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Creating usable websites for people with learning disabilities


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Peter Wil

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Creating usable websites for people with learning disabilities

  1. 1. Exploring methods to test usability of web interfaces for people with learning disabilities Peter Williams Painless Introduction to DH UCL 2 March 2011With thanks to Andy Minnion and Ian Rowlands
  2. 2. Plan of talk★Background, context, aims etc.★Study Part One: Eliciting the (usability) issues ★ Methods; individual studies; findings★Study Part Two: Comparing websites ★ Introducing ‘trade-off’ analysis
  3. 3. Background and context
  4. 4. Introduction: definition of LD“a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind” Intellectual impairment Social or adaptive dysfunction Early onset (WHO, 2006) Classified into ‘Mild’, ‘Moderate’, ‘Profound (and multiple)’
  5. 5. Background‘The Road Ahead: Information for young people with learningdifficulties, their families and supporters at transition’Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
  6. 6. Problem statement Lack of appropriate information (Tarleton, 2004) Much is inaccessible (Tarleton, 2004) Even ‘accessible’ information hard to access (Davis et al, 2001; Minnion etal, 2008) ICT lauded as possible answer (Florian & Hegarty 2004) But, little research on the most effective interfaces (Bohman, 2007)
  7. 7. Aims and scopeAim✦To determine which Web page interface factors facilitatesuccess in information retrieval by people with LDScope Participants Technology/platform Focus (IR) 
  8. 8. Stages/steps
  9. 9. Stages/stepsPART ONE Explore contextual factors Develop usability set-tasks Elicit the factors affecting information retrieval Test methods of capturing user preferences (I’ll tell you about that later!)PART TWO Construct various different ‘accessible’ websites Compare - performance and preference Determine the optimum websites for different user groups
  10. 10. Part One:Eliciting the issues
  11. 11. The projects .... Text p ple jec t@ Pro s yr ead m Ea ew ha N
  12. 12. Factors affecting use of ICT: contextual  Massive enthusiasm BUT  Competing agendas  Time constraints  Lack of learning materials  Lack of training / support
  13. 13. Factors affecting use of ICT: terminalIssue elicited ResolutionUnderstanding of Single actions onlytasksIdiosyncratic ‘Experimental’ v naturalisticbehaviour behaviourMotivation •Set context •Used meaningful material •Emphasised engagement
  14. 14. Individual studies Study one: Effectiveness of images (in game playing) Study two: Navigation Study three: Information retrieval Study four: Capturing preference data (I’ll tell you later!) Methods:  Observation  Think aloud protocol (where possible)  Informal interview
  15. 15. Study one: Understanding imagesAims: examine understanding of images test appropriateness and ease of use of various games.Participants: Had moderate LD: •Fair/good receptive language •Poor or no literacy
  16. 16. Study one: Understanding images (Task 1)
  17. 17. Study one: Understanding images (Task 2)
  18. 18. Study two: NavigationAims:To determine Whether websites can be navigated effectively by people with very low literacy skills If usability tests can be effective with such a communityParticipants: Again, had ‘moderate’ LD
  19. 19. Study two: NavigationProcedure: Hunt the treasure! • (‘Find the man in the black hat... • click!…’ • ‘Now find the box of treasure’ • ‘write down the letter on the box…’)
  20. 20. Study two: NavigationResults - Usability difficulties: Iconography Page-scrolling Horizontal v vertical menuResults - Methodological issues: Role of the supporter
  21. 21. Study three: Information retrieval (IR)
  22. 22. Study three: Information retrieval (IR)Aims: To examine navigation, scrolling and IR. to elicit any methodological issuesParicipants: Mild LDTasks: Where will you find information about money? (scroll) How to you get the sound to play? (icon recognition) Can you go back to the previous page? (navigation)
  23. 23. Study three: Information retrieval (IR)Results Audio / text issue Text size v scrolling Menu bar positionFrom the results we can ask ... for example:✦ What is more important - large text or minimising scrolling? Do images help?
  24. 24. Part two:compare and contrast …
  25. 25. Part two: comparing and optimising web interfaces e- off etrad som is one alys ’s l an Pete
  26. 26. Part two: comparing and optimising web interfacesMethod (1):First, imagine 3 mobile phones … Which do you prefer?Then whiz the results through a Conjoint Analysis
  27. 27. Part two: comparing and optimising web interfacesMethod (2):Now imagine various web page designs: Absence or presence of images Menu position Text sizeAnd in addition to preferences, performance
  28. 28. Part two: comparing and optimising web interfaces
  29. 29. Part two: comparing and optimising web interfacesExample (Horizontal menu; with images; large text)
  30. 30. Part two: comparing and optimising web interfacesMeasures:✦ Time on task✦ Task success✦ Preference evaluations
  31. 31. By the end of my study …… I should be able to reveal the optimum website interface!! Thanks for listening!
  32. 32. ReferencesMerson E, Hatton, C (2008) Estimating Future Need for Adult Social Care for People with Learning Disabilities in England Project report, Centre for Disability Reserach, Lancaster University, Lancaster.Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (2007) Statistics about people with learning disabilities Available online at: disabilities-statistics/Disability Rights Commission (2006) Equal Treatment: Closing the Gap London: Disability Rights CommissionTarleton, B. (2004), The Road Ahead? Information for Young People with Learning Difficulties, Their Families and Supporters at Transition, Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol, Bristol.WHO (World Health Organisation) (2006)A Need Assessment of Health and Welfare among the Disabled for Community Based Rehabilitation in Jeju Available online at: http://