The perceived hazard of sound scheme and desktop theme auditory elements: Experimental results and implications for adaptable user-interface design

T. S. Amer, Todd L. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The interface concept of adaptable design allows users to select and apply alternative auditory elements to the user interface. This study examines the consistency of the arousal strength of auditory elements that accompany exception messages available in two adaptable design options available for the Microsoft Windows operating system: (1) sound schemes and (2) desktop themes. The auditory elements available in these options differ in composition and sound features. Prior work indicates that such differences could result in differences in the arousal strength communicated by the auditory elements and therefore violate the key user interface design principle of consistency. The auditory elements within IT environments should communicate consistent levels of hazard as measured by arousal strength in order to achieve “hazard matching.” Results reveal differences in the arousal strength of the important critical stop auditory element across both sound schemes and desktop themes. Implications of this finding are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-74
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Human Interaction
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

Keywords

  • Adaptable Design
  • Auditory Icons
  • Earcons
  • Exception Messages
  • Hazard Matching
  • Interface Design
  • Synthetic Sounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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