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User Study: A Detailed View on the Effectiveness and Design of Tactile Charts

Abstract : Charts such as bar or pie charts are often used to represent data and their relation. Tactile charts are widely used to enable blind and visually-impaired people to explore charts through the sense of touch. Effective tactile chart design differs from its visual counterpart due to sequential nature of touch. Accordingly, in a study with 48 blind and visually-impaired participants we investigated the preferences for chart types, design features and errors in reading data values. We developed bar, line and pie charts as well as scatterplots with different layouts and novel design properties. Participants answered questions concerning the readability, content and data, specific design aspects as well as a personal rating. Overall, participants answered 80% of nominal questions regarding minima, maxima, and comparisons, correctly. Blind participants achieved a corrected mean error rate of 4.5%, when reading single points or intersections, for example. More specifically, we directly compare chart types, and discuss the results for specific design considerations (e.g. distances between bars, width of bars, design and use of grid lines in scatterplots) by comparing different charts.
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Christin Engel, Gerhard Weber. User Study: A Detailed View on the Effectiveness and Design of Tactile Charts. 17th IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2019, Paphos, Cyprus. pp.63-82, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-29381-9_5⟩. ⟨hal-02544546⟩

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