Nonspeech audio in user interfaces for TV

Richard Sluis, van de, J.H. Eggen, J.A. Rypkema

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This study explores the end-user benefits of using nonspeech audio in television user interfaces. A prototype of an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) served as a carrier for the research. One of the features of this EPG is the possibility to search for TV programmes in a category-based way. The EPG prototype was 'sonically-enhanced' with so-called category sounds. These category sounds were also used as auditory reminders indicating that a TV programme from a given category is about to start. Furthermore, certain characteristics of the category sound were manipulated to represent the urgency of a reminder. Two experiments are described. In the first experiment, the usability of category sounds was evaluated. In the second experiment, it was tested whether 'listener-source distance' is an appropriate metaphor to inform users about the urgency of an auditory reminder. The results showed that people can easily learn to match the category sounds to the corresponding TV programme categories, that the use of category sounds is effective, and that the category sounds were appreciated by a large part of the subjects. In the second experiment, it was found that the distance of a sound source is a useful metaphor to use in an auditory reminder to indicate the distance in time before a programme is going to start.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalIPO Annual Progress Report
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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