Monika Srdic
Supervisor:Prof. Gudrun Klinker, Ph.D.
Advisor:Daniel Dyrda, M.Sc.
Submission Date:15.03.2020


This thesis presents the most important aspects and current state of user interface feedback and audio in user interfaces. Subsequent to this key factors of situational awareness in context of different user feedback forms are being elaborated. The aims of this study were to propose design approaches for auditory feedback in the context of graphical editors with focus on improving situational awareness. Additionally different interaction methods in respect to auditory feedback are discussed. The results are presented such that they form a guideline for development and design of auditive feedback in user interfaces as well as for understanding important challenges for further studies and research on this topic.

Project Description

This thesis proposes an overview of the most important principles and guidelines of user interface design, situational awareness and audio design for creating optimal auditory feedback for user interfaces of graphical editors. Additionally this work presents abstractions from most common use cases of graphical editors and analyzes them with the goal to design proper acoustic feedback for each abstraction.


While some design choices of acoustic feedback help to enhance the users situational awareness, some design choices remain purely creative and not fitting. A good guideline for graphical editors is keeping acoustic feedback less complex while balancing the frequency of the appearance of it with what it should trigger in the user. One to three tones maximum in combination with silence or pauses is enough for designing proper acoustic feedback that also enhances situational awareness. Detailed insight of the functionalities, key factors and principles of user interfaces in general, graphical user interfaces, situational awareness and audio is necessary in order to impact the designer’s choices for the better and help understand the layers of user interface design.