013 Final Prototype

Final Prototype

012_B Feedback Result

Feedback Result

012_A Design User Testing

Designing Feedback

011 Refine paper

Second Draft

010 Research and Prototype

This week I made a concept prototype comparing the user flow of amazon between general user and screen reader user. Noted the key focus point for developers.

see prototype

009 Research and Prototype

This week I did more research on my case study and adding more information I’ve found into my paper

008 Research and Prototype

I expanded my research focusing on the technical part. researched on the opinions of developers and create a manifesto from their claims and aspects about web accessibility.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 11.29.21 AM

007 Midterm

Click here to download my Midterm paper
This document is readable by screen reader.

006 Abstract Outline

Abstract Outline

005 Research Part 3

Reading, Reviewing and Reflecting

Progress: This week I did more reading as well as continued my interview research, I have:

  • visited an optometrist, learned more statistics fact regarding low vision, asked challenge for low vision people from a doctor’s aspect
  • read 2 books: cockeyed and Being legally blind
  • talked to a mobility trainer for blind people, experienced using human guild and cane to move around with blind fold

I finished reading two of the book I choose last week and really enjoy them. In Cockeyed Ryan Knighton tells his story about how he deal with his blindness and how he didn’t let it get in the way of success. Being legally blind is a guild book for low vision children and their parents. This book contains many technical facts, more importantly, the author adds a lot of his personal experience as someone who lost his vision at 6.

What I find is interesting and helpful is that although they are totally different type of writings, both book have a key element in their discussion — the attitude. In the Cockeyed,  he first tell the story about how he began to lose his eyesight, how it affected his life and relationships and how he came to eventually accept his abilities. And the rest of the book all about he challenging the world with his optimistic. In the being legally blind, the author also mentioned it is important to explain to the kids “why this happened to them”.

This remind me of my discussion with the optometrist Dr.Price. He said since vision impaired is a graduate process, it is important for them to receive promptly rehabilitation. However, most of them will fall into the “5 stages of grief” process, which may accelerate their condition. I kind of understand their felling after doing the blind fold experience. Instead of totally blind my self, I have a pair of glasses to mimic the situation of central vision lost and contract loss. In that case, I cannot see the scene right in front of my and the whole world becomes a lot more darker. But I feel I do not need human guild or cane to move around in that situation, for me I feel this situation does not affect my mobility and I can leave independently by my self. Later I realize I was falling into the “denial” stage. For people in this condition, their partial vision lost does cause them easily ignore information around them and could cause danger without any assistance (for example I cannot see things coming right in front of me or recognize people and signs).

Those materials and experiences make me think for design stuff for vision impaired people,  communication and totally understand their different situation and needs is a crucial part. I will going to talk to more people related to this field, especially people live and work with vision impaired people

Create Response

Inspired by the author’s experience about locating the punk house by himself, I made this audio clip. This audio simulate a experience of a blind person taking subway and walking on the street in New York city.

Please wear headphone in order to have better experience  Media Response


004 Research Part 2

Escape Your Head
Progress: In this week, I turned my focus from the existing technology and service to people who related to this topic. I have:

  • attened a speech by a speaker who train teachers how to teach a blind student
  • visited Helen Keller Services for the Blind
  • visited New York Public Library – Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library
  • talked to a family member of a blind senior

The detailed information will be provided in Field and Domain section.

Domain Field Ingredients

Click here to see a list of all the laws that related to Blindness and vision impaired. Some of the most important ones are:

1. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. This is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. The law contains five titles which are employment, State and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation, and telecommunications.

2. The Rehabilitation Act. This act is signed by president Nixon in 1973. This act is a placement of The Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Title V, which is the fist act related to discrimination against people with disabilities. The act have 5 sections, focusing on issues related to the discrimination in employment, civil right, electronic and information technology.

Those laws, as well as many other state and local government policies, ensures the right for blind people to get job, education and other assist in daily life. However, the limitation still exists. For example, as mentioned by Chancy, the volunteer of Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, New York state have laws to ensure the training of employees with disability. But there is no department obligate to offer training and teaching for students, seniors, unemployed and unregistered people who have vision challenged. Therefore, those people could only go to non-profit organization for help. Also, although government have defined “blind” and “legally blind”, there is still a gap between “legally blind” and low vision.

Social organization:
Because of the gap between government support and actual needs. Most of the support for low vision people comes from non-profit organizations. Helen Keller Services for the Blind(HKSB) works mostly relied on social workers, offering a large range of support and tutoring for vision impaired people. As the first non-profit organization for vision impaired people, The officer I met, Liz, told me they have about 200 faculties(probably the smallest in New York this day) and recently start to accept volunteers. As a branches of New York Public Library system, Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library is open to both vision impaired and sighted people. They provide a Netflix-style book renting system for vision impaired visitors, and also tutors for multiple supporting technology.

Education for people with low vision varies from ages to conditions. This is the field that requires a lot of people to participate in. Trainer for parents in child early education, for teachers who have low vision student, for adults who recently lost their sight to re-arrange and adapt their living space, for Braille reading, for supporting technology learning. So far most of those trainers are volunteers and social workers. When visiting the library, I had chance to talk to a study group who are learning how to use Voiceover in iPhone. They all believes the supporting technology and the teaching lessons are very helpful and important to them. Their trainer also mentioned they get a lot of people comes for help for some simple technology problem about their supporting devices which could be simply solved by one step. However, without easy approach to this education platform, some people may end up with purchasing another devices which may cost thousands of dollars.

Family Members:
I have talked to one of my friend. Her grandfather is having a low vision due to Glaucoma. According to her, as a family member of someone with a low vision, the biggest challenge is to find a good balance when offering care. Especially for seniors who lost their sight, they maybe also have other diseases, like her grandfather Mr. Lin. Besides Glaucoma, Lin also have diabetes and diabetic depression. Some most important entertainment for blind people is through audio, but Lin’s age and depression made him “cannot focus on laud sound”. And also although therapist suggest Lin to hang out for relaxing his depression, his eye condition made the family insecure to

From my conversation with my friend and faculties in HKSB, not only the people with vision challenged, but also the family members need to be trained to learn how to communicate and offering support. Especially in the early stage of child’s education and for adults who just lost their vision, it is really important for family members to learn the “appropriate approach”. Otherwise that may cause psychology problem in future.


Being legally Blind     by Justin Oldham
This is a guild book for children with vision impaired and their parents. The book provides science explanation as well as personal experience about blindness.  I am very impressed when the author, who becomes legally blind at the age of 6, says when he realized the upcoming blindness, he asked his mother for a book which could explain this situation to him. But until the age of 45, he still could not find any books like that, so he decided to write on himself. So far as I have read, this is a thoughtful and clear guidance for parents to communicate, teach, and learn with their children who is legally blind.

Cockeyed    by Ryan Knighton
This is a memoir of a writer and an artiest who lost his sight at 18. He detailedly document his emotional changes when gradually lost his sight due to disease, and how his conquer the “darkness of his life”. From the table of contents and book description, he write about how he learned to use a cane, how to navigate himself to a punk house, how to drive(Yes! drive!), how he travel to another side of the world and teach kids English in Korea. It is an interesting book to learn and understand blind people’s life and feeling, and also the challenge they face in life.

Doing Disability Differently
This book is a good source about human centered design for people with special needs. It developed out a series of project, mainly working with disabled artists, to explore the way for disability. Not just focusing on blindness, the book offers strategies and methods to think and design from different angle from both the designer and disable people’s aspect.

Accessibility Handbook
In this book the author explained the reasons and methods of establishing a accessible internet environment for people with disability. Also not just focused on blind users, this book went from physical design to digital, noted tutor and easy neglect point for designers.

I also find this short novel which is interesting to read:
You need to go upstairs

003 Research

link to timeline for historical events

Visual Synthesis

Mood board

Mindmap second iteration

System Diagram second iterationsystem map


  1. Accessibility Handbook, 1st Edition by Katie Cunningham
  2. Assistive Technology: Access for All Students, 2nd Edition by Lawrence A. Beard

  3. Early Focus: Working With Young Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired and Their Families ”, 2nd Edition by Rona L. Pogrund

Iterate your Question

I am studying user experience design for low vision people

because I want to find out a balanced between the function and aesthetics design for both people with sights and with vision impaired

in order to help my reader/audience understand the necessity of accessibility design

Grid of Nine

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 5.52.11 PM


002 Establishing a Research Problem

Three Step Formula: 
Topic 1:           Design for vision impaired
Question:       What kind of supporting technique exist?
Significance:  To understand the current living environment for low vision people

Topic 2:           Depression
Question:       How can depression being diagnosed and treated?
Significance:  To understand the treatment for depression patient

Topic 3:           Language learning
Question:       How does people learn a language?
Significance:  To understand the general process of learning a language, find the challenge of learning a second language

View my resources


Design for vision impaired
It is hard to find critical writing about supporting resource for vision impaired people. Some articles I have found is about 30 years ago.Many of the critical writing I have found are about technical innovation and education for children. But few mentions the marketing or industrial design. This situation itself shows a lack of concerned in this area.

In his TED talk, Dave Power believes that the technology for vision impaired is already mature but the quality of “service” is still low. I partially agree with him since the current assistive technologies do play an important role for supporting low vision people. However, he ignore the affordability of these technologies. For example, the most common used screen reader software, JAWS, cost $895.00 for its home edition.

For the service aspect, as Power mentioned, the user experiences for those assistive technology is comparatively low since developer usually ignore to considered for low vision people’s need. Both the articles and additional information I have found support this idea.

Contrary to my previous finding, I realized that although current , public is still lack of understanding about depression. Even in the academic world, the argument about the definition of depression still exist.

I have watched several TED talk and writings from people who suffered from depression, but found out disappointedly none of them mentioned how the actual treatment happened. Many of them described it as a “sudden overcome”. Even the technical writing I found said “the treatment depends on different situations”

Diagnose of depression is also a big challenge. One of my reading mentions the Beck Depression Inventory which is a self-report questionnaire for measuring the severity of depression. This is one of the most common source for diagnosing depression. But both my reading and my personal thoughts agree that this inventory has some limitation due to its subjectivity.

Language learning
Almost all language resources believes the best way to learn a language is in an immersive situation. However, it is hard for people to put themselves in an immersive environment. Current Internet, Mobile application and meetup provide many good resources to creating a immersive environment, but those 1. only practice few aspect of language(reading, speaking, etc.)   2. Unsustainable for people with heavy work or busy schedule.

Rework Three Step Formula 
Topic 1:           Design for vision impaired
Question:       How does current technology limit the low vision people’s living
Significance:  To find out the limitation and the place of improvement of current design

Topic 2:           Depression
Question:       How can depression being diagnosed and treated?
Significance:  To find an efficient way to depression recognition

Topic 3:           Language learning
Question:       Why people start and stop to learn a language
Significance:  To find out the motivation simulating people keep learning

001 Exploration of Interests

I started brainstorming about the things I am interest with. Most of them come from the design and artwork I have seen. I am impressed by how artwork delivered expression by different materials, and how designs under restriction could satisfying human needs while also providing good user experience. Different types of game also give me many inspiration about their moda and how they attract players.

The interests come from two type. One is directly related to the inspiration I have listed before. The other one is related to personal experiences and the topic I am concerned.

Topic with Claim
My selection of interest card is “Low vision”,”mental health”(narrow down to depression later) and “Language learning”. Those are the topics I am interested in and could easily grow sympathy with. claim
Low vision: The existing vision assistive tools (screen reader, light and color sensor, labeling pan etc.) are fragile with very high price. Many tools and guidance for them is also user unfriendly because of the designer’s lack of awareness.

Depression: General public have low awareness of depression. Moreover, patients refused to see doctor and get treatment due to the misunderstanding and stubborn. Although depression harmfully affect the relationship with people, family members and friends does not understand the situation of patients.

Language learning: More people are interesting in learning extra language for personal interest or business purpose. However, the people is easy to give up in the middle way.

Grid of NinegridOfNine