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Comparing Computer Versus Human Data Collection Methods for Public Usability Evaluations of a Tactile-Audio Display

Maria Karam, Carmen Branje, John-Patrick Udo, Frank Russo, and Deborah I. Fels

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 5, Issue 4, August 2010, pp. 132 - 146

Article Contents

Conclusions and Future Work

We presented a study that compared two different approaches to gathering user feedback on a system designed to provide universal access to sound information using a tactile display called the Emoti-Chair. The study focused on determining the enjoyment, comfort, and comprehension levels of the tactile displays in the context of a public usability study situated at a science museum. Results from both versions of the study showed no significant differences for most of the questions, which suggest that a computer survey can be effectively automated to acquire basic feedback about the user’s experience with the system in the public domain.

The next phase of our public usability study will focus on deaf and hard of hearing individuals who will have the opportunity to use the Emoti-Chair in a different public space, located in a deaf community and cultural centre in Toronto, Ontario. As such, we will further develop our public usability methodology with a more specialized user group that can provide us with a different kind of feedback on the sensory substitution of sound through tactile vibrations for entertainment applications. Results from the study we have reported have led to the development of a simplified version of the Emoti-Chair, which removes the air jets and motion actuators from the chair. This new version is now in place at the Bob Rumball Centre for the Deaf in Toronto, where public usability studies focusing on the deaf and hard of hearing communities are underway.

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