Improving search engine interfaces for blind users: a case study

  • Patrizia Andronico
  • Marina Buzzi
  • Carlos Castillo
  • Barbara Leporini


This article describes a research project aimed at improving search engine usability for sightless persons who use assistive technology to navigate the web. At the beginning of this research, a preliminary study was performed concerning accessibility and usability of search tools, and eight guidelines were formulated for designing search engine user interfaces. Then, the derived guidelines were applied in modifying the source code of Google’s interface, while maintaining the same look and feel, in order to demonstrate that with very little effort it is possible to make interaction easier, more efficient, and less frustrating for sightless individuals. After providing a general overview of the project, the paper focuses on interface design and implementation.


Accessibility Usability User interface Blind users Search engine 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrizia Andronico
    • 1
  • Marina Buzzi
    • 1
  • Carlos Castillo
    • 2
  • Barbara Leporini
    • 1
  1. 1.CNR-IITPisaItaly
  2. 2.Center for Web ResearchUniversity of ChileSantiagoChile

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