Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Buzzi M. C., Buzzi M., Leporini B., Paratore M. T. Vibro-tactile enrichment improves blind user interaction with mobile touchscreens. In: INTERACT 2013 - Human-Computer Interaction (Cape Town (South Africa), September 3 2013). Proceedings, pp. 641 - 648. Kotze, P; Marsden, G; Lindgaard, G; Wesson, J; Winckler, M (eds.). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science - HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION - INTERACT 2013, PT I, vol. 8117). Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013.
Interaction via mobile devices is a challenge for blind users, who of-ten encounter severe accessibility and usability problems. The main issues are due to the lack of hardware keys, making it difficult to quickly reach an area or activate functions, and to the new way of interacting via touchscreen. A touchscreen has no specific reference points detectable by feel, so a blind user cannot easily understand exactly where (s)he is positioned on the interface nor readily find a specific item/function. Alternative ways to provide content are mainly vocal and may be inadequate in some situations, e.g., noisy environ-ments. In this study we investigate enriching the user interfaces of touchscreen mobile devices to facilitate blind users' orientation. We propose a possible solu-tion for improving interaction based on the vibro-tactile channel. After intro-ducing the idea behind our approach, two implemented Android Apps including the enriched user interfaces are shown and discussed.
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-40483-2_45
Subject blind users
haptic UIs
Mobile accessibility
K.4.2 Social Issues: Handicapped persons/special needs
H.5.2 User Interfaces. Graphical user interfaces;

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