SUM: an exploration of Shared User Models and interface adaptations to improve accessibility of mobile touchscreen interactions


Touchscreens are ever-present in technologies today. The large featureless sensors are rapidly replacing the physical keys and buttons on a wide array of digital technologies; the most common is the mobile device. Gaining popularity across all demographics and endorsed for superior interface flexibility of soft designs and rich gestural interactions, the touchscreen currently plays a pivotal role in digital technologies. However, just as the touchscreen has enabled many to engage with digital technologies, its barriers to access are excluding many others with visual and motor impairments. The contemporary techniques to address the accessibility issues fail to consider the variable nature of abilities between people, and the ever-changing characteristics of an individual’s impairment. User models for personalisation are often constructed from stereotypical generalisations of the similarities of people with disabilities, neglecting to recognise the unique characteristics of the individuals themselves. Existing strategies for measuring abilities and performance require users to complete exhaustive training exercises that are disruptive from the intended interactions, and result in the creation of descriptions of a user’s performance for that particular instance.

Thesis (Ph.D.) - University of Dundee
Kyle Montague
Associate Professor