Steve’s Masters Thesis

This PDF file is a (scan of a) short paper version of my 1994 M.Sc. Thesis from U of Guelph. My entire thesis was up on the web in the very very earliest days of web (back when it was NCSA Mosaic that was being used to navigate) as an experiment by a friend at Apple. If I recall, he turned the whole thing into HTML, etc. Anyway, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to read it, but if you are really hard up, perhaps this shorter paper might be of interest. If nothing else, I’ll blog it so I can find it later.

Update: full thesis has been found. See PDF here.

Abstract: An experiment compared the effectiveness of auditory, visual, and combination cues to convey document structure. Subjects demonstrated an equivalent level of understanding of the document structure and its content with either a combination cue or a visual cue. Subjects required more time to answer questions in the combination condition than in the visual condition. This suggests a greater cognitive effort is required. A sound-only condition has the poorest performance both in response time and in the subjectÔø?s answers to questions about the documentÔø?s structure and its content. Subjects were grouped based on whether or not they replayed sounds as a retention tactic. Subjects who replayed sounds did better than subjects who did not. These results contribute to our understanding of potential uses of sound in user interfaces. The specific cues used here for this particular task do not appear promising. Future research to determine how to be make use of sound must carefully consider user tactics for processing sound cues.


About Steve