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RE: Improving the Web surfing experience for blind and partially sighted users


From: Shilpa
Date: Apr 7, 2004 4:45AM

Sounds very interesting.
An enhancement could be to create a pad which has haptic capabilities.
Through this pad the user can FEEL the screen. So the left top and the
right bottom of the pad are boundaries of the screen. The user can move
the mouse anywhere. If there is a link then it has a raised effect or
something of the sorts, so the navigation can be clicked using the pad.

Each of the website translates onto the pad effectively and the user can
figure the layout of each page. Also, maybe some key could be given to
get the screen reader to READ that link once it is clicked.

To take it further the text could become a Braille output.


-----Original Message-----
From: Abby Dacres [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 5:28 PM
Subject: Improving the Web surfing experience for blind and partially
sighted users

I am a student at Bradford University studying internet computing. I had
idea for a HCI project that involves designing a user interface to help
improve the web-user experience for partially sighted or blind users. It
a purely conceptual idea, but I need to be able to explain how it could
done. I rather thought that something would already exist, if only a
research project, that I could review for the purposes of my report.
I am struggling to find anything...I was wondering if there was anyone
there that could point me in the right direction or give me your
thoughts on
its limitations...

The Surf Pad
I wanted to develop a portable pad, that would act in much the same way
as a
mouse, ie it would emulate a cursor on the screen. This pad will have
raised icons or braille for say internet explorer, search buttons and
buttons(these could be configured to automatically load up the user's
of search engine and zoom scale. The main area of the pad will act as a
touch screen with a raised cursor that can be moved around. My first
was something akin to a marble inside a gel-like layer that when pressed
would serve in the same way as a click of a mouse led cursor. This would

allow the user to feel where they last were on the screen. So in effect
would act like a touch screen but with a tool that could be detected by
touch and moved around. My feeling was that its position both on the
and the pad could be easily detected during periods of periodic use. It
would be used in conjunction with a screen reader but it would remove
need for tabbing through endless links. It would enable the user to
and surf the web page in much the same way as a sighted user can.
What do you think of the concept? Do you think the idea is usable? Or do
think it is a crazy idea?
Thank you for your valuable time
Abby dacres

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