Participatory Design with Blind Users: A Scenario-Based Approach

Nuzhah Good Sahib, Tony Stockman, Anastasios Tombros, Oussama Metatla

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

19 Citations (Scopus)
240 Downloads (Pure)


Through out the design process, designers have to consider the needs of potential users. This is particularly important, but rather harder, when the designers interact with the artefact to-be-designed using different senses or devices than the users, for example, when sighted designers are designing an artefact for use by blind users. In such cases, designers have to ensure that the methods used to engage users in the design process and to communicate design ideas are accessible. In this paper, we describe a participatory approach with blind users based on the use of a scenario and the use of dialogue-simulated interaction during the development of a search interface. We achieved user engagement in two ways: firstly, we involved a blind user with knowledge of assistive technologies in the design team and secondly, we used a scenario as the basis of a dialogue between the designers and blind users to simulate interaction with the proposed search interface. Through this approach, we were able to verify requirements for the proposed search interface and blind searchers were able to provide formative feedback, to critique design plans and to propose new design ideas based on their experience and expertise with assistive technologies. In this paper, we describe the proposed scenario-based approach and examine the types of feedback gathered from its evaluation with blind users. We also critically reflect on the benefits and limitations of the approach, and discuss practical considerations in its application.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2013
Subtitle of host publication14th IFIP TC 13 International Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, September 2-6, 2013, Proceedings, Part I
EditorsPaula Kotzé, Gary Marsden, Gitte Lindgaard, Janet Wesson, Marco Winckler
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783642404832
ISBN (Print)9783642404825
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2013
EventINTERACT 2013: 14th IFIP TC 13 International Conference, Cape Town, South Africa - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 2 Sep 20136 Sep 2013
Conference number: 14

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


ConferenceINTERACT 2013
CountrySouth Africa
CityCape Town


  • scenario
  • participatory design
  • visually impaired users


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