Understanding the Authoring and Playthrough of Nonvisual Smartphone Tutorials

André Rodrigues*, André Santos, Kyle Montague, Hugo Nicolau, Tiago Guerreiro

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)


Mobile device users are required to constantly learn to use new apps, features, and adapt to updates. For blind people, adapting to a new interface requires additional time and effort. At the limit, and often so, devices and applications may become unusable without support from someone else. Using tutorials is a common approach to foster independent learning of new concepts and workflows. However, most tutorials available online are limited in scope, detail, or quickly become outdated. Also, they presume a degree of tech savviness that is not at the reach of the common mobile device user. Our research explores the democratization of assistance by enabling non-technical people to create tutorials in their mobile phones for others. We report on the interaction and information needs of blind people when following ‘amateur’ tutorials. Thus, providing insights into how to widen and improve the authoring and playthrough of these learning artifacts. We conducted a study where 12 blind users followed tutorials previously created by blind or sighted people. Our findings suggest that instructions authored by sighted and blind people are limited in different aspects, and that those limitations prevent effective learning of the task at hand. We identified the types of contents produced by authors and the information required by followers during playthrough, which often do not align. We provide insights on how to support both authoring and playthrough of nonvisual smartphone tutorials. There is an opportunity to design solutions that mediate authoring, combine contributions, adapt to user profile, react to context and are living artifacts capable of perpetual improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2019 - 17th IFIP TC 13 International Conference, Proceedings
EditorsDavid Lamas, Fernando Loizides, Lennart Nacke, Helen Petrie, Marco Winckler, Panayiotis Zaphiris
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9783030293802
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event17th IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, INTERACT 2019 - Paphos, Cyprus
Duration: 2 Sept 20196 Sept 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11746 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference17th IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, INTERACT 2019


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