A study on the factors affecting web site usability for the visually impaired


Gokongwei College of Engineering


Industrial Engineering

Document Type

Archival Material/Manuscript

Publication Date



As the growing acceptance of online services becomes more significant, modern society calls for the need to consider Web usability. People who have impairments encounter problems such as not reaching their desired goal, and often feeling lost and helpless while navigating a Web site which can be really frustrating and time-consuming. In the pursuit of resolving the problems encountered by them, people developed a number of accessibility guidelines and assistive devices. Nevertheless, these alone are not enough to cater their needs in achieving their goals online. Thus, the rising new field of Web usability for the visually impaired is a promising area of research. This will help establish the importance of designing usable. Web sites which will provide convenient access to information and will not in any way discriminate people with visual impairments.

Although researches on Web usability for the sighted exist, more in-depth researches addressing the growing need of effective Web navigation for the visually impaired are necessary. Previous researches did not consider the menu structure, the length of link, and the number of links as factors affecting Web usability for the visually impaired and the relationship of these factors for effective Web navigation or performance. This incorporated aspects of cognitive load as a design dimension of usability. Web factors were empirically tested and validated using Design of Experiment (DOE). Response variables were measured using task completion time, number of keystrokes, Post-study System Usability Questionnaire (PSSUQ) score, and NASA TLX test ratings. These measurements were used to evaluate the web design's efficiency, effectiveness, satisfaction and cognitive load, load, respectively. Consequently, summated usability metrics (SUM) was used to integrate aspects of usability to evaluate the overall web usability. This can be used by web developers to know what aspects of design they should focus on. In addition, some criteria guidelines were also enumerated.

By not addressing this need immediately, much is being loss in terms of the knowledge and quality of life for the visually impaired to reach their fullest potential. Much loss is obtained in terms of having a wider range of audience which will in turn translate to potential profits for companies and promotion of equality among human being in ensuring a better future for everyone. As a fact of existence, nobody is secured of lifetime visual capabilities. Making the Web accessible and designing it to be usable for the visually impaired in this broader sense is obviously valuable.



Databases and Information Systems


Web sites—Design; Accessible Web sites for people with disabilities

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