Consequences of Deploying culturally inclined earcons in speech technology design for oral users in South Africa
Ndwe, Tembalethu J.
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We discuss the qualitative outcomes of utilizing an earcon in the design of an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Earcons are short non-speech audio messages that are used in the computer/user interface (UI) to provide information to the user about some computer object, operation or interaction .The intended users speak nine out of the 11 official languages of South Africa and vary in terms of their educational levels, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. A case study of the development of an IVR system called the Beautiful Game Results (BGR) system was used in order to explore the effects of using earcons during anticipated users' interaction with the system. The study involved the design of two prototypes, allowing users to access the results of recent soccer games by using either the telephone keypad or voice as input to the system. The observed participants' reaction and response to the qualitative survey during the experiments has shown that the use of a culturally accepted non-speech auditory cue in the system is an effective means of conveying information about the context of the application.
- Faculty of Engineering