Auditory External Representations: Exploring and Evaluating the Design and Learnability of an Auditory UML Diagram
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We present an approach that examines the design of auditory displays for accessing graphically represented information in terms of their roles as external representations. This approach describes how a cross-modal translation process should emphasise the semantics of the represented information rather than the structural features of the medium that presents it. We exemplify this by exploring the design of a hierarchical representation to organise relational information encoded in a UML class diagram, and describe two alternative presentation modes to auditorally communicate this structure. We report on an experiment that we conducted to assess the viability of our approach and describe a novel methodological analysis which extends existing evaluation techniques to formally examine how a group of users learn and develop interactive expertise when using this auditory display.