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Pie Chart 1

The following sonification sketches are based on the attached sketch to explore different ways of sonifying a Pie chart. Unlike the Early Sound Sketches, these ones are made based on a real pie chart and the timing of each value is very close to an accurate measure. A legend has been added to the piece. In the first sketch, the timing and values have 1:1 proportion, however, the timing has been cut into half for the rest of the sketches. Before listening please start with low volume and then adjust based on your preference. The goal is to spot the dominant Operating Systems market shares by listening to the following sketches.

Sonification-PieChart-Sketch#1-Legend.mp3

Sonification-PieChart-Sketch#2-Legend.mp3

Sonification-PieChart-Sketch#3-Legend.mp3

Sonification-PieChart-Sketch#4-Legend.mp3

Sonification-PieChart-Sketch#5-Legend.mp3

Received Feedback:

  • #1 and #2 -both of these make the relative proportions really clear. Prefer not to hear a pause between the segments, since you’ve got the bell indicating the start of a segment. Remove the Bell sound all together and let the segments flow to each other. It would be easier for user to listen to segments in order.
  • #3 - Difficult to differentiate between the individual sounds.
  • #4 - For the shorter/smaller segments, it may be difficult to hear it over top of all the other sounds. But it is really interesting to see how it describes the relative proportions between the segments as well as each segment relative to the whole. It would be easier for user to listen to segments in order.
  • #5 - This one really confusing - Couldn't tell why some segments overlap and others don’t, and in general couldn’t figure out what was happening.

Pie Chart 2

Pie Chart 2 sketches have been edited based on the feedback received from the team. The following changes have been applied:

  • Sketch#1:
    • The segments are ordered from large to small to make it easier for listener to spot the more dominant segments.
    • The bell sound indicating start of a segment has been removed. The moment of silence between segments has been removed.
  • Sketch#2:
    • The segments are ordered from large to small.
    • The bell sound indicating  start of a segment has been removed.
    • The double bell sound that indicates looping is replaced by single bell sound.
  • Sketch#4:
    • The Highlighted pieces are ordered from large to small.
  • Sketch#5:
    • sounds are split into smaller pieces and are more distributed throughout the piece.

Sonification-PieChart-Sketch#1-Legend-ordered-no bell.mp3

Sonification-PieChart-Sketch#2-Legend-ordered-no bell.mp3

Sonification-PieChart-Sketch#4-Legend-ordered.mp3

Sonification-PieChart-Sketch#5-Legend-Edited.mp3

Pie Chart 3

Round 3 sketches were developed based on the previous rounds’ sketches, but other features were also added. Different sounds and legend styles were used in order to reproduce the following pie chart:

Image Modified

Sketch #1-R3 – Audio legend is placed in the beginning; different sounds were used to represent each section, with the duration being a metaphor for size; nonstop play back.

Sonification-Sketch#1-R3.wav

Sketch #2-R3 – Audio legend is placed in the beginning of each section; different sounds were used to represent each section, with the duration being a metaphor for size; sectioned play back.

Sonification-Sketch#2-R3.wav

Sketch #3-R3 – Audio legend is placed in the beginning; only one sound is used to represent the market share, and the sections are separated by a bell sound; nonstop play back

Sonification-Sketch#3-R3.wav

Sketch #4-R3 – Audio legend is placed in the beginning; only one sound is used to represent the market share, and the sections are separated by a bell sound; sounds to indicate ten units and units were added as a metaphor for numbers; nonstop play back.

Sonification-Sketch#4-R3.wav

Sketch #5-R3 – Audio legend is placed in the beginning of each section; different sounds were used to represent each section, with the duration being a metaphor for size; sections are presented in pairs to help compare them; sectioned play back

Sonification-Sketch#5-R3.wav

Sketch #6-R3 – Audio legend is placed in the beginning of each section, but is considered part of the sonic chart; only one sound is used to represent the market share, and the sections are represented by echoed legend; a sound was added to represent ten units; the market share sound gets faster as the sections gets smaller; nonstop play back

Sonification-Sketch#6-R3.wav

Sonification Sound Tracks for Pie Chart Authoring Tool

The following sound tracks can be used to create the sonic pie chart. They are kept under 4 seconds long and made ready for looping.

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Sonification Stacking Experiments

Some early and rough experiments with stacking sounds.

Strings stacked left

Strings stacked right

Strings stacked center

Experiments with Percussive Sounds and Legend Placement

Stacked percussive sounds (right justified), no legend

Stacked percussive sounds (right justified), with legend

Sequential percussive sounds with integrated legend

Sequential percussive sounds with integrated legend and "backdrop" sound

Sequential percussive sounds with legend up front

Sequential percussive sounds with single "backdrop", no legend

Some thoughts:

  • how can some of these be combined in different ways to offer the user a fuller experience of the chart/data?
  • are the pauses between percussive sounds too long? what level of accuracy do we need in terms of correlating duration with values?
  • the "backdrop" sound which indicates the full duration of the chart is quite long when it runs for the total length (sum of all parts) - in this example I have shortened it arbitrarily but made it consistent in each part such that it provides an indication of relative length of each section to total
  • if the legend is integrated, is it better to use the same sound for all parts? need to consider consistency if different presentations are combined (i.e. maintain unique sound for each section)
Section

Single sound

Single sound, integrated legend (ordered largest to smallest)

Single sound, integrated legend (duration to value).mp3

Single sound, integrated legend (frequency to value).mp3

Single sound-density to value-integrated legend.mp3

Density

Density-to-value-mapping zoomed out

  • this sketch maps a somewhat arbitrary density value to the segment value
  • density could be mapped according to: number of "beeps" (directly proportional to) value/10 - or perhaps the denominator could be user-configurable and adjusted with a "preview"
  • minimum number of beeps = 1 (for multiple segments with small values, this could be solved by e.g. lumping them together as "all others", then perhaps allowing the user to zoom in on sections of the data to get more detail)

Density-to-value-mapping zoom in 1X

  • this sketch takes the previous sketch and "zooms in" on the sound
  • here, the total duration of each segment remains the same (while the density decreases / total number of beeps decreases)
  • this could also be achieved by "stretching out" the data such that the total duration increases - this would probably be a more intuitive approach for the user

Density-to-value-mapping zoom in 2X

  • this sketch takes the previous sketch and "zooms in" on the sound again
  • here, the total duration of each segment remains the same (while the density decreases / total number of beeps decreases) 
  • this could also be achieved by "stretching out" the data such that the total duration increases - this would probably be a more intuitive approach for the user

Density-to-value-mapping zoom to units

  • this sketch doesn't actually map density, but could provide a way of "zooming" in further on the density sample to allow the user to accurately count the units
  • maps one beep-like sound to units of 10 (G) and same lower pitch sound (F) to units of 1
    • each 10-unit sound is approximately 1/8sec long, each beep separated by approximately 1/4sec
    • each 1-unit sound is approximately 1/24sec long, each beep separated by approximately 1/8sec
  • unit sounds are representational, and do not relate in a durational way (i.e. sound for 1-unit is not 1/10th the length of the sound for 10-units)
  • total duration of each segment is consistent (includes pauses at end of any section where necessary)
    • (note: because, for example, 6 1-units have a longer total duration than one 10-unit, I decided to keep the total duration of each section the same, since total duration of the sounds does not map directly to value)

Density-to-value-mapping zoom to units octave change

  • this sketch is exactly the same as the previous sketch with an octave shift
  • provides and example of a possible user-configurable pitch level

Stacked Right with Units - Pitch and Timbre

  • duration of segment is mapped to value (duration of each segment calculated as X% / 10 sec)
  • segment sounds are "stacked right" such that they come in a different points but end at the same time
  • a click track is also added here to allow unit counting (clicks every 1/2 sec or 5%)

Stacked right, units, pitch + timbre

  • different instruments playing notes of different pitches represent each segment

Stacked right, units, pitch only - strings

  • same instrument playing notes of different pitches represents each segment (strings)

Stacked right, units, pitch only - clarinet

  • same instrument playing notes of different pitches represents each segment (clarinet)

Stacked right, units, timbre only

  • different instruments playing the same note represent each segment

Combinations - Stacked + Sequential

to do!