Drawing by ear: Interpreting sonified line graphs
Brown, Lorna M
Brewster, Stephen A
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The research presented here describes a pilot study into the interpretation of sonified line graphs containing two data series. The experiment aimed to discover the level of accuracy with which sighted people were able to draw sketches of the graphs after listening to them. In addition, it aimed to identify any differences in performance when the graphs were presented using different combinations of instruments–-either with piano representing both data series (same-instruments condition), or with piano representing one data series and trumpet representing the other (different-instruments condition). The drawings were evaluated by calculating the percentage of key features present. The results showed that accuracy was high (over 80% on average) in both conditions, but found no significant differences between the two. There were indications of some differences between the two conditions, but a larger study is necessary to discover whether these are significant. The results indicate that graph sonification systems should allow users to choose between these two presentation modes, depending on their preference and current task. The study showed that sonified graphs containing two data series can be interpreted, and drawn, by sighted people, and that evaluation with blind users (our target users) would be worthwhile.