S1-COMP8-4 - Examining the Perceptions of People with Disabilities on the Use of Accessibility Standards in Web Interface Design

3. Research Work In Progress
Jia Lin Cheoh1 , Behzad Beigpourian1, Siqing Wei1, Daniel Ferguson1, Matthew Ohland1
1 Purdue University

This work-in-progress paper focuses on how a small sample of people with disabilities perceives the usability of web interfaces designed to meet current standards for people with disabilities. Developing accessible interfaces for online educational tools is necessary in providing an inclusive learning environment. Seeking the perceptions of people with disabilities is a logical design step, but it is even more critical due to the emerging evidence on the limitations of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the standard currently used in the design process. In this work, we report the perceptions of people with disabilities on an example web interface designed according to WCAG standards. In this work-in-progress, we employed 43 workers from Amazon Mechanical Turk to compare the existing interface for CATME (an educational platform for team formation and peer evaluation) to an interface implemented according to web content accessibility guidelines while giving why they might prefer the features of either interface. The majority of the participants preferred the WCAG-compliant designs, a few participants provided useful reflections on their preference for the original interface. For example, WCAG criteria 1.4.11 require that hovering over a button results in a color change of the button from blue to white. Approximately half of the participants supported this feature, but the rest preferred a different method of highlighting a target button. We infer that WCAG criteria should be followed with continued reflections on user-centered design, particularly given that several WCAG criteria apply on a case-by-case basis according to the overall design of the web interface. In this paper, we perform a detailed analysis on the feedbacks and reasons given by the participants on the implementation of various accessibility criteria and examine their reasoning to understand the rationale of this small sample of people with disabilities in web designs. The input from this study will guide further exploration with a larger sample of participants. We hope that our research findings will provide further insights into the development of accessible educational tools.