Making touch-based kiosks accessible to blind users through simple gestures


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Touch-based interaction is becoming increasingly popular and is commonly used as the main interaction paradigm for self-service kiosks in public spaces. Touch-based interaction is known to be visually intensive, and current non-haptic touch-display technologies are often criticized as excluding blind users. This study set out to demonstrate that touch-based kiosks can be designed to include blind users without compromising the user experience for non-blind users. Most touch-based kiosks are based on absolute positioned virtual buttons which are difficult to locate without any tactile, audible or visual cues. However, simple stroke gestures rely on relative movements and the user does not need to hit a target at a specific location on the display. In this study, a touch-based train ticket sales kiosk based on simple stroke gestures was developed and tested on a panel of blind and visually impaired users, a panel of blindfolded non-visually impaired users and a control group of non-visually impaired users. The tests demonstrate that all the participants managed to discover, learn and use the touch-based self-service terminal and complete a ticket purchasing task. The majority of the participants completed the task in less than 4 min on the first attempt.



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