ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing | VOL. 15

Planning Your Journey in Audio: Design and Evaluation of Auditory Route Overviews

Publication Date Oct 22, 2022


Auditory overviews of routes can provide routing and map information to blind users enabling them to preview route maps before embarking on a journey. This article investigates the usefulness of a system designed to do this through a Preliminary Survey, followed by a Design Study to gather the design requirements, development of a prototype and evaluation through a Usability Study. The design is drawn in two stages with eight audio designers and eight potential blind users. The auditory route overview is sequential and automatically generated as integrated audio. It comprises auditory icons to represent points of interest, earcons for auditory brackets encapsulating repeating points of interest, and speech for directions. A prototype based on this design is developed and evaluated with 22 sighted and eight blind participants. The software architecture of the prototype including the route information retrieval and mapping onto audio has been included. The findings show that both groups perform well in route reconstruction and recognition tasks. Moreover, the functional route information and auditory icons are effectively designed and useful in forming a mental model of the route, which improves over time. However, the design of auditory brackets needs further improvement and testing. At all stages of the system development, input has been acquired from the end-user population and the design is adapted accordingly.


Route Information Auditory Icons Route Reconstruction Route Mapping Blind Users Points Of Interest Blind Participants Audio Designers Design Of Brackets Preliminary Survey

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