I’m really excited for my class this spring on designing and evaluating prototypes for inclusive user interfaces. Throughout the semester, we have to sketch ideas on solutions to specific design problems. Then, in small groups, we share our ideas and give each other feedback.
The first week’s assignment was to design a basic fitness tracker (which at the very least counts steps) for someone who is blind. My professor asked us to consider audio and tactile feedback.
My sketches are below. I don’t have a background in sketching, but fortunately, our class focuses more on the ideas than how we actually drew them. Anyway, take a look. Feedback from my discussion group follows. (click image to enlarge)
And here’s the feedback I got:
Refreshable braille display
“It might be too specific to the blind population.” (My intention was to make this a statement piece. I wanted it to stand out, the way eyeglasses stand out not as medical devices but as fashion statements)
“It might be hard to execute and actually use while wearing, but I like the pop-out braille display. It’s fun.” (see refreshable braille display)
My discussion group partners recommended I consider incorporating left/right vibration on a single bracelet instead of having the user wear two bracelets.
“This is a cool way to incorporate accessible technology into an existing tool. Maybe instead of having a second row of pop-out buttons, just have the LED lights themselves pop up.”
“I think people who are blind would appreciate this technology because it allows them to use a widely popular device without compromising the look.”