Tangible Web Layout Design For Blind And Visually Impaired People

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Although past research has enabled blind and visually impaired (BVI) developers to access information better and code more efficiently, they still lack accessible ways to create visual layouts. This research highlights the potential of using a tangible user interface (TUI) to enable BVI people to design web layouts, and presents Sparsha, a novel TUI for layout design.

I conducted a semi-structured interview and a co-design session with a blind participant. Based on the elicited insights and designs, I implemented Sparsha using 3D-printed tactile elements, an Arduino-powered sensing circuit and a Web server that renders the final HTML layout.

Users place tactile beads on a base to represent HTML elements on the screen. The Arduino senses the type and location of these beads and sends it to a web server which renders the correct HTML element in the correct location on the client browser, and provides audio feedback.