A checklist for assessing blind users’ usability of educational smartphone applications

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to develop a checklist which specifically evaluates blind users’ usability of educational smartphone applications. To carry out this task, researchers developed checklist items based on the previous usability literature, evaluation tools, and research on e-learning and Web accessibility for users with/without blindness. As a result, a checklist with 29 items covering three levels of interface design (structure, behavior, presentation) was developed. In order to accomplish this, usability principles were first categorized into these three levels and then transformed to become relevant to the blind user. The initial version of the usability checklist items was reviewed and evaluated for their representativeness and comprehensibility by interface design experts and teachers of blind learners. Content validity index (CVI) and Cronbach \(\alpha\) values were calculated to check the validity and reliability of the tool. The revised second version was reviewed in the same way by a group of blind users, and CVI and Cronbach \(\alpha\) values were calculated as well. The final version was implemented by the blind user group for evaluating two learning applications. Reviewers’ comments were reflected in the second and final version as well. Evaluation results indicated low usability for both applications even when accessibility requirements were met.

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Acknowledgements

The study is part of the ENABLE Network of ICT Supported Learning for Disabled People Project (2011-4437/001-001). The project was funded with support from the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission.

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Correspondence to Jihyun Lee.

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Lee, Y., Lee, J. A checklist for assessing blind users’ usability of educational smartphone applications. Univ Access Inf Soc 18, 343–360 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10209-017-0585-1

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Keywords

  • Usability
  • Accessibility
  • Smartphone application
  • Touchscreen
  • Checklist
  • Evaluation