The design and evaluation of a sonically-enhanced tool palette
Brewster, Stephen A
Clarke, Catherine V
MetadataShow full item record
This paper describes an experiment to investigate the effectiveness of adding sound to tool palettes. Palettes have usability problems because users need to see the information they present but they are often outside the area of visual focus. We used non-speech sounds called earcons to indicate the current tool and when tool changes occurred so that users could tell what tool they were in wherever they were looking. Results showed a significant reduction in the number of tasks performed with the wrong tool. Therefore users knew what the current tool was and did not try to perform tasks with the wrong tool. All of this was not at the expense of making the tool palettes any more annoying to use.