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UAIS Tables of Contents: 01020304050607080910111213

Universal Access in the Information Society 3

Editors:Constantine Stephanidis
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Standard No:ISSN 1615-5289 (print); 1615-5297 (electronic)
Links:Table of Contents
  1. UAIS 2004 Volume 3 Issue 1
  2. UAIS 2004 Volume 3 Issue 2
  3. UAIS 2004 Volume 3 Issue 3/4

UAIS 2004 Volume 3 Issue 1


Guidelines, standards, methods and processes for software accessibility BIBFull-Text 1-5
  Jan Gulliksen; Susan Harker; Gregg Vanderheiden
The software accessibility of human-computer interfaces -- ISO Technical Specification 16071 BIBAKFull-Text 6-16
  Jan Gulliksen; Susan Harker
This paper describes the recently published Technical Specification ISO 16071 from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), along with the process through which the document has been developed. ISO TS 16071 contains guidelines on designing accessible software. This paper also relates the activities within ISO to other ongoing standardisation activities, within, for example, W3C and ETSI. Scope, contents, guidelines and the definition of accessibility in ISO 16071 are discussed in relation to other definitions. Finally, the process of turning the technical specification (TS) into an international standard (IS) is discussed.
Keywords: ANSI/HFES - International Standards Organisation - ISO 16071 - Standardisation - Technical specification - W3C -- WAI guidelines
Using a universal access reference model to identify further guidance that belongs in ISO 16071 BIBAKFull-Text 17-29
  Jim Carter; David Fourney
ISO TS 16071 Guidance on accessibility for human computer interfaces was developed via the collection and evaluation of an extensive set of existing software accessibility research and guidance. While this approach has served well in creating this first major international software accessibility standard, it is limited in its ability to expand the range of its guidance to areas not covered by existing research. This paper introduces a universal access reference model that can be used to identify areas requiring further accessibility guidance. It also demonstrates the use of this reference model in identifying guidelines that should be considered for potential addition to ISO 16071, as it progresses from a technical specification to an international standard.
Keywords: Accessibility standards - Accessible system - Reference model - Universal access - Universal access reference model
Software accessibility standards and guidelines: progress, current status, and future developments BIBAKFull-Text 30-37
  Paul S. Reed; Daryle Gardner-Bonneau; Scott Isensee
This article reviews progress in the development of standards and guidelines for software accessibility, including those developed within international and US standards bodies. Key factors driving efforts to identify and define effective design guidelines for software accessibility include demographic trends and the graying population, new legislation and the increasing pervasiveness of information technology and devices. An overview of the US Software Accessibility draft standard, including accessibility-focused design guidance for Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems, is provided. A variety of resources providing design guidance for improved accessibility are identified, and expected developments in formal standards for software accessibility are discussed.
Keywords: Software accessibility guidelines - Standards
W3C user agent accessibility guidelines 1.0 for graphical Web browsers BIBAKFull-Text 38-47
  Jon Gunderson
Web browsers and multimedia players play a critical role in making Web content accessible to people with disabilities. Access to Web content requires that Web browsers provide users with final control over the styling of rendered content, the type of content rendered and the execution of automated behaviors. The features available in Web browsers determine the extent to which users can orient themselves and navigate the structure of Web resources. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) User Agent Guidelines are part of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, the guidelines provide a comprehensive resource to Web browser and multimedia developers on the features needed to render Web content more accessibly to people with disabilities. UAAG 1.0 was developed over a period of four years and included extensive reviews to demonstrate that the proposed requirements can be implemented.
Keywords: Accessibility - Browser - Disability - Universal design - User agent - World Wide Web
Making the Internet accessible for people with cognitive and communication Impairments BIBAKFull-Text 48-56
  David Poulson; Colette Nicolle
This paper provides an overview of the work of the European Union (EU) World Wide Augmentative and Alternative Communication (WWAAC) project, which aims to make the electronic highway more accessible to people with cognitive and communication impairments, in particular those persons using symbols instead of text to communicate. Many of these users will also be users of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) devices. The appropriateness of guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) are discussed, with the finding that few specific guidelines are available to make Web sites truly accessible and usable for these user groups. We propose that additional guidelines are required in order to facilitate access to Web pages for AAC users. Requirements capture and preliminary evaluation activities within the project have led to the development of draft guidelines that will be refined and validated as the project reaches its final evaluation phase. These draft guidelines are discussed along with other developments needed in this area.
Keywords: Communication and cognitive impairments - Guidelines - Internet - Symbols
Increasing usability when interacting through screen readers BIBAKFull-Text 57-70
  Barbara Leporini; Fabio Paterno
The application of appropriate Web site design and evaluation methods helps to ensure more usable and accessible Web sites. While in the literature guidelines and evaluation methods for accessibility and usability are given and discussed separately, we aim at identifying the relationships between these two concepts, in particular considering usability criteria for accessible Web sites. In this work, we propose a set of such criteria targeted to improving the navigability for a specific group of disabled users, i.e., vision-impaired people. The identification of the eighteen criteria suggested herein was performed through empirical feedback, by which potential issues were identified. Subsequently, a systematic method was developed on the basis of the analysis of potential solutions, resulting in a classification of the criteria according to usability aspects. Some example applications of the proposed criteria to three existing public administration Web sites are discussed.
Keywords: User interfaces - Accessibility - Usability - Guidelines - Vision impaired users
The use of guidelines to automatically verify Web accessibility BIBAKFull-Text 71-79
  Julio Abascal; Myriam Arrue; Inmaculada Fajardo; Nestor Garay; Jorge Tomas
Accessibility is one of the key challenges that the Internet must currently face to guarantee universal inclusion. Accessible Web design requires knowledge and experience from the designer, who can be assisted by the use of broadly accepted guidelines. Nevertheless, guideline application may not be obvious, and many designers may lack experience to use them. The difficulty increases because, as the research on accessibility is progressing, existing sets of guidelines are updated and new sets are proposed by diverse institutions. Therefore, the availability of tools to evaluate accessibility, and eventually repair the detected bugs, is crucial. This paper presents a tool, EvalIris, developed to automatically check the accessibility of Websites using sets of guidelines that, by means of a well-defined XML structure, can be easily replaced or updated.
Keywords: Automatic accessibility verification - Inclusive design guidelines - Web accessibility - Web services - XML structures
Applying Web accessibility to Internet portals BIBAKFull-Text 80-87
  Henrike Gappa; Gabriele Nordbrock
Internet portals are becoming a very popular entry point to the Web. Users utilise them because of the large amount of information available. This paper aims to highlight the major hurdles disabled and/or older users encounter in Web portals, and to issue recommendations for portals layout and structure, based upon the results of a user requirements collection carried out by the authors. The findings point out that provision of a powerful search engine is essential for successful information retrieval. Moreover, due to the diverse and sometimes contradictory needs of the user groups under consideration, the customisation of information presentation plays an important role in ensuring accessibility and usability of Internet portals. The paper also includes a brief overview of the results in relation to the actual working draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.
Keywords: Accessibility - Internet portals - Older people - People with disabilities - Universal access - Usability
Universal access to information services -- the need for user information and its relationship to device profiles BIBAKFull-Text 88-95
  Carlos A. Velasco; Yehya Mohamad; Alfred S. Gilman; Nikos Viorres; Evangelos Vlachogiannis; Argyris Arnellos; Jenny S. Darzentas
Users access information services with a variety of devices and with different interaction modes that depend on personal characteristics (including disabilities) and on the context of usage. With the appearance of mobile devices, the industry has focused its efforts on the standardization of device characteristics, thus giving to information providers some content adaptation facilities. However, little attention has been paid to the standardization of user profiles that will allow further customization and adaptation capabilities in mainstream services. This paper will present the authors experiences in outlining and implementing user profiles, as well as possible integration paths with device characteristics.
Keywords: Assistive technology - Internet - Universal access - Usability - User interface
Accomplishing universal access through system reachability -- a management perspective BIBAKFull-Text 96-101
  Jan Gulliksen; Hans Andersson; Per Lundgren
The aim of this paper is to describe the need of a method by which we can estimate the return on accessibility investments in information technology (IT) systems. This paper reveals some of the reasons why accessibility still is a secondhand criterion when designing digital services. It also describes the authors experiences regarding the concept of accessibility and how it must develop in order to obtain the status of a basic business criterion for the benefit of disabled people who are currently excluded from public services and labour markets. The paper also questions the need of a separate accessibility standard. Additionally, we discuss some of the hindering in the market and limiting perspectives that are blocking further development. One of the problems in the market seems to be that accessibility as a concept has been more of an issue about creating equal opportunities and therefore probably does not have the quality of a business criterion. In order to bridge that gap, we argue for replacing accessibility with reachability, which is a concept based on a measure used by media when estimating the reached percentage of a population or target group.
Keywords: Accessibility - Guidelines - Management - Standards - Usability
The procurement of usable and accessible software BIBAKFull-Text 102-106
  Clas Thoren
This article discusses the need for the inclusion of usability and accessibility requirements in public procurements of software to be included in public electronic services. Legislation on public procurement in Europe requests clear, well-defined criteria for accessibility and usability. Accessibility criteria exists, but there is a lack of usability criteria. The use of suppliers declarations is a possible approach.
Keywords: Accessibility - Application software - E-government - Procurement - Suppliers declarations
ETSI's human factors contribution to eEurope BIBAKFull-Text 107-110
  Bruno Niman; Knut Nordby
This article describes the most recent development in the European telecommunications industry from the end-user perspective, considering generic user interface elements for interaction with mobile communication systems, as described in a series of European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI) deliverables. It also reports the results of work from recent and ongoing activities in the ETSI Technical Committee Human Factors (TCHF), performed by major industry representatives under the European Commissions eEurope Initiative. The availability of a standardised set of universal, generic interaction elements increases the transfer of knowledge to use mobile devices and services, improves the overall usability of the entire interactive mobile environment and improves access for all. Such a transfer becomes even more important in a world of ubiquitous devices and services to the young, elderly and disabled.
Keywords: Design for all - Disabilities - eEurope - Human factors - Telecommunications

UAIS 2004 Volume 3 Issue 2


Design principles to support older adults BIBFull-Text 111-113
  Mary Zajicek; Stephen Brewster
Using familiar technologies in unfamiliar ways and learning from the old about the new BIBAKFull-Text 114-121
  Darren J. Reed; Andrew Monk
Findings are reported from a study of the befriending scheme for older people that includes a bi-weekly recreational telephone conference. Participants were visited in their homes soon after one of these link-ups. What emerges is a picture of the telephone as a mundane technology. The telephone receiver, the telephone conference, and even the content of the talk are not foregrounded in the accounts of the participants. Instead, they provided a rich account of their daily experiences that happen to include the technology. Amongst these experiences, the befriending scheme in general, and the feeling of contact provided by the link-ups in particular, are seen as the most important experiences. It is concluded that the designers of domestic technologies for recreation need to focus on experience rather than tasks when formulating design requirements. The uses and gratification model developed for describing mass media usage is suggested as one way of conceptualising these requirements. Finally, an experience-artefact cycle is outlined, that parallels Carroll's task-artefact cycle, to describe the evolution of technology in this area.
Keywords: Experience artefact cycle - Recreational telephone conferences - Uses and gratifications
Speech interaction for older adults BIBAKFull-Text 122-130
  Mary Zajicek; Richard Wales; Andrew Lee
Interaction with electronic speech products is becoming a fact of life through telephone answering systems and speech-driven booking systems, and is set to increase in the future. Older adults will be obliged to use more of these electronic products, and because of their special interactional needs due to age-related impairments it is important that such interactions are designed to suit the needs of such users, and in particular, that appropriate mechanisms are put in place to support learning of older users about interaction. Drawing upon the expertise of tutors at Age Concern Oxfordshire, and the results of preliminary investigations with older adults using dialogues in a speech system, this paper explores the conditions which best provide for the learning experience of older adults, and looks at special features which enable instructions and help for learning to be embedded within speech dialogue design.
Keywords: Learning ICT - Older adults - Speech interactions - Voice dialogues - VoiceXML - Web accessibility
Early user involvement in the development of information technology-related products for older people BIBAKFull-Text 131-140
  R. Eisma; A. Dickinson; J. Goodman; A. Syme; L. Tiwari; A. F. Newell
The UTOPIA project (Usable Technology for Older People -- Inclusive and Appropriate) is focused on developing effective methods for the early involvement of older people in the development of information technology-related products for people aged 60 and over, and on providing industry with tools to assist in the development of information technology products for such older people. An essential part of this methodology is building a diverse user base, forming a long-lasting partnership with older people, and developing approaches for effective interaction with this target user group. Our experiences with eliciting information from groups of older people about technology is described, together with a report on seminars for Scottish industry designed to raise an awareness of these issues.
Keywords: Older people - Technology - User involvement
Eliciting user requirements with older adults: lessons from the design of an interactive domestic alarm system BIBAKFull-Text 141-148
  Lorna Lines; Kate S. Hone
This paper documents how methodological challenges were addressed when identifying user requirements for an Interactive Domestic Alarm System (IDAS) designed to enable older adults to live independently in their own homes for longer. A novel approach to determine possible IDAS functionality is described, and the results of focus groups conducted with older adults and care workers are reported. The paper identifies some difficulties encountered when using the focus group method with an ageing sample, and highlights the importance of careful preparatory work if this method is to be used successfully in such a context.
Keywords: Focus groups - Interactive domestic alarm systems - Older adults - User requirement capture
Design for participation: providing access to e-information for older adults BIBAKFull-Text 149-163
  Simeon Keates; P. John Clarkson; Peter Robinson
Electronic information sources are becoming increasingly more prolific and offer a huge potential for those able to use them. However, for those unable to access those services, there is the risk of being further disadvantaged by continued exclusion from an increasing number of services. This paper presents two examples of kiosks designed to help principally older adults access online governmental information sources. The design issues identified and the implications for future kiosk interface designs, both for hardware and software, are also discussed.
Keywords: Digital divide - Inclusive design - Information access - Kiosks - Participation

UAIS 2004 Volume 3 Issue 3/4

Unified user interface development: the software engineering of universally accessible interactions BIBAKFull-Text 165-193
  Anthony Savidis; Constantine Stephanidis
In the information society, the notion of computing-platform encompasses, apart from traditional desktop computers, a wide range of devices, such as public-use terminals, phones, TVs, car consoles, and a variety of home appliances. Today, such computing platforms are mainly delivered with embedded operating systems (such as Windows CE, Embedded/ Personal Java, and Psion Symbian), while their operational capabilities and supplied services are controlled through software. The broad use of such computing platforms in everyday life puts virtually anyone in the position of using interactive software applications in order to carry out a variety of tasks in a variety of contexts of use. Therefore, traditional development processes, targeted towards the elusive average case, become clearly inappropriate for the purposes of addressing the new demands for user- and usage-context diversity and for ensuring accessible and high-quality interactions. This paper will introduce the concept of unified user interfaces, which constitutes our theoretical platform for universally accessible interactions, characterized by the capability to self-adapt at run-time, according to the requirements of the individual user and the particular context of use. Then, the unified user interface development process for constructing unified user interfaces will be described, elaborating on the interactive-software engineering strategy to accomplish the run-time self-adaptation behaviour.
Keywords: Development processes - Software engineering - Unified user interfaces - User-adapted interfaces - User interface architectures
Developing a navigation aid for the frail and visually impaired BIBAKFull-Text 194-201
  Pontus Engelbrektsson; I. C. Marianne Karlsson; Blaithin Gallagher; Heather Hunter; Helen Petrie; Ann-Marie O'Neill
This paper describes the development of a new navigational aid for the frail, elderly, and visually impaired person. The users were involved both in the user requirements study and in the evaluation of different prototypes. The results show that the users were able to provide information on their current aid, the use situation, and their preference regarding different solutions, but they had difficulties to provide the detailed answers on technical solutions required by the technical development team. Further, prototype evaluations with users enabled the technical team to understand the users and their use situation.
Keywords: User involvement - User oriented product development - User requirement elicitation
A taxonomy of novice user perception of error on the Web BIBAKFull-Text 202-208
  Jonathan Lazar; Gabriele Meiselwitz; Anthony Norcio
Novice users face many challenges when browsing the Web. The goal of this experiment was to learn about how users perceive error situations when using the World Wide Web. Specifically, the goal was to learn which circumstances cause users to believe that an error has occurred. An exploratory experiment took place with 78 subjects who were novice users. In the experiment the subjects were asked to identify when they perceived that an error had occurred. The subjects reported a total of 219 error situations. These error situations were then classified by the researchers into the following four categories: user error, system error, situational error, and poor Web design. Based on the collected data, suggestions are presented for improving the usability of Web browsers and Web sites.
Keywords: Novice user - Universal usability - User error - User frustration - User perception
Transformation frameworks and their relevance in universal design BIBAKFull-Text 209-223
  Silas S. Brown; Peter Robinson
Music, engineering, mathematics, and many other disciplines have established notations for writing their documents. Adjusting these notations can contribute to universal access by helping to address access difficulties, such as disabilities, cultural backgrounds, or restrictive hardware. Tools that support the programming of such transformations can also assist by allowing the creation of new notations on demand, which is an under-explored option in the relief of educational difficulties. This paper reviews some programming tools that can be used to effect such transformations. It also introduces a tool, called 4DML, which allows the programmer to create a model of the desired result, from which the transformation is derived.
Keywords: Notations - Transformation - Conversion - Education - Tools - 4DML
Using speech and dialogue for interactive TV navigation BIBAKFull-Text 224-238
  Aseel Berglund; Pontus Johansson
Interaction techniques for interactive television (iTV) are currently complex and difficult to use for a wide-range of viewers. Few previous studies have dealt with the potential benefits of multimodal dialogue interaction in the context of iTV for the purpose of flexibility, usability, efficiency, and accessibility. This paper investigates the benefits of introducing speech and connected dialogue for iTV interaction, and presents a case study in which a prototype system was built allowing users to navigate the information space and control the operation of the TV by a speech-based natural language interface. The system was evaluated by analysing the user experience in five categories capturing essential aspects of iTV interaction: interaction style, information load, data access, effectiveness and initiative. Design considerations relevant for speech and dialogue information systems for TV interfaces also emerged from the analysis.
Keywords: Electronic program guide - Universal access - Speech interaction - iTV
The experience of being connected BIBAKFull-Text 239-251
  Richard van de Sluis; Elmo Diederiks
The rapid spread of broadband always-on Internet is expected to change the way people will communicate and share content and experiences in the near future. This broadband connection can enhance the communication among family members and friends. It can also make it easy to share content and activities such as watching a movie together or listening to the same music while having a videophone chat. While using all these functions people want to be able to move freely through their home. The advance of portable devices fulfills this need for mobility. These portable devices can be used either in isolation or in co-operation with the stationary devices in the house. This paper describes the development and evaluation of two novel interaction concepts that support sociability and mobility for people inhabiting the connected home.
Keywords: User interaction - Communities - Sharing - Communication - Portable devices
Comparing accessibility evaluation tools: a method for tool effectiveness BIBAKFull-Text 252-263
  Giorgio Brajnik
This paper claims that effectiveness of automatic tools for evaluating web site accessibility has to be itself evaluated, given the increasingly important role that these tools play. The paper presents a comparison method for a pair of tools that takes into account correctness, completeness and specificity in supporting the task of assessing the conformance of a web site with respect to established guidelines. The paper presents data acquired during a case study based on comparing LIFT Machine with Bobby. The data acquired from the case study is used to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the comparison method. The conclusion is that even though there is room for improvement of the method, it is already capable of providing accurate and reliable conclusions.
Keywords: Web accessibility - Accessibility assessments - Automated evaluations - Accessibility evaluation tools - Tools effectiveness


The geography of the digital divide: broadband deployment in the Community of Madrid BIBAKFull-Text 264-271
  Jose Luis Gomez Barroso; Jorge Perez Martinez
Realising the potential of the information society requires an adequate broadband infrastructure, a sine qua non condition for usage. The different deployment rhythms of broadband networks threaten to increase the distance separating developed and developing countries. However, inside developed countries, separating lines are also being traced on regional or local scales. The magnitude and characteristics of this second form of geographic digital divide are not thoroughly known. This article provides this analysis for a specific case, namely the Community of Madrid. We conclude that outside the metropolitan areas, adapting existing infrastructures, instead of deploying new networks, is the actual base for expanding broadband accessibility. However, it seems certain that the deployment is quite far from being universal, at least in the medium term. Population size seems to be the most relevant criterion for identifying threatened areas.
Keywords: Broadband networks - ADSL deployment - Cable deployment - Digital divide - Community of Madrid
German BIENE award reveals best practice in barrier-free Web design BIBAKFull-Text 272-275
  Renate Anderweit; Michael Pieper
In the European year of people with disabilities 2003 the major German social organisation Aktion Mensch and the Stiftung Digitale Chancen (digital opportunities foundation) have for the first time jointly initiated a competition for the design of barrier-free Web sites. The so-called BIENE award is meant to honor the best barrier-free Web sites in the German language and to present them as best practice examples. In this context, the acronym BIENE stands for Barrierefreies Internet eroffnet neue Einsichten (barrier-free Internet reveals new insights), stressing the objectives of promoting communication, joint action and productive cooperation.
Keywords: Best-practice award - Digital divide - Barrier-free Internet - Usability - Accessibility - Regulatory legislation - Special needs

Project brief

Lowering elderly Japanese users' resistance towards computers by using touchscreen technology BIBAKFull-Text 276-288
  Hiroyuki Umemuro
The standard qwerty keyboard is considered to be a major source of reluctance towards computer technology use by Japanese elderly, due to their limited experience with typewriters and the high cognitive demand involved in inputting Japanese characters. The touchscreen enables users to enter Japanese characters more directly and is expected to moderate this resistance. An e-mail terminal with a touchscreen was developed and compared with the same terminal using a standard keyboard and mouse. Computer attitudes and subjective evaluations of 32 older adults were measured. The results showed that the anxiety factor of computer attitudes declined significantly in the touchscreen condition.
Keywords: Touchscreen - Alternative interface - Japanese elderly - E-mail - Computer attitude

Book review

Interaction design: Beyond human-computer interaction by Preece, Sharp and Rogers (2001), ISBN 0471492787 BIBFull-Text 289
  Sri Kurniawan