Auditory Interaction Modeling       


Rachel Bellamy photo Calvin B. (Cal) Swart photoShari Trewin photo

Auditory Interaction Modeling - overview

Designing for Auditory Web Access

Low-end mobile phones are becoming generally available throughout the world and the main window onto the Web. A large constituency for Web access is being created whose experience Web designers are not familiar with, particularly because of the central role of auditory, rather than visual access. This is analogous to problems faced by visually impaired users, where again Web designers have an audience whose experience they rarely share.

Cognitive Models of Auditory Interaction

We are exploring cognitive models of auditory interaction, as a way for developers to gain insight into the experience of auditory access. Such models can supplement traditional design practices of working directly with users or intermediaries. Simulations of an auditory interaction with the Web can help with early stage design, and reduce the cost and effort needed to design a usable auditory Web experience.

Auditory Information Foraging on the Web

Human performance models based on information foraging theory have proved capable of predicting navigation behavior on the Web. They can therefore provide a useful tool for Web site design. They may also be effective for modeling auditory navigation within a single Web page. As a step toward realistic simulations based on models of auditory Web access, we are investigating information seeking strategies observed in people with visual impairment using screen reading software for Web navigation tasks. Implementations of such strategies, guided by information foraging theory, may expose auditory usability problems that current design tools miss.