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Beyond Mere Listening: A User Experience Record Manual to Improve Accessibility of Public Mobile Applications for the Visually Impaired

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Title
Beyond Mere Listening: A User Experience Record Manual to Improve Accessibility of Public Mobile Applications for the Visually Impaired
Other Titles
듣는 것, 그 이상을 위한: 시각장애인의 공공 모바일 어플리케이션 개선을 위한 사용자 경험 기록 메뉴얼
Author
Jang, Sungwon
Advisor
Lee, Seung Ho
Keywords
Digital accessibility; Public mobile application; Service Manual; Mobile application development process
Issue Date
2021-08
Publisher
Graduate School of Creative Design Engineering
Abstract
Accessibility of e-government is a welfare issue for disabled people, include visual impairment users. It is a worldwide phenomenon that information and communication technologies are applied to government services, which is often termed as e-government. South Korea is one of the leading adopters of e-government, making continuous efforts to reach a fully interactive service delivery (Chung, 2015) with a goal to make government services available anywhere and at any time through the likes of websites, mobile applications, and kiosks. However, a large number of citizens experience difficulties when using such digital services since many of these services are developed without complying with accessibility principles. People with disabilities and age-related impairments have limited access that leads to the ‘digital divide.’ So, this project finds out why digital public services are designed without following accessibility principles and help provide a solution to this problem, however small. This project aims to explore the various challenges that the visually impaired face in using e-government mobile applications services and to make designerly proposals to improve accessibility regardless of the materiality of the proposal. To do so, I try to scope the project by understanding the digital ecosystem through which the visually impaired manage their daily lives. In order to understand the lived experiences of users, civil servants, and developers that engage with the use and development of the application I have conducted user studies including interviews, observations, and contextual inquiry. The first is to find out what e-government has efforts and proposals to improve the accessibility of public app services through literature research. And figure out what limitations and problems it has. The second is to explore the challenges that visually impaired users face from digital services through field studies, including interviews and observations. I also get opinions and insight from civil servants and experts on why the government efforts are not working. Ultimately, I aim to help build user experience record manual through which more equitable public digital services can be designed with improved accessibility so that anyone, including the visually impaired, can use them without any trouble. This thesis is truthful documentation of an attempt to help reduce the frustration of users with visual impairment in using public mobile applications. If accessibility principles were followed in the application development process, anyone, including the visually impaired, would have been able to use them.
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Department of Creative Design Engineering
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