Comparing Audio-Tactile & Screen Reader Crossword Puzzles
Comparison of users' approach to solving a crossword puzzle when using screen-reader vs refreshable braille displays. The different combination modalities and interactions in two cases present unique approaches to solving crosswords. We wanted to learn about the different ways in which users approach crossword puzzles in each interface.
My Role: Lead researcher, Developer.
Participants / Users: Adults who are blind or visually impaired users of screen readers and braille displays.
Initial Interviews: (30 Mins in person interviews)
User Study (60 min)
Strategy Reconstruction (Re-trace the crossword puzzle strategy using the context of think-out loud comments and screen-reader log)
The two systems appear to complement each other in the supported strategies.
Screen Reader Crossword: Screen Reader interfaces help with easier navigation over the list of clues but users find it difficult to orient spatially within a crossword, find intersections and other spatial properties of words. Prior experience and knowledge with screen reader was extremely helpful.
Audio-Tactile Crossword: Participants were more aware of the spatial aspects of the crossword such as intersections, half-filled words etc, and used them in their strategies when solving. Participants however found it hard to skim through clues to find easy words.
Research findings contribute to generative research on multi-modal interfaces for subsequent studies.
Answered initial assumption: Full page refreshable braille displays need not be standalone and can instead complement screen readers since the strategies on are complementary
Hrishikesh Rao and Sile O'Modhrain. 2019. Multimodal Representation of Complex Spatial Data. In Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA '19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Paper INT008, 1–4. https://doi.org/10.1145/3290607.3313249
Hrishikesh V. Rao and Sile O'Modhrain. 2020. 2Across: A Comparison of Audio-Tactile and Screen-Reader based Representations of a Crossword Puzzle. In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '20). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1145/3313831.3376207