The Role of Modality in Notification Performance

  • David Warnock
  • Marilyn McGee-Lennon
  • Stephen Brewster
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6947)


The primary users of home care technology often have significant sensory impairments. Multimodal interaction can make home care technology more accessible and appropriate, yet most research in the field of multimodal notifications is not aimed at the home but at office or high-pressure environments. This paper presents an experiment that compared the disruptiveness and effectiveness of visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory notifications. The results showed that disruption in the primary task was the same regardless of the notification modality. It was also found that differences in notification effectiveness were due to the inherent traits of a modality, e.g.olfactory notifications were slowest to deliver. The results of this experiment allow researchers and developers to capitalize on the different properties of multimodal techniques, with significant implications for home care technology and technology targeted at users with sensory impairments.


Multimodal interfaces accessibility and usability technology in healthcare 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Warnock
    • 1
  • Marilyn McGee-Lennon
    • 1
  • Stephen Brewster
    • 1
  1. 1.Glasgow Interactive Systems Group, Department of Computing ScienceUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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