First ISCA ITRW on Auditory Quality of Systems

April 23-25, 2003
Akademie Mont-Cenis, Germany

Parallels in the Concepts of Sound Design and Usability Engineering

Thomas Hempel

Siemens AG Corporate Technology, Competence Center User Interface Design, München, Germany

Usability engineering for products is an increasing sales argument for industrial and consumer products. Products and services are designed for target-group adequate usability. But usability is no single-value concept. In contrast, EN ISO 9241 points out that it is influenced by several moderators, e.g., efficiency, context of use and others. Although standardized questionnaires have been developed to obtain quantitative data from usability tests, it nevertheless remains a qualitative concept - which is clearly accepted in the Human Factors world.

Such qualitative approach would not be accepted in many other disciplines. But although since in multimodal applications of the future it is important to increase the quality of the interaction on the level of each single modality, the resulting overall usability will be a major selling point in order to provide a product or service that meets the needs of potential customers.

It is the aim of the author to sensitize engineers and researchers in the field of usability engineering and sound design for each other's field. Thus, the author gives examples of a typical usability engineering and sound design process used in the industry. Parallels in the work of usability engineers and sound designers are pointed out, suggesting that a good sound designer in

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Hempel, Thomas (2003): "Parallels in the concepts of sound design and usability engineering", In AQS-2003, 145-148.