Usable Audio—Best Practices for
Auditory Content




                                  Foto: aboutpixel.de © Thomas Pierus...
About Your Speaker
• Jens Jacobsen
• Information Architekt, Usability
  Consultant
• Created podcasts, websites & POIs/
  ...
Example:
• Product activation via phone




                                 3
Foto: aboutpixel.de © Dominik Sellmann
Audio Example
—what went wrong?
Key Feature Audio:
• Audio is linear.
• Other than text and images:




                                6
PChome Vnet                        EastMoney
                                                                             ...
Key Feature Audio:
• Audio is linear.
 ⇒
   • Overview difficult
   • Short term memory needed a lot
   • Rewind / fast fo...
So:
• We need a special information architecture
  for audio.




                                               9
Use of IA for Audio?
• Radio
• Audio books
• Voice control
  • Phone / hotlines
  • Navigation / car assistance systems
• ...
Information Architecture




                       11
Foundation for Audio IA…




                           12
User Scenarios




13




Foto: aboutpixel.de ©Svair
User Scenarios 1/3
  • How will audio be used?
     •   Just listen: Radio
     •   Listen, maybe rewind: audio book
     ...
User Scenarios 2/3
• How are the surroundings?
  •   Headphones / phone receiver / loudspeaker
  •   At home
  •   In the ...
User Scenarios 3/3
   • What do the users want?
      • Entertainment
      • Information
      • Problem solving
increasi...
Metadata




           17
Journalism




18




Foto: aboutpixel.de © Niggl
Writing to Be Heard
•   Be short
•   Write easy sentences
•   Use present tense, name the doer
•   Avoid jargon & complica...
Answer the „Seven Ws“:
•   Who?
•   What?
•   Where?
•   When?
•   How?
•   Why?
•   Where from?

                        ...
Make Information Digestable
•   One new information per sentence
•   Provide time for information processing
•   Relate to...
Psychology of Learning




22




Foto: aboutpixel.de © Thorwald Hoffmann
Writing for the Brain
• Mind short-term memory
• Think of previous user experience
• Adjust reading speed




            ...
User Centered Design




24




Foto: © Barbara Eckholdt / Pixelio
Our Usability Study




                      25
Our Hypothesis:


  “Audio created which follows the rules of
  Audio Information Architecture is better.”




           ...
Our Setup




            27
Text Comparison
P                                      A   The end of research
                                           ...
Print text   Audio text
General Problem: Audio on Webpage




                                    32
38%: ”Video would be nice“
18%: ”Dificult to concentrate“
38% aborted playback
Audio is difficult—so:
•   Consider using video
•   Provide link for download
•   Provide RSS-feed (podcast)
•   Treat it ...
What about the Audio Players?


Player 1



Player 2


                                37
Player 1   Player 2
Our Plans
• Produce video with same text.
• Conduct study with ~100 participants.

• Develop audio player that
  • meets u...
1:31   5:43
Conclusion
• Create text with
  Audio Information Architecure in mind
• Use a usable player
• Don‘t think anyone listens a...
Your Turn

• For more info please visit
  www.content-crew.de/audioIA.




 Questions, comments, thoughts, please!
Usable Audio - Best Practices for Auditory Content
Usable Audio - Best Practices for Auditory Content
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Usable Audio - Best Practices for Auditory Content

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Learn how audio differs from text that is read by the user. This presentation points out the main challenges in using audio to transport information. Best practices and results from tests are presented. This is useful for anyone who creates content that is to be listened to - podcasts, radio, voice control systems etc.

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Usable Audio - Best Practices for Auditory Content

  1. 1. Usable Audio—Best Practices for Auditory Content Foto: aboutpixel.de © Thomas Pieruschek December 5th 2008
  2. 2. About Your Speaker • Jens Jacobsen • Information Architekt, Usability Consultant • Created podcasts, websites & POIs/ games for museums • Founder, CEO Content Crew GmbH 2
  3. 3. Example: • Product activation via phone 3
  4. 4. Foto: aboutpixel.de © Dominik Sellmann
  5. 5. Audio Example —what went wrong?
  6. 6. Key Feature Audio: • Audio is linear. • Other than text and images: 6
  7. 7. PChome Vnet EastMoney Tom Pandora OhMyNews Soso 9 Rules Newsvine 2.0 Technorati 2.0 Taobao 2.0 Social News 163 Sohu Sina Red State Malkin C&L Media Matters Ch UPS in e Baidu 2.0 Passport se an Money L Huffington Post Daily Kos in e elm Ed 1.5 2.5 1.5 Netscape 1.0 Statcounter Geocities XBox Live 1.5 Office Live Uwants QQ Yahoo Messenger Daily Motion Beppe Grillo Yahoo 2.0 Music 1.5 Micro Persuasion Wallmart Delicious 1.5 MSN Microsoft Spreeblick Livejournal To 1.0 2.0 Yahoo Maps Yahoo.com.cn Metacafé T-Online ols Hotmail Live 1.5 1.5 Repubblica Imagevenue 2.5 Yahoo Answers Bild 1.0 Leo Xanga 1.0 1.0 37 Signals Feedburner Yahoo News Prägnanz LeMonde Yigg Edelman ElPais Ne Photolog.com ws 2.0 MyVideo Web.de GMX Heise 1.0 1.0 2.5 Mo 1.0 2.0 Sueddeutsche ne 2.0 Yahoo Mail Flickr Imageshack y 1.0 Techmeme 1.0 Der Spiegel Dell Friendster Myspace Messenger Scoblizer Techcrunch OM Malik 2.0 Seth Godin PhotoBucket ZeFrank CNet FAZ Knowhow 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.5 1.0 Hi5 Twitter Amazon ls 2.0 oo Comedy Central 2.0 Kotaku NZZ Mixi bt SecondLife MyBlogLog 2.0 We Cisco Orkut Google Blogsearch 2.0 Engadget IBM 2.0 Google Maps 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.5 FOX CNN Reddit Memeorandum Wired Slashdot.org 1.5 TheGuardian Te John Batelle Murdoch News ch n Sony Google Calendar Wall Street Journal Studiverzeichnis olo Jeff Jarvis 2.0 1.5 1.5 1.5 gy 1.0 1.0 2.0 NYTimes 1.0 So 2.0 Google.co.jp Adwords USA Today Slate cia Washington Post sic 0.5 Trillian lN AIGA Mu Google Analytics 1.0 Versiontracker Design 2ch.net etw Google.fr Google.de Google.it Google News Doc Searls 1.5 BBC Bebo or Ch 1.5 IMDB.com ks ine 2.0 2.0 Dave Winer 2.0 Answers.com se Google.br.com 2.0 Youtube (Jp) 1.5 Google.uk ks Nicovideo Lin Adsense or Firefox 1.0 e etw FaceBook 1.0 2.0 Tagged DeviantArt 1.5 1.5 The Economist NetFlix lN 1.5 2.0 News 1.5 2.0 cia Google Checkout StumbleUpon Linkedin So 2.0 GMail 1.5 Sourceforge 1.5 .Mac Te Subtraction Livejournal Google Federated Media c Meebo hn Daring Fireball 2.5 olo 2.0 Official Google Blog Google Video iTunes 1.5 2.0 2.0 gy Skype VOX Xing 1.5 Blogger 2.0 2.0 1.0 You Adobe CSS ZEN Garden Rakuten Digg Google Docs 2.0 1.5 WebMD y So Edward Tufte ne Social News cia 2.0 EBay PayPal Mo Valleywag Guy Kawasaki 1.0 Monster lN Alibaba Apple Hatena ew 2.0 Expedia.com s w ho Tools 2.0 1.0 2.0 ow 1.0 1.0 1.0 Movies Money Go.com 1.0 Kn Design Getty Yahoo.co.jp LiveDoor Netvibes Wordpress Cameron Moll Coudal YouTube 2.0 W3C 0.5 1.0 IXDA Adaptive Path Wikipedia (J) Wikipedia (D) 2.0 Useit A List Apart BoingBoing 2.5 ls 1.0 o Designobserver To Zeldman AdBrite ICQ w Jeff Croft Unreal ho Wikipedia (Nl) 2.0 AIM ow 2.0 2.0 1.0 1.5 Nice Design Line Color Kn AOL ing Swissmiss Boxes&Arrows Changing ar Mark Boulton BaLa Music! Knowhow Wikipedia (SV) Sh 2.5 Forecast Insecure Music About.com iA 2.0 2.0 Wikipedia Orange Wikipedia (Pl) Wikipedia (Fr) 1.0 Web X.X Trouble Storm LastFM Skyblog Sharing Main Sites Ch 2.0 Terra Sapo ine Craigslist Tools Insiders se Wikipedia (It) Fake Steve Jobs Wretch.cc Lin BitTorrent Torrentspy e Torrentz.com Wikipedia (Es) Wikipedia (Pt) Technology Movies 2.0 2.0 Knowhow Music 2.0 Sharing MegaUpload Sendspace Badongo Rapidshare Moneymaker Chinese Line ThePirateBay News Connections 2.5 OpenID Web Trend Map 2007/V2 Social News Community Political Blogs Junctions INFORMATION ARCHITECTS JAPAN ANALYTIC DESIGN AND CONSULTING Design Stations Information Architects Inc. Japan www.informationarchitects.jp © 2007.6 V1.6 7
  8. 8. Key Feature Audio: • Audio is linear. ⇒ • Overview difficult • Short term memory needed a lot • Rewind / fast forward awkward or even impossible 8
  9. 9. So: • We need a special information architecture for audio. 9
  10. 10. Use of IA for Audio? • Radio • Audio books • Voice control • Phone / hotlines • Navigation / car assistance systems • Podcasts • On the Web 10
  11. 11. Information Architecture 11
  12. 12. Foundation for Audio IA… 12
  13. 13. User Scenarios 13 Foto: aboutpixel.de ©Svair
  14. 14. User Scenarios 1/3 • How will audio be used? • Just listen: Radio • Listen, maybe rewind: audio book • Listen parts, skip, maybe rewind: Podcast • Listen, talk: voice recognition • Listen, use keys: voice recognition • Listen interactively: Web increasingly interactive 14
  15. 15. User Scenarios 2/3 • How are the surroundings? • Headphones / phone receiver / loudspeaker • At home • In the office • On the go • How much experience do users have? 15
  16. 16. User Scenarios 3/3 • What do the users want? • Entertainment • Information • Problem solving increasingly goal-oriented 16
  17. 17. Metadata 17
  18. 18. Journalism 18 Foto: aboutpixel.de © Niggl
  19. 19. Writing to Be Heard • Be short • Write easy sentences • Use present tense, name the doer • Avoid jargon & complicated words • Repeat, repeat, repeat 19
  20. 20. Answer the „Seven Ws“: • Who? • What? • Where? • When? • How? • Why? • Where from? 20
  21. 21. Make Information Digestable • One new information per sentence • Provide time for information processing • Relate to personal experience • Instead of The new time management solution IS EasyPlan makes it possible to access all e-mail in order and answer them in a way… • Write: You know it: you enter the office in good spirit. But turning on your PC you find 73 unread e-mails. IS EasyPlan helps you… 21
  22. 22. Psychology of Learning 22 Foto: aboutpixel.de © Thorwald Hoffmann
  23. 23. Writing for the Brain • Mind short-term memory • Think of previous user experience • Adjust reading speed 23
  24. 24. User Centered Design 24 Foto: © Barbara Eckholdt / Pixelio
  25. 25. Our Usability Study 25
  26. 26. Our Hypothesis: “Audio created which follows the rules of Audio Information Architecture is better.” 26
  27. 27. Our Setup 27
  28. 28. Text Comparison P A The end of research [ethereal sound] At the end of the 19th century, At the end of the 19th century, scientists were in agreement: scientists agreed: All of nature's laws were known All of nature's laws were known to man and fully understood, to man and fully understood. every observable phenomenon Every observable phenomenon could be explained and could be explained and described with a formula, only a described with a formula. Only a few minor details would be left few minor details would be left to discover. to discover. Not until decades later most of Not until decades later most of them realized how wrong they them realized how wrong they were... were... [wobbling sound] 30
  29. 29. Print text Audio text
  30. 30. General Problem: Audio on Webpage 32
  31. 31. 38%: ”Video would be nice“
  32. 32. 18%: ”Dificult to concentrate“
  33. 33. 38% aborted playback
  34. 34. Audio is difficult—so: • Consider using video • Provide link for download • Provide RSS-feed (podcast) • Treat it as appetizer 36
  35. 35. What about the Audio Players? Player 1 Player 2 37
  36. 36. Player 1 Player 2
  37. 37. Our Plans • Produce video with same text. • Conduct study with ~100 participants. • Develop audio player that • meets usability requirements • tracks audio abort 39
  38. 38. 1:31 5:43
  39. 39. Conclusion • Create text with Audio Information Architecure in mind • Use a usable player • Don‘t think anyone listens a longer audio on the web—but maybe he/she downloads it 41
  40. 40. Your Turn • For more info please visit www.content-crew.de/audioIA. Questions, comments, thoughts, please!

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