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Making Stock Market Charts Accessible to Investors with Visual Impairments

Hong Zou and Jutta Treviranus

The 17th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2015)
Lisbon, Portugal, October 26-28, 2015


Abstract

While a majority of stock market investors make profitable use of sophisticated online interactive charts, individuals with visual impairments are found to encounter sensory, cognitive and emotional barriers in using them. This paper describes an inclusive design exercise undertaken with screen reader users to co-design alternative interfaces using non-visual modalities to interact with stock market charts so as to lead to a virtuous cycle of economic inclusion. An iterative, user-centered design process using HCI methods was carried out to evaluate and refine three interaction solutions using audio input, text input and dropdown menus respectively to enhance the accessibility and usability of stock market charts for screen reader users. The findings revealed that, although the dropdown menu solution emerged as the most useful, and was preferred over the audio input and text input solutions, users desired to have as many options as possible to select from, based on task contexts and personal preferences. User feedback confirmed that a one-size-fits-all design model is not ideal for meeting diverse users’ needs within the widest possible range of contexts. And, that optimal inclusive design would integrate personalization and flexible configurations while also supporting self-determination and self-knowledge. The resulting design also proved to be potentially useful to financial novices.


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