Day 1, Session 3, ACCESS WIRELESS

Posted Live from MEX

Speaker: Vicki Haberman, Research Project Co-Ordinator, Wireless RERC

The complexity for users with disabilities is a result of how form factors and phone functions have converged in today’s phones. The aim is to enhance the level of independence (physical, cognitive and emotional needs) of these users.

Disabled users tend to have have one or more of …

  • Visual impairments
  • Auditory impairments
  • Dexterity impairments

In most cases the device must "call" the user to remind them to use and rely on it. This requires modification of hardware and software.

Studies have provided results that were unexpected and could not be anticipated. These results have overall implications for ALL applications. For example, in a supermarket shopping study, noise from machines, crowded days, misleadingly named products and distractions all caused extra usability problems. The discoveries have implications on hardware, software and training.

Disabled users need…

Assistance – Visual and tactile distinguishers to promote faster and more accurate response
Transport – Creating a friendship where a bond is created and user wants to carry the device at all times

Designing a device as a ‘Friend’ involves adding the element of entertainment as well as minimising UI complexity. Removing features in the phone (e.g. the camera) to simplify is not always what user needs or wants.

Suppliers should include individuals with disabilities in product evaluations so products don’t have to be modified later for users with disabilities.

Notes Posted Live from MEX – More detailed report, including panel discussion, will be available after the event.


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  1. 1
    johan smolders

    Nuance has a products TALKS and ZOOMS for mobile phones (S60 phones motsly). TALKS is a screenreader for the Blind and ZOOMS is a screenmagnifier for Visually impaired

    Let me know if you need more info

    Johan Smolders
    GSM +32 475979027

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