CSUN Presentation, On-Demand: Kiosk Accessibility: Understanding the Kiosk User Experience

Presenters: Laura Miller and Rachael Bradley

Watch the recording of “Kiosk Accessibility: Understanding the Kiosk User Experience.”

Vispero assists customers with creating accessible kiosks. A user study was recently conducted with individuals who are blind and who have low vision about their kiosk experiences. We have put together a list of best practices to share with you based on existing standards, lessons learned and results of the user study.

This discussion addresses the needs of all individuals with disabilities but will focus on the blind and low vision experience. Similarly, we will discuss all parts of the kiosk but will focus particularly on software.

Kiosks are often deployed with the bare minimum of accessibility to meet ADA height and reach regulations. These kiosks are typically not usable or accessible for end users who are blind or have low vision. For users who are blind or who have low vision, an audio jack and non-touchscreen navigation with screen reader technology are required in order to interact with the kiosk.

Additionally, “usable” and “accessible” are two different sides to the same coin. For example, some kiosk experiences may be accessible but take users an extraordinary amount of time to complete a task. If the task requires data entry, for instance, with no full Qwerty keyboard on the device, that kiosk may be accessible but is not usable as users will take an inordinate amount of time to complete the forms. This experience makes the kiosk unusable for those who are blind or who have low vision.

Best practices for an accessible kiosk experience include considering accessibility from the initial design and wireframing of the kiosk application. The order of information, input requirements, confirmation of information, user data privacy, contrast, verbosity and other factors must be considered when developing an application that works well for all users. Ultimately, adding a keypad device is also useful for users that can not reach the screen, cannot utilize the touchscreen because they are blind, or use a single pointer device.

Developing an accessible kiosk requires consideration and attention from the start of the kiosk project. Hardware design and application selection (or development if it is a custom application) should consider accessibility from the start. While hardware and enclosures can be adjusted and repaired, it is easier and will lead to a more integrated user experience for individuals with disabilities to consider accessibility from the very start of a project.

User testing is a critical component in any kiosk deployment as the end-user experience will vary significantly based on the content and goal of the kiosk itself. Payment kiosks will need to consider the location, placement, and communication of payment devices, while information kiosks will need to consider the volume and difficulty of inputting information. Even kiosks that seem to have no need to service a user who is blind or low vision should be designed with accessibility in mind, as the blind user may need to make a payment on someone else’s behalf.

This presentation reviews these and other best practices for creating accessible kiosks. If you are evaluating or purchasing kiosks this talk will help you understand what is needed to create an effective, usable, and enjoyable experience for individuals with disabilities.

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