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20-10-2020 | Long Paper

User-centered system design for assisted navigation of visually impaired individuals in outdoor cultural environments

Journal:
Universal Access in the Information Society
Authors:
Charis Ntakolia, George Dimas, Dimitris K. Iakovidis
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Abstract

The marginalization of people with disabilities, such as visually impaired individuals (VIIs), has driven scientists to take advantage of the fast growth of smart technologies and develop smart assistive systems (SASs) to bring VIIs back to social life, education and even to culture. Our research focuses on developing a human–computer interactive system that will guide VIIs in outdoor cultural environments by offering universal access to cultural information, social networking and safe navigation among other services. The VI users interact with computer-based SAS to control the system during its operation, while having access to remote connection with non-VIIs for external guidance and company. The development of such a system needs a user-centered design (UCD) that incorporates the elicitation of the necessary requirements for a satisfying operation for the VI users. In this paper, we present a novel SAS system for VIIs and its design considerations, which follow a UCD approach to determine a set of operational, functional, ergonomic, environmental and optional requirements of the system. Both VIIs and non-VIIs took part in a series of interviews and questionnaires, from which data were analyzed to form the requirements of the system for both the on-site and remote use. The final requirements are tested by trials and their evaluation and results are presented. The experimental investigations gave significant feedback for the development of the system, throughout the design process. The most important contribution of this study is the derivation of requirements applicable not only to the specific system under investigation, but also to other relevant SASs for VIIs.

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