An investigation into customisable automatically generated auditory route overviews for pre-navigation

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Aziz, Nida
Stockman, Tony
Stewart, Rebecca
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While travelling to new places, maps are often used to determine the specifics of the route to follow. This helps prepare for the journey by forming a cognitive model of the route in our minds. However, the process is predominantly visual and thus inaccessible to people who are either blind or visually impaired (BVI) or doing an activity where their eyes are otherwise engaged. This work explores effective methods of generating route overviews, which can create a similar cognitive model as visual routes, using audio. The overviews thus generated can help users plan their journey according to their preferences and prepare for it in advance. This paper explores usefulness and usability of auditory routes overviews for the BVI and draws design implications for such a system following a 2-stage study with audio and sound designers and users.The findings underline that auditory route overviews are an important tool that can assist BVI users to make more informed travel choices. A properly designed auditory display might contain an integration of different sonification methods and interaction and customisation capabilities. Findings also show that such a system would benefit from the application of a participatory design approach.
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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.