Improving smartphone accessibility with personalizable static overlays

André Rodrigues, André Santos, Kyle Montague, Tiago Guerreiro

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The physical keypads that used to dominate our mobile devices provided additional support for non-visual interaction - the keys could be recognized tactually, the interfaces were simpler and consistent. When combined with a screen reader, these devices could be easily operated by blind people. The advent of smartphones, with their rich, feature-filled applications and interfaces, have brought forward additional challenges for blind users. Apps and features are no longer developed by a single entity leading to an overwhelming variety of interfaces. We present an approach that superimposes a virtual overlay to all other interfaces ensuring interface consistency by re-structuring how content is accessed in every screen. To explore the approach, we split the screen, dedicating half to a configurable set of static options mimicking always available physical buttons regardless of context; while the other enables the standard content navigation gestures with the ability to re-order content and apply filters. In a qualitative study with nine visually impaired participants, the virtual overlays were reported as simpler to use, while still providing full-fledged usage of the system and the third party applications, and were seen as effective and useful, particularly for novice users.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASSETS 2017 - Proceedings of the 19th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages37-41
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781450349260
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event19th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, ASSETS 2017 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: 29 Oct 20171 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameASSETS 2017 - Proceedings of the 19th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility

Conference

Conference19th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, ASSETS 2017
CountryUnited States
CityBaltimore
Period29/10/171/11/17

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