T-MUM Dissertation Abstract
The term multimedia is polysemous, and the field of multimedia encompasses several other disciplines; so it is striving for more definition, more clarity. Taxonomies offer both clarity and definition through their classification of information. Therefore, a Taxonomy of Media Usage in Multimedia (T-MUM) has been developed to further define the multimedia discipline by identifying how media elements are used in multimedia.
The taxonomy was developed based on expertise and research in the area of multimedia, and its foundation was provided by previous work defined in the literature. Its validity was then tested through a series of evaluations using an evaluator pool made up of graduate students, professors, and professionals in the field of multimedia. They validated the proposed taxonomy using a predefined set of questions combined with candid feedback.
The taxonomy helps determine everything from whether the elements are being used in a way that detracts from the user's experience or whether they are essential to it. T-MUM is able to assist with the design and evaluation of multimedia by defining how the various media elements are being used. That information can then be used to make content and design decisions: 'should an element that detracts from the user experience (e.g. Web advertising banner) be included in the application? Is the revenue generated from its inclusion worth the cost to our users?' or 'If this audio narration is essential to the user experience, what measures have been taken for those who have no audio capabilities or those who are hearing impaired?' Answering such questions correctly is vital to the success of any application, making a mechanism that assists in that process of great potential value. T-MUM is such a mechanism.