Perception of Mobile Emergency Alert Sounds
A Human-Computer Interaction research project done as part of the course requirements at the University of Waterloo
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Canada launched Alert Ready, an emergency alert system that directly communicates emergency warnings and information to citizens via their personal mobile devices in 2015 but has received a large volume of criticism. Some of the major criticism from the citizens as found by a nationwide survey performed on November 27, 2019, were the need to improve sound for the alerts. A lab study was conducted to investigate how participants perceived and interacted with simulated mobile alert messages with three different sounds while engaged in a gaming task. Participants were particularly observed for reactions and dismissal times during the study. They were provided a post-task questionnaire to report their perceived annoyance, perceived urgency, and positive and negative affect after the task. Results found significant differences in dismissal times, perceived urgency, and positive and negative affect between the three sounds. There was no significant difference observed for perceived annoyance. With these results, the authors discuss various ideas for future studies on mobile emergency alert sound design.
User Research and Experiment Design
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