User Needs Summary

  • Title: User Needs Summary
  • Publication Type: Web Article
  • Corporate Authors: Trace Center

Full Text

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Users need to be able to PERCEIVE all information presented by the product including:

Basic

Problems using products

User Needs

Perceive static displayed info

  • labels
  • signs
  • manuals
  • text
  • etc.

People who are blind

  • Can’t see (to read)
    • printed labels on keys, controls, slots, etc
    • printed signs near device, or instructions printed on device.
    • manuals or other printed material provided with product.
  • In electronic documents - can't access information presented (only) via graphics
  • Can’t find public devices (can't see where device is or see signs giving location)

People with Low Vision

  • Can't see (to read) signs and labels:
    • if text is too small for them
    • if contrast with background is too low
    • if text is presented as small raised letters (same color as background)
    • if information is coded with color only (color deficiency).
    • if there is glare - if they have light sensitivity

    (Many problems same as blindness)

People with Physical Disabilities

  • Often cannot re-position themselves to see information if not in easy sight line
  • May not be able to see due to glare/reflections (and cannot re-position enough)

Some users with disabilities:

  • Need to have all static information required for use provided via speech output or large raised text.
    • NOTE 1: Braille is also very useful to people who know it where it is practical to put it on the product. But is would be in addition to speech not instead since most people who are blind do not know braille including those who acquire it late in life.
    • NOTE 2: Speech output also important for those with cognitive disabilities (see "UNDERSTAND" below)
    • NOTE 3: Raised text would need to be approximately 3/4 inch high
  • Need to sufficient contrast between all printed information and its background
  • Need to have text presented in large easy to read fonts
  • Need to avoid glare
  • Need to have information within viewable range of people in wheelchairs and those of short stature.

Perceive info presented via displays

  • screens,
  • alerts,
  • alarms, and
  • other output

People who are blind

  • Can’t see what is displayed on visual display units. (all types)
  • Can't determine current function of Soft keys (where key function is dynamic with label shown on dynamic display like LCD.)

People with Low Vision

  • Same problems as static text (size, contrast, color) – (see above)
  • glare – from environment or too bright a screen
  • miss information presented temporarily where they are not looking
  • sometimes cannot track moving/scrolling text

People who are Deaf

  • Cannot hear information presented through
    • Speech
    • Tones
    • Natural machine sounds

People who are Hard of Hearing

  • May miss any information presented auditorily because
    • At a frequency they can't hear
    • Background noise blocks it or interferes with it (incl. echoes)
    • Too soft
    • Poor quality speech
    • Speech to fast – and user can't slow it down

People with Physical Disabilities

  • Can't maneuver to see display or avoid glare

People with Cognitive Disabilities

  • Distracted by dynamic movements on screen

Some users with disabilities:

  • Need to have all DYNAMIC visual information required for use also provided via speech output
    • NOTE 1: Dynamic braille displays are very expensive and impractical for inclusion in devices.
    • NOTE 2: Speech output also important for those with cognitive disabilities (see "UNDERSTAND" below)
    • NOTE 3: Raised text won't work for dynamic information.
  • Need a means for identifying all keys and controls via speech
  • Need sufficient contrast between all display information and its background
  • Need to have text presented in large easy to read fonts
  • Need to avoid glare
  • Need to have information within viewable range of people in wheelchairs and those of short stature.
  • Need to have all auditory information required for use also available in visual or tactile form
    • NOTE 1: Tactile presentation only useful for products that will always be in contact with user’s body.
  • Need to have auditory events, alerts etc, be multi-frequency so that they can hear it
  • Need to sufficient volume (preferably adjustable) for audio output

Perceive existence and location of actionable components

  • buttons,
  • controls,
  • latches,
  • (etc)

(find them and re-find them)

People who are blind

  • Can’t determine number, size, location or function of controls on
    1. touchscreens
    2. flat membrane keypads.
  • Controls in a large featureless group cannot be relocated easily even if known to be there
  • Switch or control in an obscure location may not be discoverable even if visible.
  • Can be fooled by Phantom buttons (tactile) – (Things that feel like buttons but are not. E.g. a Logo, a round flat raised bolt head, a styling feature)
  • Can't type on a non-touchtypeable keyboard

People with Low Vision

  • Can’t find buttons that don't contrast with background. (won't feel where nothing is visible or expected)
  • Phantom buttons (visual) (Logos, styling that looks like button when blurred)
  • Can’t locate where the cursor is on the screen

People with Cognitive Disabilities

  • Don't recognize stylized control as a control

Some users with disabilities:

  • Need a means to access all product functionality via tactilely discernable controls.
  • Need sufficient landmarks (nibs, groupings, spacing) to be able to locate controls easily tactilely once they have identified them (per above)
  • Need to have controls visually contrast with their surroundings so they can be located with low vision.
  • Need to have any keyboard be operable without site.
  • Need to have controls be in places where they can be easily found with poor and with no sight.
  • Need to have pointing cursors (on screen) be large enough to be visible with low vision.
  • Need to have logos, and other details not look like or feel like buttons or controls.

Perceive status of controls and indicators

includes PROGRESS indicators

People who are blind

  • Cannot tell status of visual indicators (LEDs, on screen indicators etc.)
  • Cannot tell the status of switches or controls that are not tactilely different in different states. (or where tactile difference is too small)

People with Low Vision

  • Cannot read visual indicators with low vision if indicator is not bold
  • Cannot distinguish between some colors used to indicate status.
  • Can't see or read small icons for status.
  • Can't see cursors unless large, high contrast. Static harder than dynamic to spot.

People who are Deaf

  • Cannot hear audio indicators of status
  • Cannot hear natural sounds (e.g. machine running, stalled, busy etc).

People who are Hard of Hearing

  • May not hear status sounds due to volume, frequency used, background noise, etc.

People with Physical Disabilities

  • May not have good line of sight to indicators
  • May not have tactile sensitivity to detect tactile status indications.

People with Cognitive Disabilities

  • May not recognize or understand different indicators

Some users with disabilities:

  • Need an auditory or tactile equivalent to any visual indicators or operational cues, man-made or natural.
  • Need a visual or tactile indicator for any auditory indicators or operational cues, man-made or natural.
  • Need visual or auditory alternative to any subtle tactile feedback.
  • Need visual indicators to be visible with low vision.
  • Need all indications that are encoded (or presented) with color to be encoded (marked) in some none color way as well.
  • Need large high contrast pointer cursors.
    1. Need to sufficient volume for audio cues.
    2. Need indicators and cues to be obvious or explained.

Perceive feedback from operation

People who are blind

  • Cannot see visual feedback of operation

People with Low Vision

  • Cannot see visual feedback of operation unless large, bold.

People who are Deaf

  • Cannot hear auditory feedback of operation

People who are Hard of Hearing

  • Often cannot hear auditory feedback of operation due to
    • Volume
    • Frequency used
    • Background noise
    • Speech feedback not clear or repeatable.

People with Physical Disabilities

  • May not be able to feel tactile feedback due to insensitivity or impact of hand or use of artificial hand, stick, splint etc to operate the control.

People with Cognitive Disabilities

  • Feedback to subtle or not directly tied to action.

Some users with disabilities:

  • Need visual feedback that is dramatic (Visual from 10 ft.)
  • while others need it to be audio or tactile feedback

 

 

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