UX RESEARCH • VISUAL DESIGN • DESIGN CHALLENGE
A responsive website designed for the visually impaired to pair them up with sighted specialists to support them with independent daily tasks.
Winner of "Prototyping with Accessibility in Mind" Design Challenge
Hosted by Adobe and IxDA Miami (Interaction Design Association in Miami)
CLIENT: Eyespect (Fictitious Project)
ROLE: UX Designer, Visual Designer, UX Researcher
TOOLS USED: Adobe XD, Figma
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 4% of the global population are visually impaired. That's a total of over half a billion people who are suffering from vision loss, due to low vision or blindness. Living with glasses my whole life, I struggle with vision disabilities as a kid and one of the biggest problems I have found is that sometimes people are not able to complete certain tasks because of their visual disability. Almost half of blind and partially sighted people feel moderately "cut off" from people and things around them.
The challenge was to create a login pattern for the visually impaired, using voice and keyboard triggers. I created a login screen to a fictitious company, called Eyespect to bring together sighted volunteers and the visually impaired. Sighted volunteers would be paired with the visually impaired to support them with daily tasks over a simple conference call.
I was lucky enough to interview 3 participants who had vision problems at a local retirement home. I questioned about services they prefer as a visually impaired individual. From my interviews, I learned that not everyone may have the same attitude. Patricia, in particiular, was turned off by the thought of someone helping her and didn't like that it was labelled as "help". When she thought of an application that could help her, she mentioned the idea of being able to translate materials in English. Based on my interviews, I learned that a simple solution could just be starting a service that supports the visually impaired without diminishing themselves as individuals.
In my competitive analysis, I did some digging into various existing applications that most visually impaired individuals utilize on a day to day basis. One common theme I noticed is that accessibility should not be considered at the end of the process. Some capabilities I wanted to input in my login screen prototype included:
Additinally, the process should be easy and should offer quick solutions to error flows, without causing user frustration.
CHECKING FOR ACCESSIBILITY
Stark is a plugin introduced by our Adobe educator and it is definitely a handy tool to keep in every designer's tool kit!
I first used a lighter color green for the buttons and realized that it didn't pass accessibility for the normal text. After using Stark, I was ensured that my new color, visuals and typography would work hand in hand to provide contrast and readability, if need be.
CREATING A MVP
By using keyboard and voice triggers, I created an MVP of a simple login screen for the visually impaired to connect with sighted volunteers. Adobe XD offers voice commands, which is something that I have yet to explore before designing this project! I learned that Adobe XD is a great tool, especially for designing for accessibility. Check out the prototype video below!
EXPAND USER RESEARCH
I would love to explore what features I can add onto the home screen to make it even more explicit. Since most of my interviews were conducted in an elderly setting, I wonder what differences it would make if I interviewed a younger group of folks.
This was one of the first challenges that I have won and I am proud of what I have learned. As a result, I received one free year of Adobe Creative Cloud. We, as designers, have the power and responsibility to create accessible digital products for everyone, regardless of ability, context or situation. I will continue to take all that I have learned in this challenge throughout in my design journey to create a better experience for all.
© 2020 ANA LIU