Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 393–400 | Cite as

Cognitive difficulties and access to information systems: an interaction design perspective

  • Peter Gregor
  • Anna Dickinson
Long Paper


People with cognitive difficulties, including memory, sequencing and attentional difficulties, face barriers to the use of conventionally designed information systems. This paper explores some of the reasons for these barriers in terms of the expectations normally placed on the user’s cognitive abilities and background knowledge. In the paper, the design and evaluation of three information systems are reported. These systems go some way towards overcoming cognitive barriers, allowing access to the advantages of computers for people with dyslexia, and for older users with no background in computer use who were able to access both email and the World Wide Web through specially designed interfaces.


Accessibility Cognitive difficulties Interface design Supportive systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computing, University of DundeeDundeeScotland

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