Date of Award

2014

Embargo Period

3-2-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Design (MDes)

Department

Design

Advisor(s)

Dan Boyarski

Abstract

The appropriate use of sounds has the potential to add a great deal to convey information in interactive commodities. Sound is a largely unexplored medium as a design element in interaction design community, even though it plays an integral role in our everyday encounters with the world, on that complementary to vision. However, information and data are predominantly represented in visual form. I argue that sound should be used in designing interactive commodities as a way to improve and enhance visual experience of the artifact. Such strategy leads to build sound design guideline and framework to help designers who are not familiar with sound design. The first half of this project focuses on revealing potentials of sounds, where sound can be used and sound design methodological point of view. These ideas are instantiated in the Wearasound, a wearable auditory device for conveying contextual information in real time without distraction. Wearasound is designed to be used while the user is moving. A range of auditory information provide peripheral awareness and indirect interaction. Delivering information is adaptive and context sensitive; appropriate information is presented as more or less obtrusive based on user’s situated context. Preliminary user evaluation suggest that audio is an appropriate medium for conveying certain domains of information (particularly for content that is intrinsically voice/audio) in specific usage context (when the user’s hands or eyes are busy).

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