Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 127–140 | Cite as

Constructing a holistic view of shopping with people with visual impairment: a participatory design approach

  • Chien Wen YuanEmail author
  • Benjamin V. Hanrahan
  • Sooyeon Lee
  • Mary Beth Rosson
  • John M. Carroll
Long Paper


We report and reflect on a participatory design (PD) process in which we engaged with people with visual impairments (PVI) over an extended period of time; these interactions were aimed at understanding and assessing PVI experiences about shopping and assistive technologies. In particular, we examined in detail how PVI conduct grocery shopping with the help of different technologies, and found that activities taking place in the homes of PVI reflect aspects of the shopping activity that are challenging but understudied in prior work. Our participants revealed that identifying products that have run short, itemizing needed products in a list, and organizing newly purchased products at home were difficult for them; we also discussed the tools they used and whether the tools did or did not help. We synthesize our findings and explain how the extended PD activities informed our ideas for future design, as well as suggesting principles for PD engagement with PVI participants.


Participatory design Assistive technology Visual impairment Grocery shopping Human-centered computing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Advertising and Public RelationsFu Jen UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.College of Information Sciences and TechnologyPennsylvania State UniversityState CollegeUSA

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