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UAIS Tables of Contents: 01020304050607080910111213

Universal Access in the Information Society 12

Editors:Constantine Stephanidis
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Standard No:ISSN 1615-5289 (print); 1615-5297 (electronic)
Links:Table of Contents
  1. UAIS 2013-03 Volume 12 Issue 1
  2. UAIS 2013-06 Volume 12 Issue 2
  3. UAIS 2013-08 Volume 12 Issue 3
  4. UAIS 2013-11 Volume 12 Issue 4

UAIS 2013-03 Volume 12 Issue 1

Towards inclusive Digital Television

Towards inclusive digital television BIBFull-Text 1-3
  Mark Springett; Mark Rice; Richard Griffiths
Factors facilitating or impeding older adults' creative contributions in the collaborative design of a novel DTV-based application BIBAKFull-Text 5-19
  Mark Rice; Alex Carmichael
This article describes some of the challenges of supporting older adults' creative input to the design of an (as yet) undefined digital television application. Focusing on commonly used brainstorming and paper prototyping techniques, constructive insights are gathered from users with limited experience of interactive technology. Encouraging older participants to move beyond what they are familiar with, the research reports on how fragmented conceptual knowledge of familiar technologies can either facilitate or impede the creative development of new ideas. This includes bias or contradictory ideas that can emerge in the elicitation process. As reported, other factors, such as the self-perception of inadequate drawing skills, demonstrate further barriers for some older adults to articulate their visions and aspirations for suitably designed technology.
Keywords: Early requirements gathering; Older users; Design collaboration; Mental models; Sketching
Design principles for preschool children's interactive TV BIBAKFull-Text 21-35
  Ana Hulshof; Lyn Pemberton
Preschool children have increased access to media via a number of platforms, including digital interactive television. However, the viewing and interaction needs of this user group have not been extensively researched. The project reported in this paper investigates preschoolers' interactions with a simulated interactive television set-up. The study involved the development of an electronic programme guide prototype and its empirical evaluation. This research was carried out with children in Brazil and in the United Kingdom, aged between three and four. The main issues that arose during the interaction with the prototype application are documented, and a list of design principles is presented to assist in the design of accessible preschool interactive television applications for this age group.
Keywords: Inclusive digital television; Interactive design for children; Design principles
Cognitive training via interactive television: drivers, barriers and potential users BIBAKFull-Text 37-54
  Andrea Miotto; Jane Lessiter
This paper describes research to investigate the attitudinal and motivational factors that might facilitate or inhibit the uptake and use of cognitive training (CT) applications via interactive television (iTV) by both young and older people and to explore the profiles of potential users of such applications. A questionnaire was designed and distributed as part of the Vital Mind (VM) project. Data from a sample of 848 young and older people were collected and analysed using principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA). PCA of 41 attitude statements identified six components/factors. Three factors measured potential drivers to uptake and use of iTV-based CT applications ('active wellbeing', 'health concern' and 'technophilia') and two measured potential barriers ('unprogressiveness' and 'telly-negativity'). A sixth factor ('active sociability') could act as either a driver or barrier, depending on how socially oriented are different CT applications. CA of the factors and age data revealed seven different profiles of potential users of CT through iTV. Three of the clusters were predominantly older (labelled Cultured-Conservatives, Digital-Immigrants and Telly-Fans), three were younger (labelled Healthy-Strivers, Digital-Natives and Net-Generation) and one was middle-aged (labelled Busy-Interactors). Reported media use and activity (mental, physical and social) were consistent with the attitude profiles of the clusters. The appeal of iTV-based CT was generally high, with Digital-Natives and Digital-Immigrants indicating the most interest. This research provides evidence for the key attitudinal dimensions predictive of likely adoption and use of iTV-based CT, and a refined understanding of target younger and older user markets.
Keywords: Interactive television; Cognitive training; Wellbeing service; Older people; Drivers and barriers
Evaluating interface layout for visually impaired and mobility-impaired users through simulation BIBAKFull-Text 55-72
  Pradipta Biswas; Peter Robinson
The authors have developed a simulator to help with the design and evaluation of assistive interfaces. The simulator can predict possible interaction patterns when undertaking a task using a variety of input devices and estimate the time to complete the task in the presence of different disabilities. This paper presents a study to evaluate the simulator by considering a representative application of searching icons, which was being used by able-bodied, visually impaired and mobility-impaired people. The simulator predicted task completion times for all three groups with statistically significant accuracy. The simulator also predicted the effects of different interface designs on task completion time accurately. The simulator is used to develop inclusive digital TV interfaces. A case study is presented to investigate accessibility requirements of a representative digital TV interface.
Keywords: Human-computer interaction; Assistive technology; User model; Usability evaluation; Simulator; Digital TV
Universal Remote Console-based next-generation accessible television BIBAKFull-Text 73-87
  Gorka Epelde; Eduardo Carrasco
This paper presents a new approach to make current and future television universally accessible. The proposed approach provides a means of universal accessibility both for remotely operating the TV set and for interacting with online services delivered through the TV. This proposal is based on the ISO/IEC 24752 "Universal Remote Console" (URC) standard. This standard defines an abstract user interface layer called the "user interface socket" and allows the development of pluggable (plug-in) user interfaces for any type of user and any control device. The proposed approach lays the foundation for the development of advanced user interfaces that can be interacted within various modalities. Different prototypes have been developed based on this approach and tested with end users. The user tests have shown this approach to be a viable option for the proposed scenarios. Based on the experience gathered with the prototypes, recommendations and implementation options are suggested for commercial adoption.
Keywords: Accessible TV; ISO/IEC 24752; Universal Remote Console -- URC; Universal Control Hub-UCH; Multimodal interaction; Pluggable user interfaces
Investigating input technologies for children and young adults with Down syndrome BIBAKFull-Text 89-104
  Ruimin Hu; Jinjuan Feng; Jonathan Lazar
Using computers as an assistive technology for people with various types of physical and perceptual disabilities has been studied extensively. However, research on computer technology used by individuals with Down syndrome is limited. This paper reports an empirical study that investigated the use of three input techniques (keyboard and mouse, word prediction, and speech recognition) by children and young adults with Down syndrome and neurotypical children. The results suggest that the performance of the Down syndrome participants vary substantially. The high performing Down syndrome participants are capable of using the keyboard or the word prediction software to generate text at approximately 6 words per minute with error rates below 5%, which is similar to the performance of the younger neurotypical participants. No significant difference was observed between the keyboard condition and the word prediction condition. Recognition error rate observed under the speech input condition is very high for the Down syndrome participants. The neurotypical children achieved better performance than the participants with Down syndrome on the input tasks and demonstrated different preferences when interacting with the input techniques. Limitations of this study and implications for future research are also discussed.
Keywords: Assistive technology; Input technique; Word prediction; Speech recognition; Human and computer interaction; Down syndrome; Disability
An examination of the Internet's development as a disabling environment in the context of the social model of disability and anti-discrimination legislation in the UK and USA BIBAFull-Text 105-114
  Catherine Easton
Research indicates that inaccessible website design persists despite the existence of anti-discrimination legislation and the influence of the social model of disability on policy development. In this paper, the concept of universal access is examined in the light of the social model of disability in relation to both the physical and virtual environments. The manner in which disability is often deemed a design afterthought is highlighted. The need for universal access is then placed alongside a discussion of access to the Internet in relation to an ageing population and people with cognitive difficulties. Subsequently, anti-discrimination provisions are analysed in relation to how they support designers' focus on an accepted normality to which reasonable adjustments need to be made, rather than the acquisition of full universal access.
Corporate website accessibility: does legislation matter? BIBAFull-Text 115-124
  Eleanor T. Loiacono; Soussan Djamasbi
Over 600 million people worldwide have disabilities ranging from visual and hearing impairments to cognitive and motor skill issues. This number is only growing as "Baby Boomers" age. Previous research reveals that those organizations, such as federal agencies and colleges, which are mandated to have accessible websites, do indeed have higher levels of accessible websites than corporate sites do. This led to the current research, which aims at understanding what factors truly impact a company's decision to provide an accessible website. The results of a global survey of managers from a variety of industries uncovered that the key factors for influencing a company's level of website accessibility are the number of IT professionals employed by the firm, the level of accessibility testing performed, and whether the company is mandated to have an accessible website.

UAIS 2013-06 Volume 12 Issue 2

Haptic cues as a utility to perceive and recognise geometry BIBAKFull-Text 125-142
  Yayoi Shimomura; Ebba Thora Hvannberg
Research has been conducted on how to aid blind peoples' perceptions and cognition of scientific data and, specifically, on how to strengthen their background in mathematics as a means of accomplishing this goal. In search of alternate modes to vision, researchers and practitioners have studied the opportunities of haptics alone and in combination with other modes, such as audio. What is already known, and has motivated research in this area, is that touch and vision might form a common brain representation that is shared between the visual and haptic modalities and through haptics learning is active rather than passive. In spite of extensive research on haptics in the areas of psychology and neuropsychology, recent advances and rare experiences in using haptic technology have not caused a transfer from basic knowledge in the area of haptics to learning applications and practical guidelines on how to develop such applications. Thus motivated, this study investigates different haptic effects, such as free space, magnetic effects and the bounded box when blind people are given the task of recognising and manipulating classes of 3D objects with which they have varying familiarity. In parallel, this study investigates the applicability of Sjöström's guidelines on haptic applications development and uses his problem classification to capture knowledge from the experiments. The results of this study show that users can easily recognise and manipulate familiar objects, albeit with some assistance. There is an indication that users completed tasks faster and needed less assistance with magnetic effects. However, they were not as satisfied with this mode. While the results of this study show that haptics have the potential to allow students to conceptualise 3D objects, much more work is needed to exploit this technology to the fullest. Objects with higher complexity are difficult for students, and, in their opinion, the virtual objects (as presented) leave much room for improvement. Sjöström's error taxonomy proved useful, and four of five sub-guidelines tested were confirmed to be useful in this study.
Keywords: Haptic; Geometry; Error taxonomy; Guidelines
Non-visual navigation of spreadsheets BIBAKFull-Text 143-159
  Iyad Abu Doush; Enrico Pontelli
The problem of non-visual navigation of the information in Excel™ spreadsheet is that using current technologies, no overview is available for the user about different components found in the spreadsheet. Several attributes associated with spreadsheets make them not easy to navigate by individuals who are blind. The large amount of information stored in the spreadsheet, the multi-dimensional nature of the contents, and the several features it includes cannot be readily linearized by a screen reader or Braille display (e.g., charts and tables). A user-centered design paradigm is followed to build an accessible system for non-visual navigation of Microsoft Excel™ spreadsheet. The proposed system provides the user with a hierarchical overview of the navigated components in an Excel™ spreadsheet. The system is multi-modal, and it provides the user with different navigation and reading modes for the non-visual navigation of a spreadsheet. This will help the users in adapting the non-visual navigation according to the task the user needs to accomplish.
Keywords: Haptic; Assistive technology; Accessible spreadsheet; Non-visual spreadsheet navigation
An evaluation of the virtual curvature with the StickGrip haptic device: a case study BIBAKFull-Text 161-173
  Tatiana V. Evreinova; Grigori Evreinov
Dynamic simulation of distance to the physical surface could promote the development of new inexpensive tools for blind and visually impaired users. The StickGrip is a haptic device comprised of the Wacom pen input device added with a motorized penholder. The goal of the research presented in this paper was to assess the accuracy and usefulness of the new pen-based interaction technique when the position and displacement of the penholder in relation to the pen tip provided haptic feedback to the user about the distance to the physical or virtual surface of interaction. The aim was to examine how accurately people are able (1) to align the randomly deformed virtual surfaces to the flat surface and (2) to adjust the number of surface samples having a randomly assigned curvature to the template having the given curvature and kept fixed. These questions were approached by measuring both the values of the adjusted parameters and the parameters of the human performance, such as a ratio between inspection time and control time spent by the participants to complete the matching task with the use of the StickGrip device. The test of the pen-based interaction technique was conducted in the absence of visual feedback when the subject could rely on the proprioception and kinesthetic sense. The results are expected to be useful for alternative visualization and interaction with complex topographic and mathematical surfaces, artwork, and modeling.
Keywords: Curved surface; Kinesthetic feedback; Pen-based interaction; StickGrip haptic device
Investigation of age-differentiated spatial semantic elaboration strategies for communicating route instructions BIBAKFull-Text 175-190
  Kavita E. Thomas
This paper investigates the effect of spatial semantic elaboration strategies on young and older participants' performance and preferences in a route drawing task where participants read route instructions and then drew the route on a map. In particular, an elaborated form of spatial perspective that communicated the route instruction in both egocentric and allocentric perspectives was compared against just the egocentric or allocentric perspective instructions individually. Additionally, route instruction granularity was varied to compare elaborated hierarchical instructions that communicated goal and landmark information with flat instructions. The results of the experiment showed that older participants performed best with least confusion in the allocentric perspective with flat granularity, but that they benefited from semantic elaboration when less optimal spatial strategies were used, unlike young participants who performed best with the mixed (i.e. elaborated) perspective and flat granularity. The experiment showed that older participants actually suffered from what might be information overload when excess semantic elaboration was provided, as was likely the case with the use of the mixed perspective, which confused them considerably. In addition, hierarchical granularity was only beneficial in confusing spatial perspectives, while it detracted from older participants' performance in their optimal perspective, showing that there is a fine balance to be struck between beneficial semantic elaboration and information overload.
Keywords: Older addressees; Spatial language; Route instructions; Age-differentiated strategies
Older adults' perceptions of usefulness of personal health records BIBAKFull-Text 191-204
  Margaux M. Price; Richard Pak
Electronic personal health records (PHRs) have the potential to both make health information more accessible to patients and function as a decision-support system for patients managing chronic conditions. Age-related changes in cognition may make traditional strategies of integrating and understanding existing (i.e., paper-based) health information more difficult for older adults. The centralized and integrated nature of health information, as well as the long-term tracking capabilities present in many PHRs, may be especially beneficial for older patients' management of health. However, older adults tend to be late adopters of technology and may be hesitant to adopt a PHR if the benefits are not made clear (perceived usefulness). Toward the design of a useful PHR, a needs analysis was conducted to determine how people currently manage their health information, what they perceive as useful, and to identify any unmet needs. This paper describes two qualitative studies examining the health information needs of both younger and older adults. The first study used a 2-week diary methodology to examine everyday health questions or concerns, while the second study examined maintenance of health information and perceptions of PHRs through the use of a three-part interview. User's perceptions of the usefulness of PHRs are provided as recommendations for the design of e-health technology, especially those targeted for older adult healthcare consumers. The results suggest that both older and younger adults would deem a PHR useful if it provides memory support in the form of reminders, provides tools to aid in comprehension of one's health concerns, is interactive and provides automatic functions, and is highly accessible to authorized users, yet one's information is kept secure and private.
Keywords: Personal health records; Aging; Technology adoption model; Psychology; Perceived usefulness
Designing user interfaces for "ordinary users in extraordinary circumstances": a keyboard-only web-based application for use in airports BIBAKFull-Text 205-216
  Simeon Keates
Universal Access is commonly interpreted as focusing on designing for users with atypical requirements -- specifically users with disabilities or older adults. However, Universal Access is also about providing access to users in all situations and circumstances, including those that place extraordinary or unusual demands on the users who might otherwise not need assistance. This paper examines the design of a user interface (UI) for use in an airport environment and explains how the lessons learned from research into designing for users with disabilities, in particular, have been applied in this new context. The paper further describes a series of experiments that were performed to demonstrate the usability of the new interface and also compares the efficiency and effectiveness of three different input strategies developed for the new UI. The most efficient method of input was a strategy of combined keyboard shortcuts offering access to the full functionality of the UI. The case study also highlights that new Web 2.0 technologies support the implementation of accessibility solutions more typically only associated with non-Web applications. Further, it demonstrates that relying on only the TAB key for supporting keyboard-only access is comparatively inefficient, and that Web developers should be actively encouraged to use all of the available functionality from Web 2.0 technologies to produce more flexible and efficient keyboard-only support.
Keywords: Inclusive design; Efficiency; Throughput; Case study
Investigating pay-as-you-go to address issues of trust, privacy and security around media use at home BIBAKFull-Text 217-231
  Emmanuel Tsekleves; Roger Whitham
This paper explores the use of a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) concept as a means of addressing issues of trust, privacy, billing and security around media in the home. The findings are based on a study conducted in 2007 and 2008, looking at the media-use habits of 27 families in the Greater London area. The study investigated attitudes towards uses of various forms of media within the home environment, with a particular emphasis on television (TV). To facilitate the study, a rapid prototype of an experimental home media device was produced, asking participants to use and respond to it. The key findings show the desirability of devices and services that incorporate a payment system which would help in regulating spending and allow household members to manage their own media purchases. The PAYG concept was well received by study participants as a means to prevent unauthorised spending and help manage costs. Participants were also enthusiastic about more transparent billing mechanisms and the possibility of monitoring the TV and media use of younger household members.
Keywords: Interactive television; User studies; Trust; Privacy; Security; User-centric media; Media use in the home

UAIS 2013-08 Volume 12 Issue 3

Designing Inclusive Interactions

Designing inclusive interactions BIBFull-Text 233-235
  Patrick Langdon; John Clarkson
The cluster scanning system BIBAKFull-Text 237-245
  Pradipta Biswas; Peter Robinson
Users with severe physical impairment often use computers with one or two switches using a scanning system. Scanning is a technique of successively highlighting portions of screen. This paper presents a new scanning system that works through clustering screen objects. The system is initially calibrated through simulation and later validated through a user trial. Results show that it outperforms existing block scanning systems.
Keywords: Assistive technology; Virtual user simulator; Scanning systems; Cluster scanning
Designing inclusive products for everyday environments: the effects of everyday cold temperatures on older adults' dexterity BIBAKFull-Text 247-261
  Edward Elton; Colette Nicolle
This paper focuses on the effect that an everyday cold temperature (5 °C) can have on older adults' (+65 years) dexterous capabilities and the implications for design. Fine finger capability, power and pinch grip were measured using objective performance measures. Ability to perform tasks using a mobile phone, stylus, touch screen and garden secateurs were also measured. All measures were performed in a climatic cold chamber regulated at 5 °C and in a thermo-neutral environment regulated between 19 °C and 24 °C. Participants were exposed to the cold for a maximum of 40 min. Results from the study showed that older adults' fine finger dexterity, ability to pick up and place objects and ability to use a mobile phone were significantly (p < 0.05) affected by an everyday cold temperature of 5 °C when compared to performance in the thermo-neutral environment. However, power and pinch grip strength and ability to use the gardening secateurs were not significantly affected by the cold. Based on these findings, the following guidance is offered to designers developing products that are likely to be used outside in an everyday cold environment: (1) minimise the number of product interactions that require precise fine finger movements; (2) try to avoid small controls that have to be pressed in a sequence; (3) maximise the number of product interactions that can be operated through either exerting a gripping action (power or pinch grip) or by gross hand and arm movements.
Keywords: Inclusive design; Dexterity; Cold temperatures; Older adults
Visualising the number of people who cannot perform tasks related to product interactions BIBAKFull-Text 263-278
  S. D. Waller; M. D. Bradley; P. M. Langdon
Understanding the number of people who cannot perform particular tasks helps to inform design decisions for mainstream products, such as the appropriate size and contrast of visual features. Making such informed decisions requires a dataset that is representative at the level of a national population, with sufficient scope and granularity to cover the types of actions associated with product use. Furthermore, visualisations are needed to bring the dataset to life, in order to better support comparing the number of people who cannot perform different tasks. The 1996/97 Disability Follow-up Survey remains the most recent Great British dataset to cover all types of ability losses that may be relevant to using everyday products. This paper presents new visualisations derived from this dataset, which are related to vision, hearing, cognition, mobility, dexterity and reach. Compared to previous publications on this dataset, the new visualisations contain task descriptions that have been simplified, described pictorially and separated out into different categories. Furthermore, two-dimensional visualisations are used to present exclusion results for products that require vision and/or hearing and for tasks that require each hand to do different things. In order to produce these new visualisations, the publicly available version of this dataset had to be reanalysed and recoded, which is described here-in detail.
Keywords: Inclusive design; Usability data; Product assessment
Investigating designers' and users' cognitive representations of products to assist inclusive interaction design BIBAKFull-Text 279-296
  Anna Mieczakowski; Patrick Langdon
There is strong evidence of the importance of good interaction design in the creation of intuitive-use products. However, there is also a strong indication, both in the literature and in the study with designers documented in this paper, that despite this evidence designers get little support in adequately representing, analysing and comparing design and user information. Since designers require a practical and relatively easy-to-use support tool that would enable them to better understand cognitive processes of users and evaluate the accessibility and usability of different product features, this paper proposes the Goals-Actions-Beliefs-Objects (GABO) modelling approach that can form the basis of such a tool for designers. The four distinct stages of the GABO approach are designed to assess and compare designers and users' understanding and usage of everyday products. The evaluation results of the GABO approach with eight product designers have indicated that designers find it useful and effective in identifying the key similarities and differences in the understanding of designers and users.
Keywords: Inclusive design; Mental models; Product design; Cognition; Prior experience; Approach to modelling user understanding
Facets of prior experience and the effectiveness of inclusive design BIBAKFull-Text 297-308
  Jörn Hurtienne; Anne-Marie Horn
Research in inclusive design has shown the importance of prior experience for the usability of interactive products. Prior experience, however, is an ill-defined and inconsistently used construct. A number of different definitions and operationalisations of experience exist, but the differing power of these operationalisations to predict the usability of products for older users has rarely been investigated systematically. This study seeks to fill that gap. It is argued that the construct of experience has at least three components. It is proposed that two of these components, exposure and competence, are directly relevant for the current discussion about prior experience in inclusive design and that they can predict to different degrees the usability of a product for older users. In an empirical study, these facets of expertise are each operationalised on three levels of specificity and their impact on usability is assessed. The results show that measures of competence predict usability variables more strongly than measures of exposure and that levels of medium and high specificity are the best predictors. The application of inclusive design principles to a redesigned version of a ticket vending machine -- although not resulting in a difference of overall usability -- changed the impact of prior experience on usability measures implying an enhanced inclusiveness of the redesign with regard to prior experience. The implications of these findings for the effectiveness of inclusive design for older users are discussed.
Keywords: Inclusive design; Older adults; Prior experience; Competence; Usability; Ticket vending machines
Expressing through digital photographs: an assistive tool for persons with aphasia BIBAKFull-Text 309-326
  Abdullah Al Mahmud; Yvonne Limpens
This paper describes the design of an assistive tool called CoCreation that can help people with aphasia to express daily experiences by utilizing digital photographs. CoCreation can upload the user's pictures and can cluster them as a function of the time at which the pictures were taken. Pictures taken within a short period of time are assumed to highlight a single activity. The user is able to select a cluster and can edit the pictures by dragging icons or drawing on top of them, or by typing words to create a caption. The pictures set the context for a story, while the additional tools such as keyboard and drawing pad allow the user to add information that is considered useful for sharing the experience. The paper presents the detailed design process and the preliminary evaluation of CoCreation with an experienced speech therapist.
Keywords: Aphasia; Digital photographs; Inclusive design; Sharing experiences; Proxy-based design; Storytelling
A survey of blind users on the usability of email applications BIBAKFull-Text 327-336
  Brian Wentz; Harry Hochheiser
Blind users face many challenges and obstacles when using computers at home and in the workplace, including difficulties in accessing web sites and using corporate software. A detailed understanding of usability problems in common email applications can inform designs that will provide improved usability. To help understand the challenges faced, a web-based survey on email usage by blind screen reader users was conducted. This paper presents the results of the survey of 129 blind users, which reveal several important facets of email applications that can be improved for blind users. The paper also discusses the specific challenges that are faced by blind users when using desktop and web-based email software.
Keywords: Email; Blind users; Screen reader; Unemployment; Usability

UAIS 2013-11 Volume 12 Issue 4

Accessibility aspects in UIDLs

Accessibility aspects in UIDLs BIBFull-Text 337-338
  David Faure; Paul Fogarassy-Neszly
Equivalent representations of multimodal user interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 339-368
  Kris Van Hees; Jan Engelen
While providing non-visual access to graphical user interfaces has been a topic of research for over 20 years, blind users still face many obstacles when using computer systems. Furthermore, daily life has become more and more infused with devices that feature some kind of visual interface. Existing solutions for providing multimodal user interfaces that ensure accessibility are largely based on either graphical toolkit hooks, queries to the application and environment, scripting, model-driven user interface development or runtime adaptation. Parallel User Interface Rendering (PUIR) is a novel approach based on past and current research into accessibility, promoting the use of abstract user interface descriptions. Based on a single consistent conceptual model, PUIR provides a mechanism to render a user interface simultaneously in multiple modalities. Each representation of the UI provides equivalent semantics to ensure that collaboration between users of different modalities is facilitated. The possible application of this novel technique goes well beyond the realm of accessibility, as multimodal interfaces become more popular and even needed. The design presented here has been implemented as a prototype for testing and further research in this fascinating area of HCI.
Keywords: Accessibility; UIDL; Universal access; Multimodal interfaces; HCI
Stories and signs in an e-learning environment for deaf people BIBAKFull-Text 369-386
  Paolo Bottoni; Fabrizio Borgia
An important field for model-driven development of interfaces is the consideration of users with disabilities. Interface design for deaf people presents specific problems, since it needs to be based on visual communication, incorporating unusual forms of interaction, in particular gesture-based ones. Standard solutions for model-driven development of visual interfaces lack specific constructs for structuring these more sophisticated forms of interaction. This paper discusses such issues in the context of the development of a deaf-centered e-learning environment. Sign Languages enter this context as a suitable alternative communication code, both in video form and through one of their most successful written forms, namely SignWriting.
Keywords: Deaf-centered e-learning environment; Storytelling; MOF; UIDL; UsiXML; Sign languages; SignWriting
Advance human-machine interface automatic evaluation BIBAKFull-Text 387-401
  Juan Manuel González Calleros
The need for accessibility evaluation tools is motivated by several endogenous and exogenous reasons coming from the end user (the designer and the developer) and companies releasing information systems. Existing evaluation tools mainly concentrate on examining the code of Web pages: Web pages more and more frequently contain non-HTML parts that entirely escape from being treated by existing techniques. This is the case of the advanced human-machine interface (AHMI), a piece of software programmed in C/C++, used for controlling the advanced flight management system in the aircraft cockpit. Studying this new user interface (UI) requires a structured approach to evaluate and validate AHMI designs. The goal in this work is to develop an evaluation tool to automate the process of evaluating the AHMI. The method addresses: support of multiple bases of guidelines (accessibility or usability or both) on-demand (partial or total evaluation), with different levels of details (a presentation for developers and for those responsible for certifying accessibility). The method goes a step toward the automatic evaluation of UI containing non-HTML parts.
Keywords: Automatic evaluation; User interface description language; Usability; Advanced human-machine interface
Virtual user models for the elderly and disabled for automatic simulated accessibility and ergonomy evaluation of designs BIBAKFull-Text 403-425
  Nikolaos Kaklanis; Panagiotis Moschonas
This paper presents a framework for automatic simulated accessibility and ergonomy testing of virtual prototypes of products using virtual user models. The proposed virtual user modeling framework describes virtual humans focusing on the elderly and people with disabilities. Geometric, kinematic, physical, behavioral and cognitive aspects of the user affected by possible disabilities are examined, in order to create virtual user models able to represent people with various functional limitations. Hierarchical task and interaction models are introduced, in order to describe the user's capabilities at multiple levels of abstraction. The use of alternative ways of a user task's execution, exploiting different modalities and assistive devices, is supported by the proposed task analysis. Experimental results on the accessibility and ergonomy evaluation of different workplace designs for the use of a telephone and a stapler show how the proposed framework can be put into practice and demonstrate its significant potential.
Keywords: User modeling; UsiXML; Virtual user; Elderly; Disabled; Simulation; Accessibility evaluation; Ergonomy evaluation
A graphical tool to create user interface models for ubiquitous interaction satisfying accessibility requirements BIBAKFull-Text 427-439
  Raúl Miñón; Lourdes Moreno; Julio Abascal
This paper describes a tool, called SPA4USXML, aimed at graphically creating instances of task models, abstract user interfaces and multimedia resource models. This tool is fed with descriptions of services provided by ubiquitous environments and web services. Its main goal is to assist service designers to create abstract specifications of the services for the Egoki adaptive system. Egoki automatically generates user interfaces adapted to the different needs and abilities of people with disabilities in order to provide access to services offered in ubiquitous environments. Therefore, SPA4USXML is intended to complement the Egoki system in order to provide a better user experience for disabled users and to enhance their autonomy and safety in their daily routines.
Keywords: Graphical tools; UsiXML; Adaptive systems; Accessibility and modelling
Bengali text input interface design for mobile devices BIBAKFull-Text 441-451
  Samit Bhattacharya; Subrata Laha
Text entry has become one of the most frequent activities performed using mobile devices such as PDAs. Virtual keyboards (VK), which allow text to be entered by tapping keys displayed on the screen, are among the predominant mode of text input for such devices. It is important to design VK layouts in a way such that the users can achieve high text entry speed with high accuracy. Several layouts, primarily in English and also in some other languages, have been proposed to achieve the twin objectives. However, no such work has been reported for Bengali, the second and fifth most popular language of India and the world, respectively. The existing methods cannot be applied directly to Bengali VK design due to the problem of accommodating the large Bengali alphabet (more than 60 characters) on a small display area. In order to resolve the resulting usability-performance trade-off, this paper proposes a two-level design. Five two-level VKs representing three design paradigms (alphabetic, frequency-based and adaptive) have been designed and compared in an empirical study. The study results show that for mobile devices, the two-level adaptive design is expected to give best performance in terms of text entry rate and accuracy. The layouts as well as the procedure and results of the study are discussed in this paper.
Keywords: Bengali; Virtual keyboard; Two-level design; Frequency-based organization; Static and adaptive; Page replacement algorithm
Acknowledgement to reviewers for 2012 BIBFull-Text 453-454