This project aims to foster shared positive experiences between people living with moderate to advanced dementia and their visitors as they may struggle to find topics to talk about and engaging things to do together. To promote a better visit, we trialed a previously developed app that includes eight games with twenty-one residents and their partners or carers across four care centers for three months each. Through interviews and data logging, we found that residents preferred games that were closer to their interests and skills, and that gameplay and cooperation fostered meaningful and shared interactions between residents and their visitors. The contribution of this work is twofold: (1) insights and opportunities into dyadic interactions when using an app and into promoting positive social experiences through technology design, and (2) reflections on the challenges of evaluating the benefits of technology for people living with dementia.
In recent work, design researchers have sought to ensure that people with disabilities are engaged as competent and valued contributors to co-design. Yet, little is known about how to achieve this with adults with severe intellectual disabilities. Navigating design in the context of complex care practices is challenging, charged with uncertainty, and requires sustained effort of methodological and affective adjustments. To establish a respectful co-design relationship and enrich participation, we turn to Active Support (AS), an evidence-based strategy for engaging adults with severe intellectual disabilities. We present a reflective account of long-term field work that utilized the four aspects of AS, a) every moment has potential; b) graded assistance; c) little and often; d) maximizing choice and control. We discuss how these principles contribute to deepening HCI methods by ensuring interactional turns for adults with severe disabilities, revealing their unique competences, thereby shaping design direction and providing design insight.
Many efforts to increase accessibility in coding for developers with visual impairments (DWVI) focus on supporting interactions with development tools. But, to understand how to appropriately modify and write source code, developers must seek information from a variety of disparate and highly technical sources. DWVI might benefit from technological support in this process. But, it is unclear what accessibility issues arise in technical information sources, whether accessibility impacts strategies for seeking technical information, or how best to support DWVI in information seeking. We conducted observations and interviews with twelve DWVI, to explore their information behaviors. We found that DWVI seek information in many of the same sources as their sighted peers, and accessibility issues in technical information sources were similar to those in nontechnical sources. But, despite these similarities, examining development as an information seeking process highlighted the role of contextual and social factors in determining accessibility for DWVI.
Knitting is a popular craft that can be used to create customized fabric objects such as household items, clothing and toys. Knitting is also a relaxing and calming exercise for many knitters. Little is known about how disabled knitters use and benefit from knitting, and what accessibility solutions and challenges they create and encounter. We conducted interviews with 16 experienced, disabled knitters and analyzed 20 threads from five forums that discussed accessible knitting to identify how and why disabled knitters knit, and what accessibility concerns remain. We additionally conducted an iterative design case study developing knitting tools for a knitter who found existing solutions insufficient. Our innovations improved the range of stitches she could produce. We conclude by arguing for the importance of improving tools for both pattern generation and modification as well as adaptations or modifications to existing tools such as looms to make it easier to track progress
Command-line interfaces (CLIs) remain a popular tool among developers and system administrators. Since CLIs are text-based interfaces, they are sometimes considered accessible alternatives to predominantly visual developer tools like IDEs. However, there is no systematic evaluation of the accessibility of CLIs in the literature. In this paper, we describe two studies with 12 developers on their experience of using CLIs with screen readers. Our findings show that CLIs have their own set of accessibility issues - the most important being CLIs are unstructured text interfaces. Based on our results, we provide a set of recommendations for improving the accessibility of command-line interfaces.
Technology adoption among older adults has increased significantly in recent years. Yet, as new technologies proliferate and the demographics of aging shift, continued attention to older adults’ adoption priorities and learning preferences is required. Through semi-structured interviews, we examine the factors adults 65+ prioritize in choosing new technologies, the challenges they encounter in learning to use them, and the human and material resources they employ to support these efforts. Using a video prototype as a design probe, we present scenarios to explore older adults’ perceptions of adoption and learning new technologies within the lens of health management support, a relevant and beneficial context for older adults. Our results reveal that participants appreciated self-paced learning, remote support, and flexible learning methods, and were less reliant on instruction manuals than in the past. This work provides insight into older adults’ evolving challenges, learning needs, and design opportunities for next generation learning support.
While HCI researchers have begun designing personalised VR experiences for older adults, there has been limited research examining the use of social VR - where users interact via avatars in a virtual environment. Avatar-mediated communication (AMC) is a crucial component of the social VR experience, but older users’ experience with AMC is poorly understood. We conducted a five-month study with 16 older adults evaluating a co-designed social VR prototype. Results show that AMC in social VR was seen as medium that supported introverted users to express themselves and was viewed as offering advantages when discussing sensitive topics. Our study provides new insights into how older adults view AMC in social VR as a communication medium and we contribute six design reflections, based on our results, that highlight the steps that can be taken to ensure that AMC in social VR can meet the communication needs of older users.
There is an open call for technology to be more playful and for tech design to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. In the era of COVID19, it is often unsafe for the public in general and people with disabilities, in particular, to engage in in-person design exercises using traditional methods. This presents a missed opportunity as these populations are already sharing playful content rich with tacit design knowledge that can be used to inspire the design of playful everyday technology. We present our process of scraping play potentials from TikTok from content creators with disabilities to generate design concepts that may inspire future technology design. We share 7 emerging themes from the scraped content, a catalog of design concepts that may inspire designers, and discuss the relevance of the emerging themes and possible implications for the design concepts.
High-fidelity prototyping tools are used by software designers and developers to iron out interface details without full implementation. However, the lack of visual accessibility in these tools creates a barrier for designers who may use screen readers, such as those who are vision impaired. We assessed conformance of four prototyping tools (Sketch, Adobe XD, Balsamiq, UXPin) with accessibility guidelines, using two screen readers (Narrator and VoiceOver), focusing our analysis on GUI element accessibility and critical workflows used to create prototypes. We found few tools were fully accessible, with 45.9% of GUI elements meeting accessibility criteria (34.2% partially supported accessibility, 19.9% not supporting accessibility). Accessibility issues stymied efforts to create prototypes using screen readers. Though no screen reader-tool pairs were completely accessible, the most accessible pairs were VoiceOver-Sketch, VoiceOver-Balsamiq, and Narrator-Balsamiq. We recommend prioritizing improved accessibility for input and control instruction, alternative text, focus order, canvas element properties, and keyboard operations.
Online shopping has become a valuable modern convenience, but blind or low vision (BLV) users still face significant challenges using it, because of: 1) inadequate image descriptions and 2) the inability to filter large amounts of information using screen readers. To address those challenges, we propose Revamp, a system that leverages customer reviews for interactive information retrieval. Revamp is a browser integration that supports review-based question-answering interactions on a reconstructed product page. From our interview, we identified four main aspects (color, logo, shape, and size) that are vital for BLV users to understand the visual appearance of a product. Based on the findings, we formulated syntactic rules to extract review snippets, which were used to generate image descriptions and responses to users’ queries. Evaluations with eight BLV users showed that Revamp 1) provided useful descriptive information for understanding product appearance and 2) helped the participants locate key information efficiently.
Voice assistants (VAs) – like Amazon Alexa or Siri – offer hands-/eyes-free interactions that are beneficial to a range of users, including individuals who are blind, to fulfill tasks that are otherwise difficult or inaccessible. While these interfaces model conversational interactions to achieve simple tasks, there have been recent calls for VAs that model more transactional interactions for a wider range of complex activities. In this study, we explored the extension of VAs’ capabilities in the context of indoor navigation through mixed-ability focus groups with blind and sighted airport travelers. We found high overlap in the difficulties encountered by blind and sighted travelers, as well as shared interest in a voice-activated travel assistant to improve travel experiences. Leveraging user-elicited recommendations, we present interaction design examples that showcase customization of different and multiple modalities, which collectively demonstrate how VAs can more broadly achieve transactional interactions in complex task scenarios.
There is a growing need to design augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices that focus on supporting quality of life goals, such as increased social participation in leisurely activities. Yet, designing AAC applications that support leisurely activities is difficult, as the activity might require novel and specific language in a timely manner. Through observations and contextual interviews with people with aphasia, their social partners, and speech-language therapists, we characterize the important but challenging nature of supporting one specific leisure activity: meal ordering in restaurants. Based on our observational and interview data, we design and explore three prototype AAC systems to support people with aphasia in ordering meals in restaurants. Each prototype integrates a different AI technology, contributing insights into how AI may enhance AAC usage and design. The study opens up questions of designing accessible restaurant experiences for neurodivergent people and the role of AI in AAC devices more broadly.