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Deeasy

A Designing tool for the users of Assistive Technologies

ACCESSIBILITY & ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY ∙ RESEARCH ∙  EYE GAZE ∙ SPEECH RECOGNITION ∙ RESPONSIVE & MULTIPLATFORM DESIGN

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OVERVIEW

Deeasy is a graphic design platform that simplifies design process for everyone providing easy solution to create visual designs.
This
multi-platform accessible website is focused towards the users of assistive technologies. Multi-modal input methods are considered while designing. E.g.: Mouse, Keyboard, Touchpad, switches, eye gaze tracker, speech interaction etc. Entire UX design process follows AAA WCAG standards. The design is inclusive, minimal, easy to navigate and understand for everyone. The user interface is also designed considering WCAG for satisfactory experience.
Design contains use of various tools and basic interactions like scrolling, selection of small objects, zooming & panning etc. hence, eye gaze tracking and speech interaction solutions are incorporated.

MY ROLE

Design Research, Accessibility & Assistive Technology Research, Disability Analysis, Prototyping, Visual Design, UI Design, Style Guide, AAA WCAG Standards, Interaction Design, Eye Gaze Technology & Speech Recognition Usage.

PROJECT DURATION

12 weeks: February 2021 - May 2021

TEAM

Individual projects

TOOLS USED

Figma , Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop

ADVISER

Dr. Chris Creed

Background research

BACKGROUND RESEARCH

Importance of accessibility
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-Over 1 billion people are estimated to be disabled. (WHO, 2021)

-In 2005, DRC reported that there are around 8.5 million disabled people lived in the UK. (Purdam, Afkhami, Olsen and Thornton, 2008)

-People of varying abilities should get fair access.

-According to UN convention regarding rights of person with disabilities, access to ICT, including the Web, is stated as a basic human right(W3.org, 2021)

-The degree to which a product, computer, service, environment is accessible and navigable for people with disabilities is referred to as accessibility.

Models of disability

 Definition of disability varies depending on the model. These serve as framework for analysing core of disability, what can be done, and what it means to society. 

 There are two dominant models 

1. Medical Model

It puts the burden and responsibility on the disabled individual, where problem is the owner/person himself.

 (interaction-design.org, 2020)

THE INDIVIDUAL

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Problem

Problem

Problem

Problem

Problem

Problem

Problem

Problem

 The Problem 

THE MEDICAL MODEL OF DISABILITY
E.g: person using wheelchair is known by his/her individual diagnosis. 
(Dirth and Branscombe, 2017)

2. Social Model

It doesn’t put the burden and responsibility on individual. Problem is considered because of social, environmental, and attitudinal barriers. (interaction-design.org, 2020)

THE SOCIETY

 The Problem 

Barriers

Barriers

Barriers

Barriers

Barriers

Barriers

Barriers

Barriers

 The Problem 

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THE SOCIAL MODEL OF DISABILITY
E.g: Person using wheelchair would be considered disabled due to inaccessible built environments or discriminatory policies.
(Dirth and Branscombe, 2017)
Disabled users’ experiences in using assistive technology

 There is common belief that all forms of technology can only benefit the lives of disabled people. Prior studies has shown that 1/3rd of these technologies are abandoned and left unused. 

 Issues faced by disable people while using assistive technology are:

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HIGH COST OF DEVICES
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NEGATIVE ATTITUDE TOWARDS TECHNOLOGY
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LACK OF SUPPO TOWARDS TECHNOLOGY
User requirements

USER REQUIREMENTS

Disability analysis

Disability analysis of four impairments from the following four categories was done

PHYSICAL

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Parkinson's Disease

PROBLEMS INVOLVED

-Hitting specific target on screen,

-Accidental clicks,

-Keeping hold of the mouse,

-Keeping hand steady,

-Slipping off menus,

-Losing cursor,

-Moving in the wrong direction,

-The mouse ball getting stuck,

-Lack of control over positioning,

-Finger dexterity, power of hand, finger positioning are often lost,

-Rigidity results in slow & labored movements.

AUDITORY

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Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss

SNHL is a form of hearing loss caused by a problem with the inner ear & can be congenital.

PROBLEMS INVOLVED

-Difficulty in consuming online content which is heavily based on audio,

-Grammar & syntaxes in sign language are different from spoken & written language,

-providing subtitles and captions to make content accessible is not enough for these people,

-trouble with pro verbs, tricky comprehensions, unfamiliarity with the specific words and jargons or technological terms.

VISUAL

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Glaucoma

It is caused by a rise in intraocular pressure & damage in optic nerve. It involves loss of peripheral vision & blurry central vision.

PROBLEMS INVOLVED

-People perceive web differently,

-Many websites don’t work well with assistive technologies like screen magnifiers,

-When the text is resized, users have to track the text by scrolling web page,

-Makes it difficult to view contrast and differentiate between colors,

-It is important to keep all the content in the webpage within line of sight,

-Page layout consideration is also important factor.

COGNITIVE

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Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a language disorder. People with dyslexia have trouble understanding written words and sentences.

PROBLEMS INVOLVED

-Impact on ability to complete everyday activities that include reading skills,

-Neurological condition that affects language comprehension,

-Difficulty in processing content visually,

-People perceive words as floating or not inline,

-People see letters differently,

-They require longer to read and have difficulty in spelling.

PD is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting region of mid brain, which is involved in the control of movement.

User Personas

Based on the disability analysis, four personas were created, whereby each have diagnosed or suspected with an impairment from the above mentioned categories. Creating these personas allowed me to understand user's needs, goals, behaviors and experiences.

​​Key finding: One size does not fit all.

PERSONA 1

PHYSICAL

Parkinson's Disease

Polly
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Was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, resulting in slow & abnormal hand movements, tremors etc.

PERSONA 2

AUDITORY

Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Alex

Alex was born with the Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss of 90dB. He is profoundly deaf.

PERSONA 3

VISUAL

Glaucoma

Vinee
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​​Vinee is partially sighted due to Glaucoma. Her eyesight has degenerated to a loss of peripheral vision and a blurry central area of vision.

​​PERSONA 4

COGNITIVE

Dyslexia

Dean

Dean was diagnosed with the surface & Visual dyslexia. He finds it unable to write and has difficulty recognizing words by sight.

Detail personas
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Scenarios

Following the creation of of the personas, 6 scenarios were created for each persona. Scenarios allowed me to empathize with the user and design the best solution for them. 

Key finding: Scenarios provide logic for layouts of web applications.

SCENARIO 1

PHYSICAL

Parkinson's Disease

Polly
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1. Polly can’t hold down multiple gestures at a time, She wants to be able to access panning and zooming controls to work on designs.

SCENARIO 2A & 2B

AUDITORY

Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Alex

2A. Alex wants a platform to learn about latest industry trends in graphic design field with the help of video tutorials.

2B. Alex wants to contact the website’s team and wants to communicate with them explaining his problem.

SCENARIO 3

VISUAL

Glaucoma

Vinee
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3. Vinee wants to edit attributes of the text in that banner.

SCENARIO 4

COGNITIVE

Dyslexia

Dean

4A. Dean wants to be able to communicate with friends by contributing to online group discussions.

4B. Dean wants to write an article for magazine design.

Detail scenarios
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Design solution

DESIGN SOLUTIONS

Paper prototypes

This section gives an overview of key design decisions and functionality which was considered while designing the key pages associated with main scenarios. Basic paper prototypes were created, in which the idea was to merge familiar layouts and features from standard websites and applications. In particularly, the aim was to make design as accessible as possible and easy to navigate; by following all the WCAG guidelines and standards.

Key Finding: Layouts should go from left to right from top to bottom in terms of readability & feature importance.

Layout considerations
Final designs

FINAL DESIGNS

Deeasy

A Designing tool for the users of Assistive Technologies

INCLUSIVE DESIGN DECISIONS FOR...

INDIVIDUAL SCREEN'S UI & PROTOTYPE

User flow for BSL live sign

INDIVIDUAL SCREEN'S UI

Prototype for Edit page

Prototype for teams chat page

Multi-platform

MULTI-PLATFORM ACCESSIBILITY

Responsive design

Paper prototypes and final responsive design of main screens were also created for tablet and mobile versions of the desktop web application, to demonstrate adaptation for smaller screens while maintaining accessibility inclusiveness.

Key Finding: Adapting to mobile should involve incorporating further Mobile Accessibility WCAG considerations.