Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Andronico P., Buzzi M., Leporini B. Adopting a scenario-based approach to test a modified search engine user interface for the blind. The document has been submitted to Journal: Universal Access in Information Society (UAIS), Technical report, 2006.
Search engines have become an indispensable tool for retrieving information from the Internet; thus simple and effective interaction is important for anyone and especially for blind users who navigate via screen reader. We believe that an appropriately designed user interface is crucial for improving accessibility and usability. For this reason we proposed a set of specific guidelines that would improve interaction of the blind with search engines and applied them to Google, modifying the source code of its simple search interfaces while maintaining the same graphical layout. In this paper we discuss user interaction with both the original and modified Google UIs, presenting two scenarios of use in which two blind persons were assigned the same search task. In both scenarios the modified UIs improve the sequential access furnished by screen reader since the content's internal structure has changed by moving at the top of the page source file the parts that the user judges more important, i.e. the search box on the home page and the query results in the result page.
Subject Accessibility
Search engine
Blind users
H.5.2 User Interfaces

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