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The effects of multimodal feedback on older adults' task performance given varying levels of computer experience

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This experiment examines the effect that computer experience and various combinations of feedback (auditory, haptic, and/or visual) have on the performance of older adults completing a drag-and-drop task on a computer. Participants were divided into three computer experience groups, based on their frequency of use and breadth of computer knowledge. Each participant completed a series of drag-and-drop tasks under each of seven feedback conditions (three unimodal, three bimodal, one trimodal). Performance was assessed using measures of efficiency and accuracy. Experienced users responded well to all multimodal feedback while users without experience responded well to auditory-haptic bimodal, but poorly to haptic-visual bimodal feedback. Based on performance benefits for older adults seen in this experiment, future research should extend investigations to effectively integrate multimodal feedback into GUI interfaces in order to improve usability for this growing and diverse user group.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2004

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