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Audio Accessibility

What would an alert look like for the deaf?

Concept

This design exploration asked the question "What would audio alerts look like on a computer when the user cannot hear them?" Most operating systems have an accessibility option that allows a user to see that an alert was issued, but most don't differentiate between the types of alert.

Implementation

The solution presented allows users to associate graphics or waveforms with alerts, along with their titles, in a visual form in the lower part of the user's screen.

When active, this solution would hook into the OS and intercept alerts when they are issued and display the alerts according to user preference.

In the case where a user has not predefined images that associate with certain alerts, the system will show a waveform of the sound so that the user, over time, can become familiar with it's shape and thus infer the message it's trying to convey.

The mock-up images were produced in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and were later used in an application for patent protection.