App-boost: better Universally Designed apps

Smartphones, apps and appcessories provide disabled people with access to standard technology and to completely new compensatory aids. How universally designed these apps are can vary greatly, as we found in the Appcessories project in 2016. At worst, users of screen readers, switch control or other assistive technology may find apps completely inaccessible. Our hypothesis is that lack of expertise among developers is why many apps are not universally designed. We want to motivate developers to acquire this expertise.

A positive finding in the Appcessories project was that feedback seemed to lead to improvements. MediaLT is therefore proceeding with a larger survey to determine the effect on producers of the various forms of feedback relating to accessibility challenges i apps. We compare feedback in open media and closed feedback. We evaluate how effective text feedback is compared to, for example, the use of video.

Facebook and other social media are used collect as much project data as possible. A Facebook group has been set up where disabled users, professionals in Universal Design and app developers can participate. We have developed a guide with procedures for reporting mistakes, and advice on how best to explain problems, this is to help "ordinary" users provide feedback about accessibility. In addition to valuable knowledge about how effective reporting accessibility errors in apps is, we hope that the project will bring many, practical and useful improvements to existing apps.

We want to give a boost to the improvement of accessibility and universal design of standard apps.The main project objective, through analysis of the feedback, is to find out how best to influence producers so they will give a positive boost to universal design of apps.

The project is being carried out in collaboration with NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) in Gjøvik.

The project is funded by:

The Delta Centre