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Gaver, W. W. (1989). The SonicFinder, a prototype interface that uses auditory icons. Human Computer Interaction, 4(1), 67–94. 
Added by: sirfragalot (04/26/2013 01:14:25 PM)   Last edited by: sirfragalot (04/26/2013 04:41:21 PM)
Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Gaver1989
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Categories: Sound Design
Keywords: Interaction, Sonification, sound design, Sound mappings, Sound objects
Creators: Gaver
Collection: Human Computer Interaction
Views: 3/324
The appropriate use of non-speech sounds has the potential to add a great deal to the functionality of computer
interfaces. Sound is a largely unexploited medium of output, even though it plays an integral role in our
everyday encounters with the world, one that is complementary to vision. I argue that sound should be used in
computers as it is in the world, where it conveys information about the nature of sound-producing events.
Such a strategy leads to auditory icons, which are everyday sounds meant to convey information
about computer events by analogy with everyday events. Auditory icons are an intuitively accessible way to use
sound to provide multidimensional, organized information to users.
These ideas are instantiated in the SonicFinder, which is an auditory interface I developed at Apple Computer.
In this interface, information is conveyed using auditory icons as well as standard graphical feedback. I discuss
how events are mapped to auditory icons in the SonicFinder, and illustrate how sound is used by describing a
typical interaction with this interface.
Two major gains are associated with using sound in this interface: an increase in direct engagement with the
model world of the computer and an added flexibility for users in getting information about that world. These
advantages seem to be due to the iconic nature of the mappings used between sound and the information it is to
convey. I discuss sound effects and source metaphors as methods of extending auditory icons beyond the
limitations implied by literal mappings, and speculate on future directions for such interfaces.

p.7   Describing the choice of sound in SonicFinder:  "First, the user selects the file (Figure 1 A). This is indicated both visually, by the file becoming highlighted, and aurally by the sound of an object being tapped. The type of object is conveyed by the material being tapped. In this example, the object is a file, so it makes a wooden "thunk." If it had been an application, it would have made a metal sound; a folder would have made a sharper paper-like sound; disks a hollow metal sound (like a large metal container being tapped); and the trashcan a different hollow metal sound. In the Finder, there are standard icons for folders, disks, and the trashcan, but applications and files are not distinguished by icon type. These are easily differentiated in the SonicFinder by the use of different sounding materials for their selection sounds."   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   Sound mappings
p.12   "Note that sound effects are not arbitrarily related to their associated events. Instead, they seem to rely on the abilities of listeners to generalize their knowledge about everyday sound-producing events to new ones, even imaginary ones involving things such as light-sabers or transporters. Windows in the everyday world don't open as the ones in the SonicFinder do, but this event does resemble others in the everyday world, such as the rapid approach or sudden expansion of an object.   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   Sound mappings
p.7   Hard disks use a lower frequency sound than floppies because they are larger.   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   Sound mappings
p.8   Main advantage of auditory icons in conjunction with the Apple desktop icons is their provision of redundant information.  The provision of new information (e.g. about the size of disks) seems to be less important.   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   sound design
p.10   Discusses conceptual mappings (events in computer world are mapped to tasks in a model world -- binary flow, gates, etc. mapped to file operations, for example, computer desktop is a conceptual mapping) and perceptual mappings (the mapping between the model world and the perceptual world -- how we interface).   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   Sound mappings
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