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Re: Testing paper prototypes with low-vision users


From: Karl Groves
Date: Apr 9, 2009 8:05AM


First, kudos for considering this ahead of time. I am a huge fan of paper
prototypes, even going so far as to first develop pen-on-paper prototypes
before doing things like wireframes in Visio.

What you describe really sounds like a case for providing best practices
during this phase of the design. Doing so will benefit all users, not just
low-vision users. From an accessibility standpoint, these best practices
need not be too dissimilar (in spirit) than the best practices you'd apply
for basic user interaction design - think Nielsen & Molich's heuristics
here, just at a much more granular level. You should establish a clear,
organized list of best practices prior to design. This reduces the time
needed for multiple design iterations and gets you closer to a compliant
system much earlier in the SDLC and avoids a LOT of headaches on the part of
development staff, again not too dissimilar to getting a good usable design
created prior to laying down code.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto:webaim-forum-
> <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Angela Colter
> Sent: Thursday, April 09, 2009 9:51 AM
> Subject: [WebAIM] Testing paper prototypes with low-vision users
> I'm working on a web site redesign project for an organization whose
> primary
> audience is low-vision users and their caregivers. One of the usability
> research activities we're considering is user testing with paper
> prototypes
> to try to get some user feedback on the visual design prior to coding
> it.
> The reason we're considering this is to identify visual design concepts
> that
> aren't worth pursuing, given the target audience. Now, this will
> probably
> work just fine with sighted users, those who don't use assistive
> technology,
> and those who use screen magnifiers (assuming that the "paper
> prototypes"
> are static images presented on-screen). But it won't work for people
> who
> increase the text size in their browser or who use a screen reader.
> Have any of you ever done early-stage (in other words, static images
> only,
> no code) testing with this audience? Any experiences or advice you'd
> like to
> share? Is it worth testing at this phase, or should we wait until we've
> got
> code?
> Thanks,
> Angela
> --
> Angela Colter
> twitter.com/angelacolter
> 215-921-6677 (home)
> 443-803-8211 (cell)