In which are auditory icons, earcons and spearcons. Auditory

this section, we will look at three kinds of semantic and symbolic
representation in auditory interfaces which are auditory icons, earcons and


Auditory icons

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system designers used icons as a medium to help user in better recognition
process of their systems. Symbols are used to represent various objects in
human-computer interaction which are based on visual icons. These visual icons have
a major feature where they can demonstrate the comparison between objects in
real world and computer (Jacko, 1996). Visual icons are fall on three different
classification which are representational icons, abstract icons and
semi-abstract icons (Blattner et al., 1989 as cited in Jacko, 1996). He stated
that representational icons are visualization of events occurs around us
everyday involving common objects and human’s actions. Jacko also mentioned
that abstract icons are illustrations of occurrence in computer by using images
or geometrical shapes. However, he said that “mapping the geometric shapes to
the computer events they are designed to depict is not as intuitive as the
metaphors established with representational icons” (p. 124). Meanwhile,
semi-abstract icons are described as the combination of both representational
icons and abstract icons. Based on these visual icons, auditory icons are created
by exploiting the concept of comparison but in terms of environmental sounds
and computer events.

SonicFinder by Gaver (as cited in Sodnik, J., Dicke. C., Tomazic. S., &
Billinghurst, M., 2008) is where the auditory icons were first used and Gaver
is acknowledged as the first one to come out with the idea of using natural
daily life sounds to symbolize events and items on computer interfaces. SonicFinder
applied the mapping of computer events to some familiar and natural sounds. Csapo
& Wersenyi (2013) describes auditory icons as “short, icon-like sound
events that have semantic connections to the physical events they represent”.
It means that the audio and icon on the computer interface have a direct
relationship where it is easily understandable and interpretable by user. The
sound produced gives a signal to user that an event is occurred. Auditory icons
use some simple sounds that users hear in everyday world. For example, the ‘Recycle
bin’ on our computer produces a ‘paper crinkling’ sound when it is emptied
(Sodnik et al., 2008). We notice that the similarity and relationship between
the icon and audio where it is common to us that a crinkled paper always thrown
in trash bin.

            Auditory icons have many advantages such as easy to
learn, identifiable and as they used familiar environmental sounds. However,
they also lack in certain aspects like the flexibility in mapping some abstract
objects or events to natural sounds.