Sonically-enhanced drag and drop
Brewster, Stephen A
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This paper describes an experiment to investigate if the addition of non-speech sounds to the drag and drop operation would increase usability. There are several problems with drag and drop that can result in the user not dropping a source icon over the target correctly. These occur because the source can visually obscure the target making it hard to see if the target is highlighted. Structured non-speech sounds called earcons were added to indicate when the source was over the target, when it had been dropped on the target and when it had not. Results from the experiment showed that subjective workload was significantly reduced, and overall preference significantly increased, without sonically-enhanced drag and drop being more annoying to use. Results also showed that time taken to do drag and drop was significantly reduced. Therefore, sonicenhancement can significantly improve the usability of drag and drop.