Teaching Design for All Through
Empathic Modeling: a Case Study
in Tallinn University
Vladimir Tomberg and Mart Laanpere
H...
Research Question
How to design a communication product for
elderly people, with a design team consisting of
marketers, en...
Cultural Differences:
Curb Cuts in Hersonissos
The Problem
• Many accessibility principles can be
implemented and validated on the level of
code (Just use WCAG and WAI A...
Awareness, Ignorance, Responsibility
• Developers and Designers
– Have lack of awareness;
– Often ignore accessibility pro...
Empathic Modeling by Wiseman
(1996) “A concept analysis of
empathy”
• See the world as others see it;
• Be nonjudgmental;
...
The Case
• The experimental DfA course (16 hours in
class, four home tasks);
• 16 HCI curricula master students;
• 8 women...
The Task: Go From Point A to Point B
by Simulating Some Form of Deterioration
Chosen Disabilities
• Person in a wheelchair;
• With a pushchair;
• With limited vision;
• With limited dexterity;
• With ...
A Student With Tied Arms Simulating a Person Without
Arms (Left) and a Student With a Handicap in a
Backpack Simulating Os...
Identified Obstacles
In a
wheelchair
With a
pushchair
Limited
vision
Limited
dexterity
Broken
leg
Without
arms
Foreigner
H...
A subset from Empathy Quotient tool
to measure general empathy level
To what extent do you agree with the following statem...
Original Likert-type items
To what extent do you agree with the following statements:
Understanding the general principles...
Distribution of responses
to generic EQ items
Feedback from students to the course
design based on empathic modeling
Student One
"This exercise was a new experience for me,
because I have never put myself in the position
of an old or disab...
Student Two
"For me this exercise was very useful and
engaging. I could never imagine how really hard it
can be for a pers...
Student Three
"When analyzing HCI examples I can’t stop
thinking of user-centered design as the primary
criteria of assess...
Conclusion
• Implementation of empathic modeling as the
pedagogical approach for designing a DfA
course demonstrated good ...
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Teaching Design for All Through Empathic Modeling: a Case Study in Tallinn University

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Presentation at HCII2014 conference of a research made during my Design for All Course in Autumn semester 2013

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Teaching Design for All Through Empathic Modeling: a Case Study in Tallinn University

  1. 1. Teaching Design for All Through Empathic Modeling: a Case Study in Tallinn University Vladimir Tomberg and Mart Laanpere HCII2014, Heraklion, Greece 27 June 2014
  2. 2. Research Question How to design a communication product for elderly people, with a design team consisting of marketers, engineers, product designers, usability professionals, etc., if none of them belongs to the user group himself? Kouprie and Visser, 2009
  3. 3. Cultural Differences: Curb Cuts in Hersonissos
  4. 4. The Problem • Many accessibility principles can be implemented and validated on the level of code (Just use WCAG and WAI ARIA); • While such low-level implementation is formally valid, it cannot guarantee universal accessibility if DfA principles were not used in the initial phases of design; • Focusing mainly on code is not enough today
  5. 5. Awareness, Ignorance, Responsibility • Developers and Designers – Have lack of awareness; – Often ignore accessibility problems; – Do not show enough responsibility • One possible way to ensure awareness − Empathic Modeling
  6. 6. Empathic Modeling by Wiseman (1996) “A concept analysis of empathy” • See the world as others see it; • Be nonjudgmental; • Understand another's feelings; • Communicate the understanding
  7. 7. The Case • The experimental DfA course (16 hours in class, four home tasks); • 16 HCI curricula master students; • 8 women and 8 men; • Software developers (3 persons), usability engineers (3), designers (5), QA specialists (2), marketing (3) or HR (1) specialists and managers (4), no previous ICT education (2)
  8. 8. The Task: Go From Point A to Point B by Simulating Some Form of Deterioration
  9. 9. Chosen Disabilities • Person in a wheelchair; • With a pushchair; • With limited vision; • With limited dexterity; • With osteoporosis; • With broken leg; • Without arms; • Foreigner
  10. 10. A Student With Tied Arms Simulating a Person Without Arms (Left) and a Student With a Handicap in a Backpack Simulating Osteoporosis (Right)
  11. 11. Identified Obstacles In a wheelchair With a pushchair Limited vision Limited dexterity Broken leg Without arms Foreigner Heavy doors, difficult to open X X X X Dustbins under Elevator Button X X X Buttons are too close to each other X X X Security button in an elevator is located too high X Absence of lifts X X X X Confusing navigation x X X X X X X Absence of ramps X X X Understanding the instructions and signs X
  12. 12. A subset from Empathy Quotient tool to measure general empathy level To what extent do you agree with the following statements: I really enjoy caring for other people I often find it difficult to judge if something is rude or polite I find it easy to put myself in somebody else’s shoes I am good at predicting how someone will feel I am quick to spot when someone in a group is feeling awkward or uncomfortable
  13. 13. Original Likert-type items To what extent do you agree with the following statements: Understanding the general principles of design for all in physical settings helps a designer to apply them in HCI context I learned from our exercise with simulation of deterioration something that can be transferred to the context of HCI design I did not like to play the role of a disabled person during the course assignment It is important to include such simulation exercises in physical context in the course of universal design for HCI students Prior to this course I had less empathy towards users with disabilities
  14. 14. Distribution of responses to generic EQ items
  15. 15. Feedback from students to the course design based on empathic modeling
  16. 16. Student One "This exercise was a new experience for me, because I have never put myself in the position of an old or disabled person before and have not thought of all the possible constraints and obstacles that they may meet on their way"
  17. 17. Student Two "For me this exercise was very useful and engaging. I could never imagine how really hard it can be for a person that is limited in motion to get from point A to B in our university. After walking around the university I really understood how necessary it is to communicate to people, while designing for them and to test the creations with them in order to make the design actually usable. Apparently, this principle is fair for every design field, including HCI”
  18. 18. Student Three "When analyzing HCI examples I can’t stop thinking of user-centered design as the primary criteria of assessment. Essentially it is about the same things in the real life defined by Don Norman: the affordances must be clear, there must be clear indication of the state of the system, the error messages must be understandable and the feedback must be relevant, etc"
  19. 19. Conclusion • Implementation of empathic modeling as the pedagogical approach for designing a DfA course demonstrated good results and can be recommended for teaching DfA course in HCI curriculum as a starting point for understanding principles of Design for All

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