Date

11-2009

Degree Name

BS in Graphic Communication

Department

Graphic Communication Department

Advisor(s)

Michael Blum

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the current state of visual accessibility to visually impaired users in the areas of web and device interface design. As the Internet grows in importance and more people are expected to utilize networked technology the need for a truly accessible system becomes more important.

Web designers play a tremendous role in controlling ease of access to content through the structure, layout and navigation options utilized in their designs. These choices dramatically impact a user's ability to fully utilize the capabilities of the Internet.

As network technology grows beyond the web, consumers are also becoming increasingly reliant on personal devices such as mobile phones and personal media players. These represent a burgeoning market that has grown very quickly and has not undergone extensive research on accessibility.

The results of this study were able to build a model for improving accessibility in both of these markets. Through analysis of best technological practices in web design and personal interviews with visually impaired users it became clear that accessibility varies widely across commercial offerings in both web services and personal devices. It was concluded that with some simple modifications these systems can be improved dramatically.

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