Earcons as a method of providing navigational cues in a menu hierarchy

Stephen Brewster, Veli-Pekka Räty, Atte Kortekangas

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


    We describe an experiment to discover if structured audio messages, earcons, could provide navigational cues in a menu hierarchy. A hierarchy of 27 nodes and four levels was created with sounds for each node. Participants had to identify their location in the hierarchy by listening to an earcon. Results showed that participants could identify their location with over 80% accuracy, indicating that earcons are a powerful method of communicating hierarchy information. Participants were also tested to see if they could identify where previously unheard earcons would fit in the hierarchy. The results showed that they could do this with over 90% accuracy. These results show that earcons are a robust and extensible method of communicating hierarchy information in sound.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPeople and computers XI
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of HCI '96
    EditorsMartina Angela Sasse, Jim Cunningham, Russel L. Winder
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4471-3588-3
    ISBN (Print)978-3-540-76069-6
    Publication statusPublished - 1996
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    EventHCI '96 Human-Computer Interaction - London, United Kingdom
    Duration: 20 Aug 199623 Aug 1996


    ConferenceHCI '96 Human-Computer Interaction
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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