This weeks reading discusses accessibility with touchscreen devices (tablets and smartphones). The research identified types of touch screen accessibility such as timing for certain actions and multi-finger operations that are used on these touchscreen devices. The 16 individuals interviewed in the research all had multiple levels of Dexterity impairments including motion limitations and difficulty isolating movement to just one muscle group. The research was able to identify accidental touches and incorrect movements when the participants were using their touchscreen devices. This research shows how unique users of a specific touchscreen device can be. An example of these differences is how many font sizes were liked most among the participants. Although all participants preferred larger text, not all of the participants had the same visual capacity, causing ambiguity regarding which font size worked best for this group of participants. Just as font size preference was dependent on the participant, touchscreen techniques such as the pinch motion was found to challenge the group of participants in different ways. Some of the participants were able to succeed in the pinching task with no problem, some users were unable to use two fingers at once, and other participants found this task to be somewhat difficult.

 

Accessibility to touchscreen interfaces such as smartphones and tablets requires the understanding of how dynamic each individual is to the next. Accessibility affects my user experience with a touchscreen device very differently than it does with other people that I know. Some applications and touchscreen actions that I use may not work efficiently for the next person. Recognizing this can help to make these devices more versatile while still maintaining its simplicity.

 

Trewin, S., Swart, C., & Pettick, D. (n.d.). Physical accessibility of touchscreen smartphones. Retrieved from http://hcc629.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/a19-trewin.pdf

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