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Accessibility of Mobile Services


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This presentation is based on the research carried out by Veronika Jermolina in 2008 at City University and AbilityNet. The presentation gives background to why accessible design is important, provides a brief outline of the methods used for the research, and finally, presents the most significant barriers to mobile phone use by those with a disability, or diverse users.

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Accessibility of Mobile Services

  1. 1. Accessibility of Mobile Services<br />VeronikaJermolina, AbilityNet11:30–12:10 P02-C<br />
  2. 2. Introduction<br />VeronikaJermolina (Accessibility and Usability Consultant at AbilityNet)<br />Presenting research project “Accessibility of Mobile Devices” carried out in 2008<br />Research conducted at City University London (supervised by Dr. P. Zaphiris) & AbilityNet<br />David Banes can’t be here today  hence the title of the presentation slightly changed<br />
  3. 3. Presentation Outline<br /><ul><li>Accessibility and the reasons for accessible design
  4. 4. Why “mobile services”
  5. 5. How data was gathered
  6. 6. Findings
  7. 7. Conclusions & further work
  8. 8. Thanks & your questions
  9. 9. (Bibliography)
  10. 10. (User quotations)</li></li></ul><li>The Carrot & Stick of Accessibility <br />Carrots<br />Penetration of mobile phones in Western Europe 112% and 121% in the UK (Informa Telecoms & Media 2007; ITU 2008) <br />14-20% of the UK population estimate to have a disability (DOH, 2001)<br />Estimated annual spending power is £50bn in the UK (DRC, 2005)<br />Repercussions on non-disabled and world-wide populations (Kurniawan & Zaphiris, 2007) <br />The Stick<br />Disability Discrimination Act <br />
  11. 11. Web Accessibility <br />Web Accessibility (Henry & Duffy 2005)<br />The Web can be accessible if multiple components work together<br />If one component fails, there can be workarounds<br />But this makes more likely for accessibility to be overlooked<br />
  12. 12. Mobile Service Stakeholders<br />Handset manufacturer –handsets and software to run the phone<br />Mobile network provider – network coverage, calling, SMS, internet browsing; decides on applications to be bundled with its firmware<br />Content or service provider –applications for bundling with firmware and for download<br />Assistive technology provider – allows disabled users to access all the features of a mobile phone<br />End user – uses the service for its purpose. <br />Stakeholders need to work together to provide accessible service<br />
  13. 13. Research MethodsQuestionnaire / User Testing<br />
  14. 14. Questionnaire<br />Disseminated through the Web<br />Mean age was 38 years old<br />Contract – 58.3% <br />PAYG – 36.1%<br />
  15. 15. Percentage of Respondents by Impairment Type<br />
  16. 16. Usability Testing<br />Mean age was 41.5 years<br />8 people<br />Visually impaired – 5 <br />Dyslexia – 2 <br />Motor – 1 <br />Hearing – 1 <br />Learning – 1<br />6 people had Nokia N95<br />
  17. 17. Findings<br />
  18. 18. Overview of Findings<br /><ul><li>What people like about their mobiles
  19. 19. Market share and penetration of mobile manufacturers
  20. 20. ATs used
  21. 21. Choosing, Buying, and Changing a handset
  22. 22. Mobile internet use and barriers
  23. 23. Other inaccessible Apps
  24. 24. A brief note on the iPhone</li></li></ul><li>The Good Stuff: Size, Access, Functionality <br />
  25. 25. Market Share<br />World penetration rates – 40% Nokia, 15% Samsung, 9% Motorola, 9% LG Electronics, 8% Sony Ericsson<br />Apple iPhone penetration not in the top 5 at the time of research (IDC, 2008) <br />
  26. 26. Market Share vs. Respondent Share<br />
  27. 27. Assistive Technology<br />The use of AT and customisation was significantly lower between mobile device users when compared to PC users <br />
  28. 28. Choosing a Handset<br />Opinion of the community (contacts, friends, AT suppliers)<br />My Talks provider would let me know if “anything nice has come out”<br />“I had a brief trial of the Nokia N95 handset in the shop, but was not convinced until a colleague showed the text resizing feature” <br />Compatibility with Talks <br />Brand loyalty & historical factors <br />“I’m a Nokia fan”<br />“Someone mentioned that Vodafone were giving away a bunch of Talks licences on Nokia handsets” <br />No way to try out competing products<br />“Someone would have let me know” if anything better [than Talks on Nokia] came out<br />
  29. 29. Choosing a Handset (cont)<br />“My choice of mobile phone is driven by my passion for technology and the latest features available” <br />“I think next time I’ll buy a phone that matches my RSI and not my outfit”<br />
  30. 30. Changing a Handset<br />“Just grief”<br />Licence fees for ATs<br />Backing up and Restoring content is problematic<br />Nokia’s PC Suite inaccessible - “one big graphic” <br />
  31. 31. Buying a handset<br />Awareness of accessibility needs and features among shop staff is very low making seeking advice in shops discouraging<br />“ People in the shops are confusing and distracting. I once got into a Vodafone shop to get some assistance with my handset but a member of staff told me that I should change my phone because it was “rubbish”. He tried to sell me a new contract. My disability is not obvious...”<br />No “try before you buy” option leaves no way to successfully verify if a handset would suit their access needs or not <br />Installing a screen reader is the pre-requisite for exploring handsets in the VI group <br />
  32. 32. Mobile Internet Use<br /><ul><li>Very low mobile internet take-up among respondents</li></ul>Non-disabled mobile internet use<br />UK population = 61.4m ( 2008)<br />Mobile penetration at 121% = 74.3m handsets<br />Yet, only about 17m mobile internet users (MDA, 2008)<br />
  33. 33. Mobile Internet barriers<br />Cost<br />Surprise charges discourage people from using it<br />Formatting<br />Clicking every link is a lottery – it can be 1MB (costing you £3 on some PAYG plans)<br />
  34. 34. Mobile Internet barriers (cont)<br />Complicated pay plans<br />Inaccessible mobile provider sites<br />Use of jargon – “web’n’walk day pass on U-fix and pay as you go” (T-mobile)<br />“Unlimited” defined in highly inaccessible “Terms and conditions”<br />Complex technology<br />Choosing the access point<br />“It’s back to the payment thing –<br /> Oh no! I don’t really know how <br />to get out of here”<br />
  35. 35. Other software currently inaccessible <br />Camera <br />Inaccessible due to the lack of clearly labelled control <br />GPS and Maps <br />Nokia Maps completely inaccessible to the screen readers<br /><ul><li>Nokia Maps were difficult to use and counter-intuitive for sighted participants
  36. 36. “I don’t really know if I’m being charged for accessing the Maps. It’s not a nice feeling”
  37. 37. The users preferred the working commercial alternatives, such as Wayfinder Access & Trekker Maestro (costly!)
  38. 38. “Wayfinder’s brilliant! They listen to their customers. I like giving directions to taxi drivers, the ones who don’t have GPS”</li></li></ul><li>iPhone<br />The incidence of iPhone amongst the survey respondents was zero<br />Caused an initial positive reaction amongst some participants <br />“I was in the States and went to an Apple shop to find out about what accessibility features there were. None, I was told”<br />Was completely inaccessible to the blind participants <br />Upset by the complete disregard for accessibility<br />“An expensive brick”<br />Was poorly accessible to the RSI participant due to cold metal panel and small fonts. <br />The web page zoom feature was helpful to the partially sighted participant<br />New 3GS accessibility features need testing with real users<br />
  39. 39. Can you trust this research?<br />Statistically significant results were not one of the objectives of the project<br />Therefore representativeness and generalisability cannot be guaranteed <br />We should try to study and accommodate diverse user needs without the need for statistically significant results<br />
  40. 40. Conclusions<br />
  41. 41. Conclusions<br />Holistic approach to mobile services<br />We might see it firmware, software, customer services, provider websites, price plans, access points, high street shops<br />… BUT to the user it’s all the same (in)accessible service<br />Nokia are ahead of the competition amongst the visually impaired<br />There are fewer ATs(or awareness?) for mobiles compared to PCs<br />Community and loyalty define the buying choice<br />Changing a phone is challenging<br />Testing in shops is difficult<br />The mobile internet is currently inaccessible<br />Camera & Video and Maps & GPS are difficult to use or inaccessible<br />iPhoneintroduced accessibility features 2 years after first release<br />
  42. 42. Some Ideas for Further Work<br />Test for accessibility – content, applications, and other important parts of the mobile service, such as the mobile operators’ websites<br />Provide fair “try before you buy” opportunities <br />Use user-centred design and reach out to users with relevant information about products and services (e.g. “other people bought this phone”)<br />Provide the facility to personalise text size and background colours<br />
  43. 43. Special Thanks<br /><ul><li> Participants, especially Andre Louis
  44. 44. Kath Moonan & Caleb Tang (AbilityNet)
  45. 45. Nigel Lewis (AbilityNet) and Dr. Panayiotis Zaphiris (City University London)</li></ul>Join Us for Accessibility 2.0 Conference on 22nd September <br /><ul><li>Topics: Mobile, Understanding Deafness, Graphic Design, Silverlight …
  46. 46. Speakers from: Yahoo!, BBC, Opera, Microsoft …
  47. 47.</li></ul>Contact<br /><ul><li>
  48. 48. Twitter @welikethis</li></li></ul><li>Bibliography<br />DDA 1995 (c.50) [online]<br />Department of Health (2001) Survey Health for England [online]<br />Henry S.L., (2008) Essential Components of Web Accessibility [online]<br />IDC (2008) IDC – Press Release [online] (Updated 31 July 2008)<br />Informa (2007) Western European Subscriptions By Country. Mobile Communications Europe [online] 466 (Updated 15 April 2008)<br />International Telecommunications Union (2008) Worldwide mobile cellular subscribers to reach 4 billion mark late 2008 [online] (Updated 25 September 2008)<br />Kurniawan , S., Zaphiris, P. (2007) Advances in Universal Web Design and Evaluation [e-book] Chapter 1, Web Accessibility and the Needs of Users with Disabilities, Aspasia Dellaporta, Cimex Media Ltd., UK<br />Mobile Data Association (2008) Latest WAP Figures [online]<br />
  49. 49. User Quotations<br />I used to use my phone as a modem. Then I received a bill for £30 for using it. I didn’t know that I could do it cheaper.<br />T9... If it could remember your preferred option would be nice. Sometimes it forgets. And it drives me crazy!<br />I can’t take photographs, I can’t do video.<br />I want to take a photo of my friend’s baby. He smells so lovely! <br />Just because I can’t see doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want to take a picture or a video to share with my family. I’m going on a cruise next month…<br />The [mobile] internet is rubbish! It’s about confidence, so I stopped trying<br />Wayfinder’s brilliant! They listen to their customers. I like giving directions to taxi drivers, the ones who don’t have GPS.<br />The GPS with Nokia Maps doesn’t work. Seriously, I don’t know a single person for whom it works.<br />Does your condition affect your choice of mobile phone? No! [laughs] Being addicted to technology affects my choice!<br />I don’t really know if I’m being charged for accessing the Maps. It’s not a nice feeling.<br />I’d like it to blend in<br />It’s the iPhone! It’s quite cold. That might put me off immediately, using it outside;<br />[iPhone] I don’t have big hands, but those keys are very small.<br />