Georgia Tech Sonification Lab
School of Psychology - Georgia Institute of Technology

BUZZ: Audio User Experience (audioUX) Scale

BUZZ is an Audio User Experience (audioUX) Scale. That is, it is a brief questionnaire that can be given to listeners, to gather data about the functionality, comprehension, and aesthetics of sounds that are part of an auditory (or multimodal) user interface. BUZZ has been developed in, and is being validated by, the Sonification Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology, overseen by Professor Bruce Walker.

The BUZZ audioUX scale is described in some detail in the following paper by Brianna Tomlinson, Brittany Noah, and Bruce Walker, presented at the CHI 2018 conference. The paper is available below, as is the actual BUZZ audioUX scale, plus the methods for administering it, scoring it, and citing it.

BUZZ is freely available for unlimited use, so long as it is not altered, and the authors are given credit through citation of the CHI 2018 paper. If you do use BUZZ, please let us know, since we are continuing to refine and validate the scale, and your experience and your results will be very helpful.

Understanding how best to measure the usability of an auditory display is an ongoing discussion. Numerous scales have been developed as tools to quickly compute usability ratings for systems and applications as a whole (focusing mostily on th evisual design), including the System Usability Scale (SUS), the UMUX, and the UMUX-Lite. However, there remains a need to be able to evaluate unique aspects of auditory displays (and audio aspects of multimodal displays) such as data-to-sound mappings, comprehension, and aesthetic aspects of the displays. Thus, we have developed a scale composed of 11 questions that can efficiently and effectively evaluate the salient aspects of an AUI. The first five items were inspired by Matthews et al.'s work with evaluation of peripheral displays, specifically from the importance of perception and content interpretation. The other six scale items were chosen to elicit feedback on meaning and interpretation, enjoyment, and comprehension of the auditory mappings. See the CHI 2018 paper (below) for more details, citations, and instructions on administration and scoring.

Publications and Other Resources

Tomlinson, B. J., Noah, B. E., & Walker, B. N. (2018). BUZZ: An Auditory Interface User Experience Scale. Proceedings of the Extended Abstracts of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2018), Montreal, Canada, (21-26 April). Paper No. LBW096. DOI: or direct link: <PDF>

Abstract: Auditory user interfaces (AUIs) have been developed to support data exploration, increase engagement with arts and entertainment, and provide an alternative to visual interfaces. Standard measures of usability such as the SUS [4] and UMUX [8] can help with comparing baseline usability and user experience (UX), but the overly general nature of the questions can be confusing to users and can present problems in interpretation of the measures when evaluating an AUI. We present an efficient and effective alternative: an 11-item Auditory Interface UX Scale (BUZZ), designed to evaluate interpretation, meaning, and enjoyment of an AUI.

BUZZ audioUX scale questions: The 11 questions that comprise the BUZZ scale are provided below in MS Word and PDF formats. Instructions for administration and scoring (note reverse scoring of some items) is described in the CHI 2018 paper, above.
      BUZZ Questions: <PDF> ...or... <MS-Word .DOCX>




This NSF logo material is based upon work partially supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The research has also been supported by a GVU Seed Grant to support a graduate student in the GT College of Computing.



Georgia Tech Sonification Lab
Bruce Walker