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RE: How do people interact with applications?

From: Léonie Watson <lwatson@paciellogroup.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2015 12:58:58 +0100
To: <chaals@yandex-team.ru>, "'WAI Interest Group'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <007901d0a9be$29bd8130$7d388390$@paciellogroup.com>
> From: chaals@yandex-team.ru [mailto:chaals@yandex-team.ru]
> Sent: 18 June 2015 11:36
> Hi,
> In looking at SVG accessibility, we need to understand how users actually
> interact with applications - when using a tablet, or a watch with a
> screenreader, or a headstick, or a keyboard and mouse on a wide screen
> monitor, what do people actually do.
> This isn't a new question, so I am really hoping people can point me to
> literature they consider good, either because it provides a readable and clear
> explanation of well-covered ground such as keyboard users working with
> text-based documents, or because it describes research in an area that is not
> widely understood such as using sonification and motion on a tablet device…

I don't know of a document that directly describes the following (although assume they must be out there). Hope it's useful in any case.

With respect to screen readers, two things are important: the gesture set changes and different modes of exploration are necessary/possible.

When a screen reader is enabled on a touch device the gesture set changes. For example a sighted person will single tap an object to activate it, whilst a screen reader user will single tap to identify it (hear its name/label announced) and double tap to activate it.

Another example is the flick left/right gesture. By default this moves focus to the previous/next screen/view, but when a screen reader is enabled it moves focus to the previous/next object on the current screen.

Exploration modes change when a screen reader is enabled. The left/right flick gestures are one way of exploring objects on the screen. This approach is good for ensuring you discover all objects (or at least those that are available to screen readers). It's also possible to move your finger around the screen in a more arbitrary way, where objects are announced as they're alighted upon. There are slight differences between platforms in terms of which modes work best.

When you get to the content level, there are other ways of interacting with an application. The method of choosing the type of thing you want to explore by (character, word, heading, link etc.) varies depending on the platform, but it's possible to make these kinds of choices whenever a screen reader is enabled.

For example, iOS has the rotor. You spin two fingers in a circular gesture to rotate between the possible forms of navigation. When you arrive at the one you want, perhaps navigation by word, you use an up/down flick gesture to move to the previous/next word in the currently focused area.


Léonie Watson - Senior accessibility engineer
@LeonieWatson @PacielloGroup PacielloGroup.com
Received on Thursday, 18 June 2015 11:59:24 UTC

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