Collaborative Editing for All: The Google Docs Example
Collaborative software tools allow people to share documents and knowledge via Internet, in a simple, economic and efficient way. Unfortunately collaborative software often relies heavily on visual features and dynamic technologies with user interfaces that are difficult to use via screen reader, or are sometimes even inaccessible for the blind.
In this paper we illustrate and discuss results of an accessibility inspection of the main collaborative functions of Google Docs using the JAWS screen reader. Results highlight several difficulties encountered when interacting with elements of the Google Docs interfaces. Content perception is often incomplete, since many elements or changes occurring in the collaborative environment are not intercepted by the screen reader and announced to the user. In addition, the behavior of the collaborative functions analyzed (as well as the rendering) changes from one web browser to another. Some general guidelines are discussed, for designing user interfaces of collaborative editors that are more usable when interacting via screen reader.
Keywordsgroupware collaborative editing accessibility blind screen reader
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Craven, J., Brophy, P.: Non-visual access to the digital library: the use of digital library interfaces by blind and visually impaired people. Technical report, Manchester: Centre for Research in Library and Information Management - CERLIM (2003), http://www.cerlim.ac.uk/pubs/index.php
- 2.Ivory, M. Y., Yu, S., Gronemyer, K.: Search result exploration: a preliminary study of blind and sighted users’ decision making and performance. In: Extended abstracts of CHI 2004, pp. 453–456 (2004) Google Scholar
- 3.Petrie, H., Hamilton, F., King, N.: Tension, what tension?: Website accessibility and visual design. In: Proc. 2004 International Cross-disciplinary Workshop on Web Accessibility (W4A), pp. 13–18 (2004) Google Scholar
- 4.Card, S.K., Moran, T.P., Newell, A.: The Psychology of Human-computer Interaction, pp. 29–97. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, London (1983)Google Scholar
- 6.Garrido, J.E., Penichet, V.M.R., Lozano, M.D., Buzzi, M.C., Buzzi, M., Leporini, B., Mori, G.: Analysing Google Documents as groupware tool and an improvement proposal. In: XI Congreso Internacional de Interacción Persona-Ordenador (2010)Google Scholar
- 8.W3C. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. (December 11, 2008), http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/
- 9.W3C. WAI-ARIA Technical Specification, http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/