User-Centered Development of a Support-System for Visually Handicapped People in the Context of Public Transportation

  • Christopher StockingerEmail author
  • Christina König
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


Visually impaired people face many issues when trying to navigate through variable territory. Especially in cities, these people are dependent on public transportation. While metros, trams and trains in most instances allow barrier-free access, the infrastructure of buses lags behind. In many cities situations occur, where buses stop at different positions at the platform or they stop behind each other, so that visually impaired have difficulty finding the right bus and navigating to the bus door. Often these situations are time-critical. Advanced everyday life technology, e.g. smartphones and wearables, can be used to help visually impaired people in these situations.

This paper describes a concept for an electronic orientation aid system to help visually impaired people in specific, critical situations of public transportation. It was developed using user-centered design and in an intercultural project. Therefore, user-context-analyses and evaluations have been carried out in Germany and India. After setting the system borders, the usability context and the user demands could be analyzed by conducting interviews with blind people and several experts (N = 7), who gave important insights into the use of public transportation systems by visually impaired people. Based on this, an overall concept was described and further placement and feedback studies were conducted to generate a specific input for the designing stage. The result of this stage was a prototype wrist band with vibration feedback. A practical evaluation (Wizard of Oz experiment) with blindfolded persons and visually impaired people (N = 15) confirmed the general utility of the prototype, but also showed potential for improvements.


User-centered design Support-system Visually handicapped people 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Ergonomics and Human FactorsTechnische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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