Computing at Glasgow University
Paper ID: 9374
DCS Tech Report Number: TR-2011-325

The Role of Modality in Notification Performance
Warnock,D. McGee-Lennon,M.R. Brewster,S.

Publication Type: Tech Report (internal)
Appeared in: DCS Technical Report Series
Page Numbers :
Publisher: Dept of Computing Science, University of Glasgow
Year: 2011

The primary users of home care technology often have significant sensory impairments. Multimodal interaction can make home care technology more accessible and appropriate, but most research in the field of multimodal notifications is aimed at office or high-pressure environments, and not the home. An experiment was carried out that compared the disruptiveness of visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory notifications (simulating home care reminders) to a primary task (a card matching memory game). The results showed that disruption in the primary task was the same regardless of the notification modality. It was also found that differences in notification performance were due to the inherent traits of the modality, e.g. olfactory notifications were slowest to deliver. The results of this experiment allow researchers and developers to capitalize on the different properties of multimodal techniques, e.g. that tactile is personal, which has significant implications for home care technology and technology targeted at users with sensory impairments.

Keywords: Multi-modal interfaces, accessibility and usability, technology in healthcare

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