Design Specifications

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Inclusive Models

  1. Use Model
  2. Inclusive Design Guidelines
  3. global and component specifications


Overview

To ensure that the identified user needs are met and their potential interactions are supported by the P4A infrastructure, a set of global user experience design specifications have been established in this section. In addition, a set of design specifications have been developed for individual P4A functional packages that focus on three main phases of the user’s interaction with a functional package:

  1. Point of entry: user encounters a functional package’s interface for the first time. The entry experience changes as the user continues using the functional package and gradually learns how to navigate the interface and operate its different functionalities.
  2. Engagement: user gets involved with the interface and starts using its functions to accomplish a particular task.
  3. Post engagement: user successfully/unsuccessfully completes a task or achieves his/her goal. At this phase the user may either leave or get involved in another interaction cycle and stay within the P4A ecosystem.

It should be noted that these design specifications are specifications for functionality and best practices to maximize inclusivity. They are not instructions for implementation, and they do not determine how a functional package should be built, and do not provide granular level of design directions.

Global GPII Design Specifications

The following design specifications have been adapted from the Accessibility Standards chapter on the Inclusive Learning Handbook as well as the WCAG guidelines.

Perceivability: Content should be consumable

Content should be made available in different and adjustable modalities so that learners who are more comfortable or only able to consume content in a particular mode have that option available to them. Some ways this can be accomplished:

  • Make the default content perceivable to help users with their initial navigation of the interface (e.g. avoid small text, low contrast colors, moving or flashing objects/animations, etc.)
  • Make the language options visible
  • Make things easier to see and hear (e.g., adding options to increase/decrease contrast, change text size, enable self voicing, change volume, etc.)
  • Provide text alternatives for non-text content (e.g. captions and other alternatives for multimedia)
  • Do not solely rely on visuals/colors to convey information
  • Maintain the general content layout as the user makes changes on the interface (e.g. avoid changing the general layout as the user zooms in/out of text on screen)

Understandability: Content should be plain and clear to comprehend

Different users have different thresholds for wading through the complexity of content, and complexity of the content's articulation/presentation. The written content should neither be difficult to understand nor presented in a complicated layout. Some things that can be done:

  • Provide a mechanism for content simplification: content prioritization, linearization, and reduction of non-essential clutter
  • Make text readable and understandable (e.g. provide a description for all acronyms, avoid technical jargon, etc.)
  • Make content appear and operate in predictable ways (e.g. avoid changing the layout and content structure as the user navigates to different parts of the interface, avoid multiple levels of submenus and unnecessary pop up modals and dialogs, provide breadcrumbs to inform users where they are in the interface, etc.)
  • Be consistent with the use of words and phrases across the infrastructure: users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing

Operability: Interactions should be operable by everyone

Different users have different motor skills, sensitivities and levels of dexterity. Thus, the interface should accommodate various types of input methods. To achieve this you can:

  • Make sure that the resource is usable using different inputs, such as mouse, keyboard, switch, eye tracking, etc. (both a combination of different inputs, and individual inputs)
  • Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  • Give users enough time to read and use content (e.g. avoid time based media and modals, or let the user declare their preference for this if possible)
  • Do not use content that causes seizures, such as large and bright flashing images or multimedia

Robustness: Resources should be compatible with tools now and later

With the quick advancement of technology, especially mobile technology, users may need to upgrade their existing tools or access them on different platforms more often. Thus, the compatibility between current and future user tools should be maximized. In situations that devices or tools are not compatible, user should be clearly informed prior to taking any further actions and upgrading their system.

Design Specifications for P4A Functional Packages

The following design specifications have been developed based on the user research results. In this study each user group indicated a wide range of challenges and needs that hindered their daily life/work activities as well as a set of desirable solutions that could facilitate those activities. These needs and preferences were linked to the P4A main functional packages in order to reveal the gaps and consequently the required functionality to address those gaps within each functional package.

Design Specifications for DeveloperSpace (DSpace)

Point of Entry:

  • Provide a clear introduction to the DSpace (definition of the space, offerings, potential users)
  • Showcase the resourcefulness of the space in an unobtrusive way (highlighting or showcasing active projects, links to libraries and accessibility components, a mechanism for fostering a community of experts interested in AT, etc.)
  • Provide easy-to-find and use search function

Engagement:

In DSpace, users either author content or consume it as they engage with the interface. Thus, both types of interactions should be considered when designing and developing this functional package.

The Interface for Content Authors:

  • Simplify the submission process to encourage participation (e.g. make clear if users can save, edit, continue an unfinished session, allow entries to be incomplete and still published, allow users to customize fields)
  • Provide built-in support to create multi-modal content
  • Provide built-in options to localize the solution’s language
  • Provide help/guidelines/templates for writing technical documentation
  • Provide help/guidelines/templates for open sourcing the source code
  • Provide help/guidelines/templates for licensing (open and closed)
  • Provide help/guidance for cross platform development (Android, iOS, Windows, etc.)
  • Provide built-in options to identify compatible technologies and devices with the submitted solution

The Interface for Content Consumers:

  • Provide a clear content structure and simplified layout (e.g. avoid overwhelming the user by showcasing all data at once. However, provide options for drilling down once specific information is requested)
  • Provide means for users to easily search, find and compare projects
  • Provide easy to follow accessibility guidelines
  • Provide easy to follow guidance on how to integrate accessibility features in mainstream products
  • Provide multimodal tutorials, work samples, and exemplars
  • Provide different means to look for partners, such as developers, researchers, designers, end users, humanitarian organizations, or mainstream product organizations across the P4A ecosystem
  • Provide localized guides for available financial resources, accessibility laws and policies
  • Provide help/guide/templates to do user research considering ethics and user’s privacy
  • Provide links to available market and trend research

Post Engagement

  • Provide efficient ways of maintaining content to keep the solution up to date
  • Provide means to build longer lasting relationships with end users and keep them connected with projects that they are interested in
  • Provide more effective ways to continue collaborating among partners across the P4A ecosystem (e.g. provide online collaboration and project management tools)

Design Specifications for Unified Listing

Point of Entry:

  • Provide a clear introduction to the Unified Listing (definition of the space, offerings, potential users)
  • Provide options for users to organize and view the data based on their preferences
  • Provide easy-to-find and use search function
  • Provide advanced search options to optimize the search process  

Engagement:

Similar to DSpace, users of the Unified Listing either list/register solutions in the database or they consume the registered content and browse through the list.

The Interface for Content Authors:

  • Simplify the submission process to encourage participation (e.g. make clear if users can save, edit, continue an unfinished session, allow entries to be incomplete and still published, allow users to customize fields)
  • Provide built-in support to create multi-modal listings
  • Provide built-in support to link the registered solution with available local policies and available financial resources
  • Provide built-in support to link the registered solution with available local experts and professionals
  • Provide built-in support to link the registered solution with similar solutions listed in the Unified Listing or in other external databases
  • Provide help/guide/template to include multimodal instructions and documentation for the registered solution
  • Provide built-in support and guidance for search optimization so the user’s project or product can be easily found
  • Provide options for promoting a solution in the Unified Listing
  • Provide an option to include academic research projects in the database
  • Provide an option to match solution with applicable markets and potential user groups

The Interface for Content Consumers:

  • Provide a clear content structure and simplified layout with options to filter the database based on language, available financial support, compatibility with various ATs
  • Provide help/guidance to compare and assess different solutions
  • Provide options to preview or test solutions
  • Provide options to help user determine solution’s compatibility with their existing technologies and assistive devices
  • Provide options to connect a registered item on the list to available volunteers, experts or developers across the P4A ecosystem
  • Provide support to facilitate easier and faster ways to connect users with product representatives, tech support and specialists

Post Engagement

  • Provide multimodal ways of rating listed items, writing a review and posting a question
  • Provide effective ways for user to build longer lasting relationships with vendors, developers and service providers (e.g. newsletters, promotions, product samples, etc.)

Design Specifications for Open Marketplace

Point of Entry

  • Provide a clear introduction to the Open Marketplace (definition of the space, offerings, potential users)
  • Provide options for users to organize and view the data based on their preferences
  • Provide easy-to-find and use search function
  • Provide advanced search options to optimize the search process  

Engagement

In the Open Market Place, users can submit a project as well as browse through the submitted projects.

The Interface for Content Authors:

  • Streamline the submission process and provide the user with built-in tools/templates/guides to create multimodal and multi-language project submissions
  • Provide options to easily maintain, edit and modify submitted projects
  • Provide help/guide/template to help users estimate the required funding or skillsets to accomplish a submission
  • Provide built-in support to promote the project in the P4A ecosystem
  • Provide recommendations regarding similar solutions or projects across the P4A ecosystem or external databases  
  • Provide efficient means of connecting the submitted project to the right people across different functional packages in P4A ecosystem
  • Provide secure systems to distribute the collected fund amongst the right parties
  • Provide help/guide/templates for licensing the solutions
  • Provide guide/help to involve the project owner in the process of design, development and evaluation
  • Provide help/guide to access available financial resources or connect with funders

The Interface for Content Consumers:

  • Provide options to receive notification regarding projects that are a subject of interest
  • Provide options to connect with others who are interested in the same project across the P4A ecosystem
  • Provide means of virtual collaboration

Post Engagement

  • Provide options to get project status updates
  • Provide options to share final outcome in the P4A ecosystem
  • Provide options to list the outcome in the Unified Listing
  • Provide options to recognize the efforts and contribution of people who participated in a project

Design Specifications for Assistance on Demand (AoD)

Point of Entry

  • Provide a clear introduction to the AoD (definition of the space, offerings, potential users)
  • Provide different assistance levels for different audience
  • Provide options to localize the language
  • Provide options for users to organize and view the data based on their preferences
  • Provide easy-to-find and use search function
  • Provide advanced search options to optimize the search process  

Engagement

In AoD, supports three types of interactions. First service providers need to register their services/solutions. Second, users can browse through the provided services/solutions. and lastly, users can interact with a service/solution.

The Interface for Content Authors:

  • Simplify the submission process to encourage participation (e.g. make clear if users can save, edit, continue an unfinished session, allow entries to be incomplete and still published, allow users to customize fields)
  • Provide built-in support to create multimodal services/solutions
  • Provide built-in support to link the registered service/solution with available local policies and available financial resources
  • Provide help/guide/template to include multimodal instructions and documentation for the registered service/solution
  • Provide built-in support and guidance for search optimization
  • Provide built-in support to help promoting service/solution
  • Provide help/guide/templates for service/solution pricing, terms and conditions
  • Provide a database of existing and available AT related technologies and devices and what they do
  • Provide a comprehensive list of organizations and experts that provide specific services
  • Provide best practices examples
  • Provide help/guide/template to better manage client’s documentations

The Interface for Content Consumer:

  • Provide a clear content structure and simplified layout with options to filter the database based on language, available financial support, compatibility with other ATs
  • Provide options for users to easily compare and assess different services/solutions
  • Provide guides for available options to finance equipment and professional care services

The Interface for Common Interaction Between Author and Consumer:

  • Provide options for both groups to assure the legitimacy of the other party
  • Provide secure and safe payment transaction methods
  • Provide options for immediate communication and messaging between both parties
  • Provide built-in support to maintain end user’s privacy

Post Engagement

  • Provide more efficient ways for users to rate the received services and make comments
  • Provide users with mechanisms to ask for refund or return a received solution
  • Provide opportunities for users to become service providers