TU05: Universal design: developing interfaces which increase accessibility and usability

Date: 
Sunday 30 September 2018
Instructors: 
Dr. Barbara Leporini, researcher in Human Computer Interaction at ISTI-CNR, Italy

Time: 9 – 12.
Audience: ICT professionals, students and HCI researchers interested in discovering more about the main critical issues affecting interaction by the disabled, and approaches to mitigate them when designing a user interface for widespread accessibility.

This interactive and practical half-day tutorial is intended for students, researchers, and developers who are interested in designing user interfaces suitable for wide range of people including those who need to use assistive technology. The tutorial will provide an overview of the main aspects and methods to consider when designing and developing the user interface for web, mobile and desktop applications with the aim to make the interaction more accessible and usable. The main concepts illustrated are also relevant for ICT developers since user interfaces relate to hardware as well as software products. Through practical examples, the participants will be actively involved in the examination and analysis of concrete case studies, that will enable participants to reflect on the aspects and potential solutions to apply in the UI design.

User Interface (UI) design focuses on anticipating what users might need to do and ensuring that the interface has contents and elements that are easy to access (regardless of user ability), easy to understand, and to use in order to facilitate those actions. A good knowledge of how disabled users interact with the web, mobile and desktop interfaces, and how their assistive technology interprets the UI elements and contents is a key starting point for enhanced design.

The tutorial will go through the basic concepts of the interaction modality via assistive technologies, the foremost issues encountered by people with disability while using their assistive technology to interact with the UI contents. In addition, the main methodology and tools to exploit for enhanced UI design and evaluation will be explored. In particular, the screen reading interaction modality will be taken into account in order to focus and explore the main accessibility and usability issues in interface design. Guidelines and principles as well as best practice and suggestions will be introduced as well as methodology and tools to support the UI design in terms of accessibility and usability. At the end, the participants should be aware about the key elements and methodology to keep in mind during the UI design to enhance the accessibility.