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A Usability Evaluation of Two Virtual Aids to Enhance Cursor Accessibility for People with Motor Impairments

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A Usability Evaluation of Two Virtual Aids to Enhance Cursor Accessibility for People with Motor Impairments

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Basic actions in the context of Web browsing, such as pointing at and clicking on links, can be seriously hindered by dexterity impairments affecting the use of hands and arms. In this paper, we present two different virtual aids for assisting motor-impaired users when pointing at and clicking on links. One of them, the “circular cursor”, aims at reducing the level of accuracy required for clicking on links, whereas the other one, the “cross cursor”, aims at reducing target distance for pointing at them. We conducted a web-based usability testing for both cursors with 9 motor-impaired and 6 able-bodied users applying their usual pointing device (4 keyboard, 4 joystick, 1 trackball and 6 mouse). The results show that motor-impaired participants mainly preferred one of either of the two variants proposed to the traditional cursor without any virtual aid for Web browsing.

Basic actions in the context of Web browsing, such as pointing at and clicking on links, can be seriously hindered by dexterity impairments affecting the use of hands and arms. In this paper, we present two different virtual aids for assisting motor-impaired users when pointing at and clicking on links. One of them, the “circular cursor”, aims at reducing the level of accuracy required for clicking on links, whereas the other one, the “cross cursor”, aims at reducing target distance for pointing at them. We conducted a web-based usability testing for both cursors with 9 motor-impaired and 6 able-bodied users applying their usual pointing device (4 keyboard, 4 joystick, 1 trackball and 6 mouse). The results show that motor-impaired participants mainly preferred one of either of the two variants proposed to the traditional cursor without any virtual aid for Web browsing.

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A Usability Evaluation of Two Virtual Aids to Enhance Cursor Accessibility for People with Motor Impairments

  1. 1. Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs J. Eduardo Pérez, Xabier Valencia, Myriam Arrue and Julio Abascal University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) A Usability Evaluation of Two Virtual Aids to Enhance Cursor Accessibility for People with Motor Impairments :  www.jeduardoperez.info   :  @j_eduardoperez   :  juaneduardo.perez@ehu.eus  April 12th 2016, Montreal (Canada) Session 5: Non-Visual Access & Web Accessibility The 13th Web for All Conference (W4A 2016)
  2. 2. W4A 2016A usability evaluation of two virtual aids to enhance cursor accessibility for people with motor impairments Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs Motivation •  Point & click fundamental actions for Web browsing > but challenging for dexterity impaired [Trewin, 2008] Trewin, S. and Pain, H. (1999) Keyboard and mouse errors due to motor disabilities. IJHCS 50(2), 109-144. Hwang, F., Keates, S., Langdon, P. and Clarkson, P.J. (2004) Mouse movements of motion-impaired users: a submovement analysis. ASSETS ’04, 102-109. Pérez, J. E., Arrue, M., Valencia, X. and Moreno, L. (2014) Exploratory study of web navigation strategies for users with physical disabilities. W4A ’14, article 20. •  Motion-impaired face problems when using standard input devices [Trewin, 1999] Have difficulties selecting targets on GUIs [Hwang, 2004] •  Similar difficulties for point & click using AT (keyboard, joystick and trackball) Heterogeneous behaviours depending on AT group [Pérez, 2014] – Joystick & trackball users è less accurate pointing – keyboard users è more affected by target distance Trewin, S. (2008) Physical Impairment. Web Accessibility: A Foundation for Research (Springer), 37-46. 2  /  12  
  3. 3. W4A 2016A usability evaluation of two virtual aids to enhance cursor accessibility for people with motor impairments Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs •  Two cursor virtual aids developed for web browsing assistance (based on assistive technology used to access the Web [Pérez, 2014]) Cursor Aids - to assist lack of dexterity Pérez, J. E., Arrue, M., Valencia, X. and Moreno, L. (2014) Exploratory study of web navigation strategies for users with physical disabilities. W4A ’14, article 20. – CIRCULAR Cursor: reduce accuracy required for clicking – CROSS Cursor: reduce target distance for pointing 3  /  12  
  4. 4. W4A 2016A usability evaluation of two virtual aids to enhance cursor accessibility for people with motor impairments Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs •  3 cursor variants: – circular, cross & unassisted •  2 websites used as stimuli: – informational [discapnet.com] & institutional [gipuzkoa.eus] •  2 kind of tasks: – 4 searching tasks [2x2x3] & 48 target acquisition tasks [24x2x3] with each cursor variant •  8 categories to rate each cursor variant (7 points Likert scale): – learnable, rememberable, accurate, easy to use, effortless, natural, fun, and not frustrating •  Rank cursor variants to conclude experiment: – overall preferred option for Web browsing & for each of 8 categories Experiment - Outline 4  /  12  
  5. 5. W4A 2016A usability evaluation of two virtual aids to enhance cursor accessibility for people with motor impairments Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs Experiment - Participants •  15 subjects: – 9 motion-impaired & 6 able-bodied •  3 groups (based on pointing device used): – 4 keyboard users [KU] – 4 joystick & 1 trackball users [JU] – 6 mouse users [MU] •  Expert users with pointing device: – years of experience & continuous use 5  /  12  
  6. 6. W4A 2016A usability evaluation of two virtual aids to enhance cursor accessibility for people with motor impairments Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs Results - Learnable & Rememberable ①  “Rate how EASY TO LEARN to use the cursor variant was” (1- very negative, 7- very positive) §  Circular cursor highly rated by every user group. §  Cross Cursor low results from JU and MU groups; but highly rated by keyboard users. ②  “Rate how EASY TO REMEMBER to use the cursor variant was” (1- very negative, 7- very positive) §  Unassisted cursor obtained best results – expected. §  Circular cursor & Cross cursor also highly rated by all groups. 6  /  12  
  7. 7. W4A 2016A usability evaluation of two virtual aids to enhance cursor accessibility for people with motor impairments Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs Results - Accurate & Easy to Use ③  “Rate how ACCURATE the cursor variant was” (1- very negative, 7- very positive) §  Circular cursor highest ratings by motor-impaired (3 able-bodied also show preference). §  Cross cursor specially highly rated by KU group. §  Unassisted cursor negatively rated by several motor-impaired. ④  “Rate how EASY TO USE the cursor variant was” (1- very negative, 7- very positive) §  Circular cursor best rated by motor-impaired. §  Cross cursor last ranking for JU and MU groups, but first choice for 50% of keyboard users. 7    /  12  
  8. 8. W4A 2016A usability evaluation of two virtual aids to enhance cursor accessibility for people with motor impairments Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs Results - Effortless & Natural ⑥  “Rate how NATURAL to use the cursor variant was” (1- very negative, 7- very positive) §  Unassisted cursor highly rated by 3 groups. §  Cross cursor last ranking for JU and MU groups, but second choice for 50% of keyboard users. ⑤  “Rate how EFFORTLESS the cursor variant was” (1- very negative, 7- very positive) §  Circular cursor preferred for joystick & trackball users (also very positively rated by mouse users). §  Cross cursor preferred for keyboard users. §  Unassisted cursor only preferred for mouse users. 8  /  12  
  9. 9. W4A 2016A usability evaluation of two virtual aids to enhance cursor accessibility for people with motor impairments Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs Results - Fun & Not Frustrating ⑦  “Rate how FUN to use the cursor variant was” (1- very negative, 7- very positive) §  Similar mean values for variants and user groups. §  Circular cursor highest ratings for the 3 user groups. ⑧  “Rate how NOT FRUSTRATING to use the cursor variant was” (1- very negative, 7- very positive) §  Both cursor enhancements very positively rated by each aimed group (Circular cursor by JU group & Cross cursor by KU group) §  Circular & unassisted similar high rates from MU group. §  Unassisted cursor most frustrating for 75% of KU group & Cross cursor for 100% JU group. 9  /  12  
  10. 10. •  Motor-impaired participants mainly preferred one of the two cursor variants proposed (7 out of 9) to the unassisted cursor for Web browsing: 50% KU users è Cross cursor 1st 80% JU users è Circular cursor 1st W4A 2016A usability evaluation of two virtual aids to enhance cursor accessibility for people with motor impairments Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs Results - Overall Ranking •  Opposing assessments depending on pointing device user group (KU vs. JU): 100% JU è Cross cursor 3rd 25% KU è Circular cursor 1st 50% KU è Circular cursor 2nd 25% KU è Circular cursor 3rd 10  /  12  
  11. 11. W4A 2016A usability evaluation of two virtual aids to enhance cursor accessibility for people with motor impairments Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs Conclusions ü  Usefulness & acceptance of both virtual aids by participants with lack of dexterity (Circular cursor / Cross cursor – depending on pointing device) ü  Importance of providing virtual aids for improving Web browsing to motor-impaired q  Analyse additional users interaction data gathered along experiments è study different performance indicators for each cursor variant Future  Work   11  /  12  
  12. 12. Laboratory of Human-Computer Iinteraction for Special Needs Thank you for your attention Questions? A Usability Evaluation of Two Virtual Aids to Enhance Cursor Accessibility for People with Motor Impairments :  www.jeduardoperez.info   :  @j_eduardoperez   :  juaneduardo.perez@ehu.eus  April 12th 2016, Montreal (Canada) Session 5: Non-Visual Access & Web Accessibility The 13th Web for All Conference (W4A 2016)

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