TaDa! Demonstrations of auditory information design
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The prospect of computer applications making "noises" is disconcerting to some. Yet the soundscape of the real world does not usually bother us. Perhaps we only notice a nuisance? Sounds can support information-processing activities by providing information that is useful and relevant. The TaDa method focuses on designing an auditory representation to meet information requirements, so that the sounds are information rather than "noise." The design process integrates task analysis, a database of sound examples, a rule-based design aid, and interactive sound design tools. The method and tools are demonstrated in scenarios from mining exploration, resource management, and climatology. The multimedia interfaces that were implemented show that sounds can provide information that is difficult to obtain visually, and can improve the directness and usefulness of an information display.