Improving Navigation for Blind People in the Developing Countries: A UI/UX Perspective
Keywords:Assistive technology, Disabilities, Qualitative, Legally blind, User-interface, User-experience
Assistive technology (AT) has made many tasks possible for people with disabilities. Unfortunately, almost no technology is developed centered around the blind people of developing countries when it comes to navigating. This study explored blind people's concerns and determined the type of design and interaction of a navigation application that are more convenient and favored by blind users. Qualitative research was used to study the problems faced by blind people of developing countries while navigating. Blind people of two organizations in Bangladesh participated voluntarily in the research. The data obtained were analyzed using thematic analysis of ATLAS.ti. The data indicated that merely traveling with the white cane was not enough and there were a lot of problems faced when going from one place to another. A preference was shown for voice-assisted devices. The data were used to build two types of accessible prototypes with good UX, but different interactions, design, layout, spoken content and audio descriptions. Later, the usability testing was performed to investigate the effectiveness of the two types of prototypes from the UI/UX perspective. The results indicated that there was a greater preference for a layout with more spacing and buttons closer to the hands. Audio descriptions, spoken content and being able to navigate using the application also instills a sense of independence. The study contributes to a better knowledge of design solutions and interactions that legally blind people prefer, and to the creation of navigation tools/apps for the blind, specifically from the developing countries such as Bangladesh.