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UAIS Tables of Contents: 01020304050607080910111213

Universal Access in the Information Society 10

Editors:Constantine Stephanidis
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Standard No:ISSN 1615-5289 (print); 1615-5297 (electronic)
Links:Table of Contents
  1. UAIS 2011-03 Volume 10 Issue 1
  2. UAIS 2011-06 Volume 10 Issue 2
  3. UAIS 2011-08 Volume 10 Issue 3
  4. UAIS 2011-11 Volume 10 Issue 4

UAIS 2011-03 Volume 10 Issue 1

Long Paper

e-Government online forms: design guidelines for older adults in Europe BIBAKDOI 1-16
  Arthur G. Money; Lorna Lines; Senaka Fernando; Anthony D. Elliman
This paper reports on the findings of Delivering Inclusive Access to Disabled and Elderly Members of the community (DIADEM), a 3-year project, funded by the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme, to assist older adults when accessing, completing, and submitting online forms, by developing web-based assistive technologies that adapt the online form according to users' needs. A user-centred approach is adopted to gain insights into the challenges faced by 80 older adults in three European countries as they interact with a representative sample of public service-based online forms. A thematic analysis is then carried out on the data, which revealed five over-arching themes that relate to the challenges faced by users: assistance, trust, layout, the technology paradigm, and language. From these themes, 23 online form design guidelines are derived, which provide valuable guidance for the development of the DIADEM application and for e-Government online form design for an ageing population in general.
Keywords: Accessibility; Assistive technology; Older adults; e-Government; Online forms
Speech-based navigation and error correction: a comprehensive comparison of two solutions BIBAKFull-Text 17-31
  Jinjuan Feng; Shaojian Zhu; Ruimin Hu; Andrew Sears
Speech-based navigation and error correction can serve as a useful alternative for individuals with disabilities that hinder the use of a keyboard and mouse, but existing solutions available in commercial software are still error-prone and time-consuming. This paper discusses two studies conducted with the goal of improving speech-based navigation and error correction techniques. The first study was designed to improve understanding of an innovative speech-based navigation technique: anchor-based navigation. The second study was longitudinal, spanning seven trials, and was intended to provide insights regarding the efficacy of both traditional target/direction-based navigation and anchor-based navigation. Building on earlier studies that employed similar methodologies and interaction solutions, this paper also provides an informal evaluation of a new correction dialogue. Although the two solutions resulted in the same level of efficiency, the underlying strategies adopted were different, and the anchor-based solution allowed participants to generate better quality text and was perceived to be easier to use. These results suggest that the anchor-based solution could be a promising alternative, especially for novice users as they learn how to use speech-based dictation solutions. The findings of these studies need to be further validated with the involvement of users with disabilities.
Keywords: Speech-based interaction; Navigation; Error correction; Empirical evaluation; Assistive technology
Quantitative assessment of mobile web guidelines conformance BIBAKFull-Text 33-49
  Markel Vigo; Amaia Aizpurua; Myriam Arrue; Julio Abascal
Conformance metrics for the mobile web can play a crucial role as far as engineering mobile websites are concerned, especially if they are automatically obtained. In this way, developers can have an idea in numeric terms of how suitable their developments are for mobile devices. However, there are a plethora of devices with their own particular features (screen size, formats support, etc.) that restrict a unified automatic assessment process. This paper proposes a tool-supported method for device-tailored assessment in terms of conformance with Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0, including the definition of five quantitative metrics for automatically measuring mobile web conformance: Navigability, Page layout, Page definition, User input and Overall score. The behaviour of these metrics was analysed for different devices and different web paradigms, both mobile web pages and their equivalent desktop pages. As expected, the results show that mobile web pages on more capable devices score higher. In addition, 20 users took part in an experiment aimed at discovering how conformance-based scores relate to usability dimensions. The results demonstrate that automatic scoring approaches strongly correlate with usability scores obtained by direct observation, such as task completion time and user satisfaction. This correlation is even stronger for the device-tailored assessment than the one that assumes a general profile for all devices. For instance, results show a strong negative correlation between Overall score and task completion time: ρ (9)=-0.81, (p<0.05) for the generalist approach and ρ (9)=-0.88 for the device-tailored one, entailing that mobile web guidelines and the metrics based on their conformance capture usability aspects. This result challenges the widely accepted belief that conformance to guidelines does not imply more usable web pages, at least for web accessibility conformance.
Keywords: Mobile web; Usability; Metrics; Device-tailored evaluations
Development of a system usability assessment procedure using oculo-motors for input operation BIBAFull-Text 51-68
  Minoru Nakayama; Makoto Katsukura
This paper investigates the relationship between oculo-motors, such as eye-movement and pupillary change, and the conventional subjective "usability" index, using time-domain and frequency-domain approaches, with the objective to determine the possibility of evaluating interaction through oculo-motors. An evaluation experiment was conducted by operating a target on a computer display using mouse, keyboard and key pad as input devices. The results show that there is a significant correlation between pupil size and SU-score, which is an established subjective evaluation index for system usability. Cross spectrum densities (CSD) between horizontal and vertical eye-movements and coherence as standardized CSD also significantly correlate with the results of the SU-scores and error rates. To determine the frequency range of CSD and coherence for usability assessment, frequency components used as factors were extracted using factor analysis. According to the correlation coefficients between these and the performance of factor scores for predicting the conventional metrics, factor scores of CSD are better indices for assessing usability than factor scores of coherence. These two results suggest that pupil size and index of eye-movement as oculo-motor indices based on time-domain and frequency-domain approaches can provide information about a system's overall usability regarding the input operation task.
BlinkWrite: efficient text entry using eye blinks BIBAKFull-Text 69-80
  I. Scott MacKenzie; Behrooz Ashtiani
In this paper, a new text entry system is proposed, implemented, and evaluated. BlinkWrite provides a communication gateway for cognitively able motor-impaired individuals who cannot use a traditional eye-tracking system. In contrast to most hands-free systems, BlinkWrite allows text to be entered and corrected using a single input modality: blinks. The system was implemented using a scanning ambiguous keyboard, a new form of scanning keyboard that allows English text to be entered in less than two scanning intervals per character. In a user study, 12 participants entered text using the system with three settings for scanning interval: 1,000, 850, and 700ms. An average text entry rate of 4.8wpm was observed with accuracy>97%. The highest average text entry rate was achieved with the scanning interval of 850ms.
Keywords: Blink typing; Hands free text-entry; Eye typing; Scanning ambiguous keyboard; Assistive technologies

Review Paper

Game accessibility: a survey BIBAKFull-Text 81-100
  Bei Yuan; Eelke Folmer; Frederick C. Harris
Over the last three decades, video games have evolved from a pastime into a force of change that is transforming the way people perceive, learn about, and interact with the world around them. In addition to entertainment, games are increasingly used for other purposes such as education or health. Despite this increased interest, a significant number of people encounter barriers when playing games due to a disability. Accessibility problems may include the following: (1) not being able to receive feedback; (2) not being able to determine in-game responses; (3) not being able to provide input using conventional input devices. This paper surveys the current state-of-the-art in research and practice in the accessibility of video games and points out relevant areas for future research. A generalized game interaction model shows how a disability affects ones ability to play games. Estimates are provided on the total number of people in the United States whose ability to play games is affected by a disability. A large number of accessible games are surveyed for different types of impairments, across several game genres, from which a number of high- and low-level accessibility strategies are distilled for game developers to inform their design.
Keywords: Game accessibility; Disability; Strategy; Impairment


The accessibility of university web sites: the case of Turkish universities BIBAKDOI 101-110
  Serhat Kurt
The Web has become a part of daily life, and yet web accessibility remains an important issue because of continuing accessibility problems involving many web users. Universities utilize the Web for many purposes, and therefore, university Web sites must be accessible for all. This paper presents the results of an evaluation of the level of accessibility of Turkish university homepages. A sample of university homepages was reviewed using multiple techniques based on The World Wide Web Consortium suggestions. The results indicated that all university homepages show some accessibility problems. Several recommendations are provided based on the research findings.
Keywords: Accessibility; Post-secondary education; Programming and programming languages; Computer-mediated communication; Multimedia/hypermedia systems

UAIS 2011-06 Volume 10 Issue 2


Pervasive technologies and assistive environments: social impact, financial, government and privacy issues BIBFull-Text 111-114
  Ilias Maglogiannis; Fillia Makedon; Grammati Pantziou; Lynne Baillie

Long Paper

Behavior monitoring for assistive environments using multiple views BIBAKFull-Text 115-123
  Dimitrios I. Kosmopoulos
This work presents an approach to behavior understanding using multiple cameras. This approach is appropriate for monitoring people in an assistive environment for the purpose of issuing alerts in cases of abnormal behavior. The output of multiple classifiers is used to model and extract abnormal behavior from both the target trajectory and the target short-term activity (i.e., walking, running, abrupt motion, etc.). Spatial information is obtained after an offline camera registration using homography information. The proposed approach is verified experimentally in an indoor environment. The experiments are performed with a single moving target; however, the method can be generalized to multiple moving targets, which may occlude each other, due to the use of multiple cameras.
Keywords: Behavior monitoring; Homography; SVM; Hidden Markov model
Extracting spatiotemporal human activity patterns in assisted living using a home sensor network BIBAKFull-Text 125-138
  Dimitrios Lymberopoulos; Athanasios Bamis; Andreas Savvides
This paper presents an automated methodology for extracting the spatiotemporal activity model of a person using a wireless sensor network deployed inside a home. The sensor network is modeled as a source of spatiotemporal symbols whose output is triggered by the monitored person's motion over space and time. Using this stream of symbols, the problem of human activity modeling is formulated as a spatiotemporal pattern-matching problem on top of the sequence of symbolic information the sensor network produces, and is solved using an exhaustive search algorithm. The effectiveness of the proposed methodology is demonstrated on a real 30-day dataset extracted from an ongoing deployment of a sensor network inside a home monitoring an elder. The developed algorithm examines the person's data over these 30 days and automatically extracts the person's daily pattern.
Keywords: Human activity model; Spatiotemporal activity patterns; Sensor networks
Analyzing motoric and physiological data in describing upper extremity movement in the aged BIBAKFull-Text 139-150
  Gaurav N. Pradhan; Navzer Engineer; Mihai Nadin; B. Prabhakaran
Cognitive functions, motoric expression, and changes in physiology are often studied separately, with little attention to the relationships or correlations among them. The study presented in this paper implements an integrated approach by combining motion capture (action) and EMG (physiological) parameters as synchronized data streams resulting from the action and associated physiological data. The reported experiments were designed to measure the preparatory movement capabilities of the upper extremities. In particular, measurement of changes in preparatory activity during the aging process is of interest in this context, as the attempt is to develop means to compensate for loss of adaptive capabilities that aging entails. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to quantify preparation phases (timing and intensity). Motion capture and EMG parameters were measured when subjects raised their arms without constraint (condition one) and raised their arms while holding a ball (second condition). Furthermore, on comparing aging and young participants, it was confirmed that with aging the temporal relationships between actual movement and the preceding EMG signal change.
Keywords: Aging; Analysis of variance; Factor analysis; Electromyogram; Motion capture
Accessible interactive television using the MPEG-21 standard BIBAKFull-Text 151-163
  Evangelos Vlachogiannis; Damianos Gavalas; George E. Tsekouras; Christos N. Anagnostopoulos
In this paper, the accessibility of interactive television (iTV) is discussed as a primary factor for its satisfactory adoption and commercial success. The work presented here is undertaken in the context of a research project that focuses on delivering iTV services to disabled children. This objective is accomplished through the utilization of the arising MPEG-21 standard. Based on that standard, iTV accessibility is investigated in terms of metadata and content adaptation. The novelty of the contribution lies on a systematic methodology that deals with a wide range of accessibility problems, as opposed to previous studies that focus mostly on users with only one specific disability.
Keywords: Accessible interactive TV; MPEG-21; Content adaptation approach; Metadata; Pervasive environments; Collaborative filtering
Design and evaluation of haptic effects for use in a computer desktop for the physically disabled BIBAKDOI 165-178
  Brian Holbert; Manfred Huber
The human-computer interface remains a mostly visual environment with little or no haptic interaction. While haptics is finding inroads in specialized areas such as surgery, gaming, and robotics, there has been little work to bring haptics to the computer desktop, which is largely dominated today by the GUI/mouse relationship. The mouse as an input device, however, poses many challenges for users with physical disabilities, and it is believed that a haptically enhanced interface could have significant impact assisting in target selection. This paper presents a study intended to evaluate haptic effects used with a force feedback mouse on a computer desktop and a prediction algorithm designed to focus those effects on the desired target. Results of the experiment were partially successful and indicated future directions for improvement. The paper introduces the proposed framework and presents experimental results from targeting tasks using differing haptic effects with a group of physically disabled users.
Keywords: Haptic interface; Haptic mouse; Targeting; Target prediction
A cognitive framework for robot guides in art collections BIBAKFull-Text 179-193
  Dimitrios Vogiatzis; Vangelis Karkaletsis
A basic goal in human-robot interaction is to establish such a communication mode between the two parties that the humans perceive it as effective and natural; effective in the sense of being responsive to the information needs of the humans, and natural in the sense of communicating information in modes familiar to humans. This paper sets the framework for a robot guide to visitors in art collections and other assistive environments, which incorporates the principles of effectiveness and naturalness. The human-robot interaction takes place in natural language in the form of a dialogue session during which the robot describes exhibits, but also recommends exhibits that might be of interest to the visitors. It is also possible for the robot to explain its reasoning to the visitors, with a view to increasing transparency and consequently trust in the robot's suggestions. Furthermore, the robot leads the visitors to the location of the desired exhibit. The framework is general enough to be implemented in different hardware, including portable computational devices. The framework is based on a cognitive model comprised of four modules: a reactive, a deliberative, a reflective and an affective one. An initial implementation of a dialogue system realising this cognitive model is presented. main ontology.
Keywords: HCI; Dialogue system; Cognitive architecture; Recommender system; Explanations
Dynamic mix zone: location data sanitizing in assisted environments BIBAKFull-Text 195-205
  Zhengyi Le; Yi Ouyang; Guanling Chen; Fillia Makedon
Pervasive technology has been widely used in assistive environments and aware homes. The issue of how to preserve the privacy of patients being monitored has been attracting more public concerns. In assistive environments, location data of patients are collected through sensors for behavior patterns analysis, and they can also be shared among researchers for further research for early disease diagnosis. However, location information, even though de-identified, also introduces the risk of privacy leakage. A series of consecutive location samples can be considered as a trajectory of a single person, and this may leak private information if obtained by malicious users. This paper discusses this problem and proposes a location randomization algorithm to protect users' location privacy. Two privacy metrics according to location privacy are defined and used to evaluate the proposed approach. A method using dynamic mix zones is proposed to confound trajectories of two or more persons.
Keywords: Location privacy; Assisted living; Sensor networks
A scalable and self-adapting notification framework for healthcare information systems BIBAKFull-Text 207-216
  Anthony E. Okorodudu; Leonidas Fegaras; David Levine
There has been a great interest in publish/subscribe systems in recent years. This interest, coupled with the pervasiveness of light-weight electronic devices, such as cellular phones and personal digital assistants, has opened a new arena in publish/subscribe networks. Currently, many broker overlay networks are static and rarely change in structure. Often, a network overlay structure is predefined or manually modified. This paper presents a dynamic broker network for disseminating critical lab and patient information in a Healthcare information system. The reported work builds upon previous network optimization research on ad hoc publish/subscribe networks. The underlying framework utilizes user-defined cost functions to satisfy quality of service constraints. In essence, the broker network optimization problem is reduced to an incremental search problem to generate low cost network configurations. Certain reliability issues are also addressed by providing a scheduling algorithm to selectively retransmit information and handle broker connectivity failures.
Keywords: Publish/subscribe; Broker overlay network; HIPAA; Healthcare information system
An assistive environment for improving human safety utilizing advanced sound and motion data classification BIBAKFull-Text 217-228
  Charalampos Doukas; Ilias Maglogiannis
This paper presents the concept and an initial implementation of an assistive awareness system that may be used for human activity interpretation and emergency recognition in cases such as elder or patient falls and distress speech expressions, thus improving their safety. Awareness is achieved through collecting, analyzing and classifying motion and sound data. The latter are collected through sensors equipped with accelerometers and microphones that are attached to the human body and transmit movement and sound data wirelessly to the monitoring unit. The detection of fall incidents has been proven to be feasible by applying Short Time Fourier Transform (STFT) and spectrogram analysis on sounds. The classification of the sound and movement data is performed using a variety of advanced classification techniques. Evaluation results provide a performance comparison between the evaluated classifiers and indicate the high accuracy and the effectiveness of the proposed implementation. The system architecture is open and can be easily enhanced to include patient awareness based on additional context (e.g., physiological data).
Keywords: Patient status awareness; Emergency event detection; Movement and sound analysis; SVM classification


In memory of Professor Hiroshi Tamura BIBFull-Text 229-230
  Takao Kurokawa

UAIS 2011-08 Volume 10 Issue 3


Innovations in user sensitive design, research and development BIBDOI 231-233
  Ray Adams; Alan Newell; Peter Gregor

Long Paper

User-Sensitive Inclusive Design BIBAKDOI 235-243
  A. F. Newell; P. Gregor; M. Morgan; G. Pullin; C. Macaulay
Although "User-Centred", "Participatory", and other similar design approaches have proved to be very valuable for mainstream design, their principles are more difficult to apply successfully when the user group contains, or is composed of, older and/or disabled users. In the field of design for older and disabled people, the "Universal Design", "Inclusive Design" and "Design for All" movements have encouraged designers to extend their design briefs to include older and disabled people. The downside of these approaches is that they can tend to encourage designers to follow a traditional design path to produce a prototype design, and only then investigate how to modify their interfaces and systems to cope with older and/or disabled users. This can lead to an inefficient design process and sometimes an inappropriate design, which may be "accessible" to people with disabilities, but in practice unusable. This paper reviews the concept that the authors have called "User-Sensitive Inclusive Design", which suggests a different approach to designing for marginalised groups of people. Rather than suggesting that designers rely on standards and guidelines, it is suggested that designers need to develop a real empathy with their user groups. A number of ways to achieve this are recommended, including the use of ethnography and techniques derived from professional theatre both for requirements gathering and for improving designers' empathy for marginalised groups of users, such as older and disabled people.
Keywords: User-Centred Design; Inclusive Design; Universal Design; Older and disabled people
The effect of previous exposure to technology on acceptance and its importance in usability and accessibility engineering BIBAKDOI 245-260
  Andreas Holzinger; Gig Searle; Michaela Wernbacher
In Usability and Accessibility Engineering, metric standards are vital. However, the development of a set of reciprocal metrics -- which can serve as an extension of, and supplement to, current standards -- becomes indispensable when the specific needs of end-user groups, such as the elderly and people with disabilities, are concerned. While ISO 9126 remains critical to the usability of a product, the needs of the elderly population are forcing the integration of other factors. Familiarity and recognisability are not relevant to someone with no experience and therefore no referent; however, acceptance becomes a major factor in their willingness to learn something new and this acceptance requires trust based on association. Readability and legibility are of less relevance to a blind person than to someone with failing eyesight. This paper describes some usability metrics ascertained on the basis of experiments made with applications for elderly people throughout the summer term of 2007. The factors that influence the older users' acceptance of software, including the extent of their previous exposure to technology, are evaluated in order to provide short guidelines for software developers on how to design and develop software for the elderly. The evaluation of the expectations, behavior, abilities, and limitations of prospective end-users is considered of primary importance for the development of technology. A total of N = 31 participants (22 women/9 men) took part in various tests. The participants' ages ranged from 49 to 96 years with an average age of 79. Five of the tests were designed for a PDA or cellular phone, one test was designed for a laptop PC. Of the total of 55 tests, 52 tests provided sufficient data to evaluate the results. In 23 of the tests, all tasks were completed. As a main outcome, it can be experimentally proved that the acceptance is related to a factor, which is this paper is called PET (Previous Exposure to Technology). This is discussed in light of the aforementioned metrics.
Keywords: Usability metrics; Acceptability; Previous experience; Previous knowledge; Acceptance; Acceptability; Technology acceptance model

Short Paper

The barriers that older novices encounter to computer use BIBAKFull-Text 261-266
  Anna Dickinson; Roos Eisma; Peter Gregor
A course on computers was run for computer beginners aged over 55. An iterative and flexible approach aimed to ensure that students' anxieties and difficulties were addressed as the course proceeded. Several layers of difficulty were encountered, ranging from initial difficulties understanding Windows systems and the working of the mouse to more fundamental and long-term problems such as repeatedly forgetting to move the focus before typing or failing to recognize onscreen objects and understand their behaviours. Inclusive design approaches should benefit from detailed recording of barriers to use, but the diversity of the user population will also necessitate flexibility to ensure inclusivity.
Keywords: Older adults; Barriers; Inclusion

Long Paper

Dialogue based interfaces for universal access BIBAKFull-Text 267-274
  Christian R. Huyck
Conversation provides an excellent means of communication for almost all people. Consequently, a conversational interface is an excellent mechanism for allowing people to interact with systems. Conversational systems are an active research area, but a wide range of systems can be developed with current technology. More sophisticated interfaces can take considerable effort, but simple interfaces can be developed quite rapidly. This paper provides an introduction to the current state of the art of conversational systems and interfaces. It describes a methodology for developing conversational interfaces and gives an example of an interface for a state benefits website. The paper discusses how this interface could improve access for a wide range of people and how further development of this interface would allow a larger range of people to use the system with enhanced functionality.
Keywords: Dialogue; Universal access; Conversational system; Conversational interface
User modelling and cognitive user support: towards structured development BIBAKDOI 275-293
  Peter Eberle; Christian Schwarzinger; Christian Stary
Model-driven engineering approaches have turned out useful when handling different perspectives on human-computer interaction, such as user profiles and problem-domain data. Their latest flavour, Model-Driven Architecture (MDA), targets towards platform-independent models (PIMs) and adjacent transformation mechanisms to adapt to user needs and tasks. Although in the field of user modelling and its major application domain, namely adaptive hypermedia systems (AHS), considerable effort has been spent on adaptation towards user needs, a structured development approach could not be established so far. User-oriented application designs are highly distinctive and can hardly be compared or mapped to novel or existing developments without major re-engineering effort. This paper develops an understanding of existing capabilities of already applied user-modelling techniques from a model-based perspective. Revealing the context of user models and user modelling allows determining general concepts for representing and processing knowledge for adaptation. The obtained findings show primarily technically motivated approaches, rather than designs grounded in findings from human factors. For human-centred design, a shift is suggested towards distributed cognition as a methodological and operational frame of reference for user modelling. This could help overcome existing limitations in adaptation. The corresponding research agenda requires directions on how to map psychological constructs to user-model elements and adaptable user-interface elements, such as mapping field dependence to content annotation features, in a transparent and empirically grounded way.
Keywords: User modelling; Model-driven architecture; Adaptation; Cognitive support; Psychological constructs; Transformation; Adaptive hypermedia systems
Inclusive design: beyond capabilities towards context of use BIBAKFull-Text 295-305
  Darren Reed; Andrew Monk
Inclusive design is oriented to a particular outcome, to ensure that products and services address the needs of the widest possible audience. Approaches towards achieving this aim include the use of ergonometric data to predict product exclusion and the participation of extreme users in a design team. This discussion paper extends these approaches by comparing the inclusive design process to the design process that has evolved for Interaction Design within Human Computer Interaction, and in so doing identifies additional issues and processes. Potential ways practicing designers in an Inclusive Design context might approach these concepts are suggested. True Inclusive Design must engage the widest population as actual users not just potential users. This objective can only be achieved through a move from a view of Inclusive Design as solely concerned with individual capabilities to a view of Inclusive Design set in a social context.
Keywords: Inclusive design; Design by society; Design process model
User sensitive research in e-learning: exploring the role of individual user characteristics BIBAKFull-Text 307-318
  Andrina Granic; Ray Adams
The increasing need for active and accessible learning in the inclusive knowledge society drives the demand for e-learning that engages users much more effectively than ever before. In this context, it is crucial to conduct research that embraces innovation in user sensitive design, or else influential individual user differences may be overlooked. The objective of this paper is to explore the creation of successful e-learning systems that are able to increase users' learning performance and enhance their personal learning experiences. The paper reports two converging and complimentary approaches, namely case studies and experimentation. First, case studies are used to explore the extent to which effective e-learning systems comply with eight specific factors. Of the eight, accessibility, individual differences and student modeling turn out to be the weakest points in current practice. Second, an empirical study investigates the influences of user individual user differences on users' learning outcomes in an e-learning environment. The experiment found that individual differences in motivation to learn and expectations about e-learning significantly impacted users' learning achievements. Third, based on these studies, improvements in research methodology are identified towards greater consideration of user sensitive research issues, thus enabling us to outline improved experimental procedures. Further experiment results should provide us with better insights into the arguments needed to carefully assess benefits of developing and involving a user model in an e-learning application. Consequently, evaluation and justification could now encompass both system performance as well as user performance.
Keywords: User sensitive research; User individual characteristics; User modelling; Intelligent user interfaces; e-learning systems
The design-by-adaptation approach to universal access: learning from videogame technology BIBAKDOI 319-336
  Ifan D. H. Shepherd; Iestyn D. Bleasdale-Shepherd
This paper proposes an alternative approach to the design of universally accessible interfaces to that provided by formal design frameworks applied ab initio to the development of new software. This approach, design-by-adaptation, involves the transfer of interface technology and/or design principles from one application domain to another, in situations where the recipient domain is similar to the host domain in terms of modelled systems, tasks and users. Using the example of interaction in 3D virtual environments, the paper explores how principles underlying the design of videogame interfaces may be applied to a broad family of visualization and analysis software which handles geographical data (virtual geographic environments, or VGEs). One of the motivations behind the current study is that VGE technology lags some way behind videogame technology in the modelling of 3D environments, and has a less-developed track record in providing the variety of interaction methods needed to undertake varied tasks in 3D virtual worlds by users with varied levels of experience. The current analysis extracted a set of interaction principles from videogames which were used to devise a set of 3D task interfaces that have been implemented in a prototype VGE for formal evaluation.
Keywords: User interfaces; Transfer; Adaptation; Videogames; Virtual geographical environments; GIS
A diversity-sensitive evaluation method BIBAKDOI 337-356
  Alexandros Mourouzis; Margherita Antona; Constantine Stephandis
This paper presents an evaluation method, along with the underlying theory, for assessing interactive systems and specifying their quality in terms of universal access. The method is an adaptation of traditional walkthroughs and is aimed to incorporate user diversity, for example in terms of individual abilities, skills, background, levels of expertise, equipment used, etc., as key input to evaluation. The method aims at addressing as many as possible of the qualities of a system that might affect diverse users throughout their usage of the system and which, ultimately, have an impact on the system's wide acceptance. The proposed method, described here, extends the cognitive walkthrough method by introducing a simulation of the users' reasoned action process in order to assess whether users can, and will be, in favour of accessing, exploring, utilising and, ultimately, adopting a system. Additionally, the method allows considering in the assessment process various aspects of diversity among target users and use conditions, rather than assessing for the so-called average user, aiming at incorporating accessibility, usability and acceptance as intrinsic measurements. Finally, the paper presents ORIENT, a prototype inspection tool developed as a means to further facilitate experts in conducting such walkthroughs in practice, and which offers step-by-step guidance throughout the process until final reporting. Preliminary experiences with the application of the method in the domain of e-Services are also discussed.
Keywords: Evaluation; Universal access; System acceptance; Design for all

UAIS 2011-11 Volume 10 Issue 4


Toward web accessibility for older users BIBDOI 357-358
  Anna C. Cavender; Jeffrey P. Bigham

Long Paper

An ethnographical study of the accessibility barriers in the everyday interactions of older people with the web BIBAKFull-Text 359-371
  Sergio Sayago; Josep Blat
Older people experience many barriers when they access to the web. However, little is known about which barriers limit more (or less) their daily interactions. This paper presents some findings based on an ethnographical study of the everyday interactions of nearly 400 older people with the web over 3 years. Difficulties remembering steps, understanding terms and using the mouse are more severe than problems perceiving visual information, understanding icons and using the keyboard. This is largely explained by inclusion, independence and socialization, which are the three key components of real-life web use. This paper also shows that these aspects should be considered in other areas of web and ICT accessibility, as technophobia is not the only experience in the interactions of older people with the web, and both social relationships and life experiences beyond technologies need to be taken into account apart from age-related changes in abilities. These findings suggest that the current focus on compensating for age-related changes in functional abilities needs to be widened. Working towards making the web more accessible should not be divorced from real-life use. This paper discusses implications for web (and ICT) design, training and support.
Keywords: Ethnography; Web accessibility; Older people
A survey of technology accessibility problems faced by older users in China BIBAKFull-Text 373-390
  Dengfeng Yao; Yunfeng Qiu; Hairui Huang; Zaixin Du; Jianqing Ma
Internet accessibility for older users has become an important issue to promote inclusion and participation in the Information Society. This paper proposes an investigation into the technology accessibility problems faced by older users in China. The research reported here was conducted by means of an exploratory survey with a Web-based questionnaire and discussions with older users at meetings. The study had 180 valid answers and involved representatives from each of the 25 provinces of China. The results show that 39% of the participants cannot or can only partially access information, because of various kinds of accessibility problems. Many participants indicated that the main problems in accessing the Internet were health barriers, circumstances barriers, and Internet design barrier. The possible reason for these difficulties could be that the government doesn't foster a social environment conducive to helping the elderly to get online and that it does not provide services for the elderly designed to help them access information electronically. The poor rate of accessibility industry for the elderly, as well as the lack of Chinese accessibility laws, is an important issue that must be dealt with to promote greater Internet accessibility for the elderly.
Keywords: Accessibility; Survey; Older users; Internet
Designing accessible experiences for older users: user requirement analysis for a railway ticketing portal BIBAKFull-Text 391-402
  Özge Subasi; Michael Leitner; Norman Hoeller; Arjan Geven; Manfred Tscheligi
This article presents the results of a survey that shows that older users differ in their attitude and experience towards the Internet not only according to their age or to their previous knowledge with Internet services, but also according to what they are expecting from this media. The aim of this study was to collect information about barriers on usage and perception of an online ticketing service for a nationwide public railway company, in order to enhance the notion of "accessibility" toward a broader understanding including non-technical accessibility factors as semantic accessibility and/or procedural accessibility. The results of the survey with 1,208 participants and additionally focus groups, interviews and qualitative analysis of user feedback indicate that in order to improve and optimize the usage of the online system for older adults, it is necessary to develop a system which is not only universally accessible, but also satisfies the specific expectations of senior users. This article concentrates on designing accessible user experiences and presents several recommendations to the area and for WCAG 2.0 according to the results.
Keywords: Universal accessibility; User experience; Older adults; Experience centeredness; Perceived accessibility

Long paper

Web accessibility guideline aggregation for older users and its validation BIBAFull-Text 403-423
  Giorgio Brajnik; Yeliz Yesilada; Simon Harper
Web site-evaluation methodologies and validation engines take the view that all accessibility guidelines must be met to gain compliance. Problems exist in this regard, as contradictions within the rule set may arise, and the type of impairment or its severity is not isolated. The Barrier Walkthrough (BW) method goes someway to addressing these issues, by enabling barrier types derived from guidelines to be applied to different user categories such as motor or visual impairment, etc. However, the problem remains of combinatorial explosion of possibilities when one has to consider users with multiple disabilities. In this paper, a simple set theory operation is used to create a validation scheme for older users by aggregating barrier types specific to motor impaired and low-vision users, thereby creating a new "older users" category from the results of this set union. To evaluate the feasibility and validity of this aggregation approach, two BW experiments were conducted. The first experiment evaluated the aggregated results by focusing on quality attributes and showed that aggregation generates data whose quality is comparable to the original one. However, this first experiment could not test for validity, as the older users category was not included. To remedy this deficiency, another BW experiment was conducted with expert judges who evaluated a web page in the context of older users. In this second experiment, it was found that there is no significant difference between the aggregated and the manually evaluated (by experts) barrier scores, and that the same barriers are identified using experts and aggregation, even though there are differences in how severity scores are distributed. From these results, it is concluded that the aggregation of barriers is a viable alternative to expert evaluation, when the target of that aggregation could not be evaluated manually or it would not be feasible to do so. It is also argued that aggregation is a technique that can be used in combination with other evaluation methods, like user testing or subjective assessments.

Long Paper

Validating the effectiveness of EvalAccess when deploying WCAG 2.0 tests BIBAKDOI 425-441
  Amaia Aizpurua; Myriam Arrue; Markel Vigo; Julio Abascal
While automatic tools are not intended to replace human judgment, they are crucial in order to develop accessible websites. The release of WCAG 2.0 has caused great expectation, as it is supposed to be precisely testable with automated review tools. Therefore, more effective tools could be developed. However, so far few tools applying WCAG 2.0 have been developed. This paper presents an evaluation framework which has been updated in order to evaluate the new tests. In addition, it describes a validation process carried out in order to verify the effectiveness of the new version of the evaluation tool. The effectiveness is validated by conducting a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the results obtained by applying both versions of the tool (the one implementing WCAG 1.0 and the one implementing WCAG 2.0) to a set of selected web pages, as well as by manual evaluation of an expert for detecting the possible false positives and false negatives produced by each tool.
Keywords: Web accessibility guidelines; Tool effectiveness; Automatic evaluation
Technology skill and age: what will be the same 20 years from now? BIBAKFull-Text 443-452
  Vicki L. Hanson
Is current research on computing by older adults simply looking at a short-term problem? Or will the technology problems that plague the current generation also be problematic for today's tech-savvy younger generations when they become "old"? This paper considers age-related and experience-related issues that affect ability to use new technology. Without more consideration of the skills of older users, it is likely that applications and devices 20 years from now will have changed such that this "older" generation finds themselves confronting an array of technologies that they little understand and find generally inaccessible. Recent evidence suggests that older adults bring specific strengths to Web browsing. A fuller investigation of these strengths and how to design to optimize for strengths of older users has the potential to address the need for usable technology for this increasingly important demographic.
Keywords: Aging; Web; Cognition

Long paper

Use of force plate instrumentation to assess kinetic variables during touch screen use BIBAKDOI 453-460
  Curtis B. Irwin; Thomas Y. Yen; Robert H. Meyer; Gregg C. Vanderheiden; David P. Kelso; Mary E. Sesto
Touch screens are becoming ubiquitous technology, allowing for enhanced speed and convenience of user interfaces. To date, the majority of touch screen usability studies have focused on timing and accuracy of young, healthy individuals. This information alone may not be sufficient to improve accessibility and usability of touch screens. Kinetic data (e.g. force, impulse, and direction) may provide valuable information regarding human performance during touch screen use. Since kinetic information cannot be measured with a touch screen alone, touch screen-force plate instrumentation, software, and methodology were developed. Individuals with motor control disabilities (Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis), as well as gender- and age-matched non-disabled participants, completed a pilot reciprocal tapping task to evaluate the validity of this new instrumentation to quantify touch characteristics. Results indicate that the instrumentation was able to successfully evaluate performance and kinetic characteristics. The kinetic information measured by the new instrumentation provides important insight into touch characteristics which may lead to improved usability and accessibility of touch screens.
Keywords: Touch screen; Usability; Force; Impulse