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Feel the Web: Towards the Design of Haptic Screen Interfaces for Accessible Web Browsing

Andrii Soviak, Vikas Ashok, Yevgen Borodin, Yury Puzis and I.V. Ramakrishnan

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


Web browsing with screen readers is tedious and frustrating, largely due to the inability of blind screen-reader users to get spatial information about the structure of web pages and utilize it for effective navigation. Haptic interfaces have the potential to provide blind users with a tactile “feel” for the 2-D layout of web pages and help them focus screen reading on specific parts of the webpage. In this preliminary work, we explore the utility of a simple haptic web-browsing interface – tactile overlays, and report on a preliminary user study with 10 blind participants who performed various web-browsing tasks with and without these overlays. We also analyzed the user-interaction behavior and explored the appropriate design choices and their tradeoffs in the space of haptic-interface design for accessible web browsing.

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