Later this month in Boston, the annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) conference will feature a study done by two researchers that has some unique findings.
HFES is dedicated to promoting “the discovery and exchange of knowledge concerning the characteristics of human beings that are applicable to the design of systems and devices of all kinds,” according to the organization’s website.
“The Society furthers serious consideration of knowledge about the assignment of appropriate functions for humans and machines, whether people serve as operators, maintainers or users in the system,” the site goes on.
Well, at the conference in a couple weeks researchers Rochelle Edwards and Philip Kortum will present their findings, according to the India Times.
The researchers studied users interacting with a medical IVR system that gathered their medical data. There were female and male voices, in upbeat versus professional versus sympathetic tones. Then they asked the participants to gauge the system’s ease of use.
“Voice is the major element in an IVR interface, as graphical elements are for a web page,” Kortum told the Times. “And this study was a first attempt to understand the impact voice might have on the perceived usability of such systems.”
According to the Times, Edwards and Kortum “found that although IVRs with male voice tended to be perceived as more usable than those with female voices, they were not considered more trustworthy.”