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Search engine UIs: remote usability testing with blind persons

This paper describes a remote usability testing which was the final phase of a research project aimed at improving usability of web search tools for blind users who interact via screen reader and voice synthesizer. The testing aimed to evaluate a new implementation of Google user interfaces – according to a set of criteria previously proposed specifically for search engine user interfaces - for the simple search and the result exploration. To prepare the environment for the remote testing we needed to re-implement the original Google interfaces, using Google APIs, PERL programming and XSLT transformations. The results of the testing highlight how Google interfaces, although accessible, may be further improved in order to simplify the interaction for the sightless. In this article, first an overview of the project is introduced; then we discuss the design and implementation of the UIs. Finally, we describe in detail the usability testing which involved 12 totally blind persons.


2005

Authors: Andronico P., Buzzi M., Castillo C., Leporini B.
IIT authors:

Type: Rapporti tecnici, manuali, carte geologiche e tematiche e prodotti multimediali
Field of reference: Information Technology and Communication Systems
Technical Report IIT TR-15/2005