Comparing Interaction Techniques to Help Blind People Explore Maps on Small Tactile Devices

Abstract : Exploring geographic maps on touchscreens is a difficult task in the absence of vision as those devices miss tactile cues. Prior research has therefore introduced non-visual interaction techniques designed to allow visually impaired people to explore spatial configurations on tactile devices. In this paper, we present a study in which six blind and six blindfolded sighted participants evaluated three of those interaction techniques compared to a screen reader condition. We observed that techniques providing guidance result in a higher user satisfaction and more efficient exploration. Adding a grid-like structure improved the estimation of distances. None of the interaction techniques improved the reconstruction of the spatial configurations. The results of this study allow improving the design of non-visual interaction techniques that support a better exploration and memorization of maps in the absence of vision.
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Mathieu Simonnet, Anke Brock, Antonio Serpa, Bernard Oriola, Christophe Jouffrais. Comparing Interaction Techniques to Help Blind People Explore Maps on Small Tactile Devices. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction, MDPI, 2019, 3 (2), pp.27. ⟨10.3390/mti3020027⟩. ⟨hal-02106469⟩

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