dr Euan and Ferguson, Dr Jamie
Authors: Ferguson, J., Freeman, E., and Brewster, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Published Online:18 October 2021
Copyright Holders:© 2021 Copyright held by the owner/author(s)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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