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Co-design of Color Identification Applications Using Scenario-Based Personas for People with Impaired Color Vision

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 12426)


Designers and system analysts have long struggled to extract and repurpose data from user research by laboriously presenting content in the form of storyboards, behavioral-type personas, or journey maps. An alternative is to convey insights from user research through scenario-based personas that represent user research data through storytelling. This provides a more streamlined way to convey data rather than character-based personas; however, scenarios are effortful for developers to articulate and envision. In this work, we empower assistive technology development teams to access authentic user experiences with scenario-based personas through tangible and digital artifacts. Scenario-based personas were used for conveying the results of a user analysis study for color identification mobile applications for people with visual impairments. We developed scenario-based personas for persons with impaired color vision based on the main contexts identified in user research studies. The method combines personas depicted in silhouettes of people with impaired color vision and scenario contexts that capture the place and activities. Silhouettes were used in the artifacts to reduce the bias that a face often generates in persona-based scenarios. Preliminary findings suggest that scenario-based persona tools were effective in describing the stories and context behind why a person with a visual disability would consider a color identification application. Through this method, scenario-based personas were able to foster understanding of the application’s target user population by showing their main contexts of using these mobile applications and create playful and tangible artifacts to capture and convey such user information to designers and developers in the Humanistic Co-Design community. Methodological considerations for using scenario-based personas in user research will be discussed.


  • Participatory design
  • Mobile applications
  • Co-design
  • Co-creation
  • Color identification
  • Scenarios
  • Visually impaired

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We thank the Humanistic Co-Design Initiative and the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab for supporting this work. We also thank the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP) and the Saudi Health Council’s National Lab for Emerging Health Technologies for hosting and mentoring. This work is part of the authors’ project that is carried out under the CoCreate Fellowship for Humanistic Co-Design of Access Technologies. We would also like to thank the participants in the user study, as well as Dr. Areej Al-Wabil, Dr. Shiroq Al-Megren, Dr. Kyle Keane, and Anna Musser, for their mentorship and support.

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Correspondence to Mawaddah AlSabban .

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AlSabban, M., Karim, A., Sun, V.H., Hashim, J., AlSayed, O. (2020). Co-design of Color Identification Applications Using Scenario-Based Personas for People with Impaired Color Vision. In: Stephanidis, C., Antona, M., Gao, Q., Zhou, J. (eds) HCI International 2020 – Late Breaking Papers: Universal Access and Inclusive Design. HCII 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12426. Springer, Cham.

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