Sonification of reference markers for auditory graphs: effects on non-visual point estimation tasks

Oussama Metatla, Nick Bryan-Kinns, Tony Stockman, Fiore Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
314 Downloads (Pure)


Research has suggested that adding contextual information such as reference markers to data sonification can improve interaction with auditory graphs. This paper presents results of an experiment that contributes to quantifying and analysing the extent of such benefits for an integral part of interacting with graphed data: point estimation tasks. We examine three pitch-based sonification mappings; pitch-only, one-reference, and multiple-references that we designed to provide information about distance from an origin. We assess the effects of these sonifications on users’ performances when completing point estimation tasks in a between-subject experimental design against visual and speech control conditions. Results showed that the addition of reference tones increases users accuracy with a trade-off for task completion times, and that the multiple-references mapping is particularly effective when dealing with points that are positioned at the midrange of a given axis.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere51
Number of pages20
JournalPeerJ Computer Science
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2016


  • Sonification
  • Point estimation
  • Auditory graphs
  • Non-visual interaction
  • Reference markers


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