Sound vs. Vision & Time vs. Space (Gaver, Buxton, Bly)

If you’re designing interfaces, this small table that summarises the chapter contents by Buxton, Gaver & Bly (1991) concerning the use of sound and vision in interfaces might be handy.

Time Space
  • sound exists in time
  • good for display of changing events
  • available for a limited time
  • sound exists over space
  • no need to face source
  • a limited number of messages at once
  • vision exists over time
  • good for display of static objects
  • can be sampled over time
  • vision exists in space
  • user must face source
  • messages can be spatially distributed

Refer to: Buxton, W., Gaver, W. & Bly, S. (1991). The use of non­speech audio at the interface. Tutorial no. 8. In CHI’91 Conference proceedings, Human Factors in Computing Systems, ‘Reaching through technology’ (pp. 85‐90). New Orleans, ACM Press: Addison‐Wesley.