Redundancy Versus Complexity in Auditory Displays for Object Localization - A Pilot Study
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In user interfaces, redundancy is often an indication of good design. Several studies [1,2,3], showed that when visual, haptic or other display types were combined with an auditory display, the result was an enhanced user experience and increase in performance. Research about redundancy within the auditory display alone, however, seems to be inconclusive. A pilot study was set up to test whether redundancy in auditory mappings supports object localization or rather renders the task inefficient by adding unnecessary complexity. The study used three sound parameters: pan, pitch and tempo in a combination of three sonification schemes: pan alone, pan and pitch and all three, in order to convey to the user information about the position of an object in a 2 dimensional space. Preliminary results showed that the third sonification scheme (with most redundancy) yielded the best user performance, and was also rated best by five out of seven users.