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Exploration tactile non-visuelle des graphiques : nouvelles observations comportementales et techniques d'interaction

Kaixing Zhao 1
1 IRIT-ELIPSE - Etude de L’Interaction Personne SystèmE
IRIT - Institut de recherche en informatique de Toulouse
Abstract : Graphics are used as a powerful tool to present information and can provide people an easier way to understand abstract data representations. As graphical information becomes more and more pervasive in both work and daily life, it is important for people with visual impairments (VI) to be able to explore and understand them. However, despite tremendous efforts in HCI have focused on the accessibility issues of graphical information, access to maps, schemas, mathematical graphs, drawings, etc. is still a great challenge for people with VI. Generally, the adaptation process of tactile graphics is based on methods mastered by tactile document makers and thus difficult to conduct mass production. In addition, professionals are still not very clear about how people with VI organize their hands during the exploration of tactile graphics. However, this information may be useful for professionals to improve the accessibility of graphics. For the first problem, with the recent developments of computing technologies, many interactive systems have been proposed to augment or replace tactile graphics. Among them, some are hybrid systems which combine physical and digital components at the same time while the others are fully digital, which graphical information is presented directly on digital devices (such as commercial mobile phones or tablets). Compared with tactile graphics, although digital graphics could provide more flexibility (easy to modify), their exploration is still very limited due to the lack of tactile cues. In this dissertation, we investigated the possibility of improving the tactile exploration experience of digital graphics by designing an on-hand vibrotactile interface called VibHand, which enables people with VI to explore digital graphics on tablets more easily. To do this, we extended the idea of using the tablet vibration and studied the use of a vibrotactile display on the back of the hand to convey directional and progression information. For the second problem, previous researches confirmed that the design of tactile graphics usually needs to consider not only graphical elements, such as legends, textures, symbols, dots, lines, etc. but also the target users or tasks. However, there is a lack of an efficient method to evaluate users' tactile exploration behavior as well as their perceptual and cognitive capacities while exploring the tactile graphics from a more refined level. Therefore, although we had observed some special organized explorative behaviors before, they have never been systematically discussed and evaluated. Actually, there is a gap between tactile exploration experiences and the adaptation principles of tactile graphics. To tackle this problem, we conducted corresponding research focusing on understanding the tactile exploration of people with VI and proposed a behavioral marker (a novel behavioral observation) called "Tactile Fixation". A tactile fixation occurs when a finger is motionless within a spatial and temporal window during the tactile exploration. Identifying tactile fixations can provide valuable information on the salient areas of the graphics and the exploration strategies of people with VI. Apart from the abovementioned two core foci, in this dissertation, we also explored the possibility of remote collaborative graphics learning which had an explosive demand during the global pandemic. The proposed system, which is called TactileLink, was based on an interactive graphics exploration tool and co-designed with several professionals for people with VI. Overall, the whole dissertation contributes both theoretical and application knowledge to the non-visual tactile exploration of graphics by people with VI.
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Submitted on : Friday, September 3, 2021 - 12:22:09 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 2:23:38 PM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-03333919, version 1


Kaixing Zhao. Exploration tactile non-visuelle des graphiques : nouvelles observations comportementales et techniques d'interaction. Réseaux et télécommunications [cs.NI]. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2021. Français. ⟨NNT : 2021TOU30045⟩. ⟨tel-03333919⟩



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