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(Re)mixed Methods for Accessible Product Design

Presented at FITC Toronto 2018
Details at

Presented by Andréa Crofts, League

Ever wonder how to recruit users with accessibility needs? And once you recruit them, how do you address the elephant in the room: their disability? In this talk, Andréa shares strategies for going beyond your homogenous participant pool. The end result? Inclusive products for all users, regardless of accessibility needs.

Target Audience
Designers and UX researchers, product managers, developers, digital creators of any experience level

Six Things Audience Members Will Learn
Why it’s important to test with humans across a spectrum of ability
The art + science of recruiting participants with accessibility needs
Factors and considerations for testing with the visually impaired community
Tips for generative research
Tips for evaluative research
Easy wins to highlight your research efforts front and centre and invite product participation from all communities, including those with disabilities

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(Re)mixed Methods for Accessible Product Design

  1. 1. (Re)mixed Methods for Accessible Product Design Andréa Crofts Senior Product Designer, TWG
  2. 2. Source: The World Health Organization, Global Data on Visual Impairments [2010] 15% Of the world’s population has some form of disability.
  3. 3. Source: The World Health Organization [2010] 11% 70% 10% 9% Colourblind Partially Blind Low Vision Blind 285Million People are estimated to be visually impaired, worldwide. 4.1%Of the world’s population
  4. 4. Usability + Empathy Comin’ right up… CHAPTER ONE Inclusive Research CHAPTER TWO Quick Wins CHAPTER FOUR Inclusive Design CHAPTER THREE
  5. 5. Usability + Empathy CHAPTER ONE
  6. 6. “Accessibility is out of scope. We don’t have the budget for it. We just need to ship the product. They’re not our target persona. OVERHEARD AT TECH COMPANIES
  7. 7. Illustration Source: Igor Kozak on Dribbble
  8. 8. TWG has worked with these companies to research, design, build, and audit digital products for accessibility.
  9. 9. Article: "Living in the Dark," Toronto Life [2016]
  10. 10. The TapperThe Swiper Defining Characteristic • Comfortable with technology Attributes • Tend to be younger • Tend to be more active and mobile Directional Information Processing • Procedural • Linear, horizontal motions • Reliant on voiceover Defining Characteristic • Somewhat or not very comfortable with technology Attributes • Tend to be older • Tend to be less active and mobile Directional Information Processing • Spatial information processing • Using the surface area of the screen to navigate BEHAVIOURAL PERSONAS
  11. 11. Inclusive Research CHAPTER TWO
  12. 12. Empathize Define Ideate Prototype Test
  13. 13. Source: CNIB A charitable organization dedicated to assisting Canadians who are blind or living with vision loss. Canadian National Institute for the Blind TESTING CENTERS CONTACT CNIB Community Hub CNIB Toronto Office
  14. 14. Source: CHS The CHS advocates and provides support for the hearing impaired community in Canada. Canadian Hearing Society TESTING CENTERS CONTACT CHS Toronto
  15. 15. Source: LDAC Provides leadership and support to people with learning disabilities (LD) and their communities. Learning Disabilities Association of Canada TESTING CENTERS CONTACT LDA Ontario
  16. 16. Source: CDAC Promotes human rights, accessibility and inclusion for people with communication disabilities. Communication Disabilities Access Canada TESTING CENTERS CONTACT CDAC Toronto
  17. 17. Custom Screener Survey Example We are particularly interested in including people with disabilities in [developing our products | this study]. 1. Do you have a disability?
 If yes, please briefly describe your disability and how it affects your use of [product type—such as mobile phones, websites]. 2. Do you use any assistive technologies, specialized computer access software or hardware, or adaptive strategies when you use [product type]? (if needed, can provide examples: such as screen readers, voice input, alternative keyboard or pointing device)
  18. 18. Requirements Gathering Field Study / User Interview Diary Study Task Analysis Journey Mapping Design Review User Stories Clickable Prototype Testing Persona Building Paper Prototye Testing Competitive Analysis Card Sorting In-Person Usability Study Accessibility Evaluation Remote Usability Study Test Instructions, Help Analytics Review Survey Search-Log Analysis 89% 74% 22% 92% 83% 82% 80% 80% 77% 68% 61% 48% 84% 62% 58% 51% 82% 76% 47% Generative Discover Explore Test Listen Evaluative Source: Nielsen Norman, 2017
  19. 19. Requirements Gathering Field Study / User Interview In-Person Usability Study Accessibility Evaluation Remote Usability Study 89% 74% 84% 62% 58% GenerativeDiscover Test Evaluative Source: Nielsen Norman, 2017
  20. 20. Conduct interviews on the phone for less mobile participants.02 Ask about lifestyle, mobility, assistive devices, and hobbies.03 Offer generous incentives. Many participants are low-income.04 [1] Source: UI Access and TWG Primary Research Create a custom screener survey for this demographic.01 [1] Generative Research USER INTERVIEW FIELD STUDY REQUIREMENTS
  21. 21. Observe the use of accessibility features and micro-interactions.02 Allow ample time for transportation drop-off and pick-up.03 Test early, and test often. An ideal cadence is 5 test sessions per sprint.04 Usability tests are best conducted 
 in-person with the VI community.01 Evaluative Research USABILITY TESTING CARD SORTING ACCESSIBILITY AUDIT Act as a guide, anticipating their needs and describing the space.05
  22. 22. The role of the designer is that of a thoughtful host, anticipating the needs of their guests. Accessibility Researcher Ray and Charles Eames Prolific Designers of the Eames Chair
  23. 23. Inclusive Design CHAPTER THREE
  24. 24. Empathize Define Ideate Prototype Test
  25. 25. Prototyping for the Blind
  26. 26. Design an onboarding sequence to give users the lay of the land.02 Leverage familiar out-of-the-box UI patterns.03 Watch your contrast ratios. Test for low vision & colour blindness.04 Maximize your efforts & learnings by prototyping in code.01 Design 
  27. 27. • Colour contrast analyzer • Colour blindness simulator Tools for Early Design QA Testing
  28. 28. Source: Smashing Magazine [2016] Left Hand Combined Right Hand The Mobile Thumb Zone
  29. 29. Source: Smashing Magazine [2016] Natural for the Visually Impaired Natural Stretching Hard Stretching Landmark The Mobile Thumb Zone
  30. 30. Create VoiceOver test cases and accessibility acceptance criteria.02 Have developers use their own product using a screen reader.03 Collaborate together on VoiceOver scripts throughout.04 Incorporate screen readers in your QA testing process.01 QA Testing + Development ACCESSIBILITY AUDITS QUALITY ASSURANCE BUILD & IMPLEMENTATION
  31. 31. Quick Wins CHAPTER FOUR
  32. 32. Source: [2018]
  33. 33. Source:, 2018
  34. 34. For sighted people, technology makes life better. For the visually impaired, it makes life possible. Merna H. BLIND USER