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Accommodating Human Diversity

Accommodating Human Diversity

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Accommodating Human Diversity

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  1. Accommodating Human Diversity Laura Leventhal Bowling Green State University

  2. Reference • Chapter 15

  3. Introduction Contemporary usability engineers confront a significant challenge: designing for diverse user groups and supporting universal usability. • Diversity may arise from gender, culture, age, ethnicity and/or physical ability. • Examples include: • multilingual/international interfaces • Interfaces to support globalization • interfaces for children or older users • culturally diverse interfaces • interfaces for users with physical or mental restrictions • Interfaces for users whose physical, mental or social situation is dynamic • Interfaces for users with slow connections, low bandwidth or other restrictions imposed by the situation (e.g. driving and using the internet) • Designing multiple interfaces for multiple user groups adds to the cost of interface design BUT can greatly improve the usability especially for underserved groups. • Interface designers need to know when it is appropriate to design multiple interfaces, what characteristics are relevant and important to different groups, how to identify those characteristics, what the “rules” are and what tools are available.

  4. Universal Usability • Shneiderman (2000, p. 85) defines universal usability as “...having more than 90% of all households as successful users of information and communications services at least once a week.”

  5. Why is UU important? • It is in our code of Ethics • … In a fair society, all individuals would have equal opportunity to participate in, or benefit from, the use of computer resources regardless of race, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin or other such similar factors. (from the ACM Code of Ethics, Section 1.4 Be fair and take action not to discriminate. <>

  6. Why is UU important? • It’s the Law • Section 508 - Workforce Workforce Investment Act 1998 • Includes a set of specific standards to enhance accessibility for everyone. The standards address software, computers and electronic office equipment. • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990- ADA • The act specifically prohibits discrimination in employment and job training, commercial infrastructure, transportation and other facilities and services involving individuals with disabilities.

  7. Why is UU important? • Market pressures • For example, older users are a fast growing market for computing technologies and internet-delivered information…. • Hanson (2001) • "...Recent evidence indicates that elderly citizens constitute the fastest growing demographic group of Internet users..." (p.14) • Garthwaite, T. (2001) • "...It is very clear that between 2010 and 2030, the rate of growth of the elderly population will be exponential..."

  8. Why is Universal Usability often overlooked? • Not seen as cost-effective. • Perceived as an expensive add-on • Lack of awareness by developers. • Developers using themselves as standards • Failure to practice user-centered design.

  9. What is a UI designer to do? • Where does one go for guidance? • W3C WCAG guidelines and Section 508 guidelines offer guidelines for web development. • Other guidelines, see handout. • What is characteristic of guidelines? • Emphasize the separation of content from presentation. • Idea is that individuals can tailor interaction to their own needs

  10. What tools are available? • Static Analyzers • Bobby • Lift Online • Development Tools • Lift Online for Dreamweaver • Other tools allow you to see a simulation of your website as if if was in another browser or was being viewed in a different mode. • W3C Offers a website for a tools list.

  11. Benefits of UU • Version 1.0 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0) - 1999 identifies usage situations in which access may be limited… and improved • users with disabilities. • users who do not have a keyboard or mouse. • users with a text-only screen or a slow Internet connection. • users who do not speak or read the presentation language fluently. • users in a situation where their hands or eyes are busy. • users with an older browser.