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The design and evaluation of an auditory way-finding system in a train station






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The design and evaluation of an auditory way-finding system in a train station


Tardieu, Julien (auteur)
Susini, Patrick (auteur)
Poisson, Franck (auteur)
Kawakami, Hiroshi (auteur)
McAdams, Stephen (auteur)





sound signals   public spaces   train stations   soundscape   earcons   sound design


Previous studies have shown that auditory cues contribute to the identification of several components of a public space such as the volume, but also the type of activity to which the space is dedicated. This paper demonstrates that solutions to improve way-finding in a public place can be based on providing additional auditory information. A methodical approach in three phases is proposed and applied in the case of a train station. First, problems encountered by travellers in a train station are identified by way of an ergonomic study under real conditions with recruited travellers. The results reveal three kinds of problems: orientation errors, lack of confirmation of direction, and lack of information about the remaining distance to be covered. In the second phase, functional and environmental specifications were developed in order to create sound signals for each identified problem. A sound designer proposed several non-speech sound signals based on two schemas: a pair of sounds for the orientation and confirmation functions, and a timeline sequence for the remaining distance. Finally, in the third phase, the sound signals were installed in the train station using an experimental broadcasting system and were evaluated in a second ergonomic study using the same method. The results show that the number of orientation errors decreased and that participants felt more confident during their walk. Sound signals for the orientation and confirmation functions were understood and used by the participants. However, the timeline sequence signalling remaining distance was not understood.


Article paru dans : Applied Acoustics vol. 70 n°9


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Date de la notice

2010-02-25 01:00:00

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