[LBW] CHI2018 EA: An Initial Investigation into Non-visual Code Structure Overview Through Speech, Non-speech and Spearcons

Abstract: We investigate a novel, non-visual approach to overviewing object-oriented source code and evaluate the efficiency of different categories of sounds for the purpose of getting an overview of source code structure for a visually-impaired computer programmer. A user-study with ten sighted and three non-sighted participants compared the effectiveness of speech, non-speech and spearcons on measures of accuracy and enjoyment for the task of quickly overviewing a class file. Results showed positive implications for the use of non-speech sounds in identifying programming constructs and for aesthetic value, although the effectiveness of the other sound categories in these measurements are not ruled out. Additionally, various design choices of the application impacted results, which should be of interest to designers of auditory display, accessibility and education.