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Auditory Interfaces as a Sign System: An Application of Peircean Semiotics to Human-Computer Interaction
Unformatted Document Text:  Z “a sign is something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity” (1995, p. 99). Auditory interfaces are also signs something which stands to users for tasks or performance in HCI. And each auditory interface; verbal message, earcon, and auditory icon has own characters by Peircian semiotic theory. Its character affects on interpreting auditory interfaces as signs. And the designs of computer tend to be similar with human environment. Human-like interfaces make users comfortable and no confusing. According to Reeves & Nass (1996), media including computer equal real life, and media should be designed socially and naturally. Therefore auditory interfaces should be constructed by signs, which are consistent with social rules. The purpose of this paper is to examine significance of auditory interfaces on HCI and through their characters applying to Peircean semiotics, to inquire better designs of auditory interfaces. The Significance of Auditory Interfaces in HCI Most studies of HCI have focused on graphic aspects of user interfaces. It may be true visual source can afford to contain more information than sources based in any other sense. But we cannot image the real world giving us only visual information except specific situations. In everyday life both senses combine to give complementary information about the world; they are interdependent. The visual system gives us detailed data about a small area of focus whereas the auditory system provides general data from all around, alerting us to things outside our peripheral vision. The combination of these two senses gives much of the information we need about our everyday environment (Brewster, 1994).

Authors: Nam, Yoon Jae.
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Z
“a sign is something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity”
(1995, p. 99). Auditory interfaces are also signs something which stands to users for tasks or
performance in HCI. And each auditory interface; verbal message, earcon, and auditory icon
has own characters by Peircian semiotic theory. Its character affects on interpreting auditory
interfaces as signs. And the designs of computer tend to be similar with human environment.
Human-like interfaces make users comfortable and no confusing. According to Reeves & Nass
(1996), media including computer equal real life, and media should be designed socially and
naturally. Therefore auditory interfaces should be constructed by signs, which are consistent
with social rules.
The purpose of this paper is to examine significance of auditory interfaces on HCI and
through their characters applying to Peircean semiotics, to inquire better designs of auditory
interfaces.
The Significance of Auditory Interfaces in HCI
Most studies of HCI have focused on graphic aspects of user interfaces. It may be true
visual source can afford to contain more information than sources based in any other sense.
But we cannot image the real world giving us only visual information except specific situations.
In everyday life both senses combine to give complementary information about the world; they
are interdependent. The visual system gives us detailed data about a small area of focus
whereas the auditory system provides general data from all around, alerting us to things
outside our peripheral vision. The combination of these two senses gives much of the
information we need about our everyday environment (Brewster, 1994).


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