Do localised auditory cues in group drawing environments matter?
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In this paper, we present the design rationale for a group drawing tool exploiting localised auditory cues to describe user activities. Our hypothesis is that these cues are important for two reasons. Firstly, they make participants aware of the details of execution of peer activities. This is especially significant when these activities are out of visual focus. Secondly, they convey intentionality information among participants. The later has been found to influence significantly inter-participant conversations during real world collaborative drawing activities. Our approach for adding sounds to the group drawing environment involves associating localised auditory messages to the palette, tools, primitive drawing objects and cursors representing metaphoric hands or points of gaze. These mappings give rise to dynamic soundscapes describing operations being or intended to be performed. We discuss the auditory authoring and browsing techniques involved in our group drawing environment together with their implications for the design of future collaborative environments involving auditory ecologies