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From the Lab to People's Home: Lessons from Accessing Blind Participants' Interactions via Smart Glasses in Remote Studies

by   Kyungjun Lee, et al.
University of Maryland
Apple Inc.

Researchers have adopted remote methods, such as online surveys and video conferencing, to overcome challenges in conducting in-person usability testing, such as participation, user representation, and safety. However, remote user evaluation on hardware testbeds is limited, especially for blind participants, as such methods restrict access to observations of user interactions. We employ smart glasses in usability testing with blind people and share our lessons from a case study conducted in blind participants' homes (N=12), where the experimenter can access participants' activities via dual video conferencing: a third-person view via a laptop camera and a first-person view via smart glasses worn by the participant. We show that smart glasses hold potential for observing participants' interactions with smartphone testbeds remotely; on average 58.7 compared to 3.7 participants as it is susceptible to head movements orienting the ear towards a sound source, which highlights the need for a more inclusive camera form factor. We also share our lessons learned when it comes to dealing with lack of screen reader support in smart glasses, a rapidly draining battery, and Internet connectivity in remote studies with blind participants.


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