MSU UARC is shutting down effective June 30, 2021. We are no longer taking on new projects.


Morning Sessions

Talking Points: A Mobile Orientation and Information System for the Visually Impaired

Mark Newman, University of Michigan School of Information

Much of the information designed to help people navigate the built environment is conveyed through visual channels, which means it is not accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Because of this, visually impaired travelers often have difficulty finding their way and discovering new locations in an unfamiliar environment. In this paper, we examine how mobile location-based computing systems can be used to increase visually impaired travelers’ sense of independence. A set of 16 interviews with visually impaired individuals showed that increasing one’s general spatial awareness is the key to greater independence. This insight guided the design of Talking Points 3 (TP3), a smartphone-based application that allows users to get information about locations in the surrounding environment in a variety of ways. We conducted studies with 8 legally blind participants in three buildings to explore the extent to which and how TP3 helps promote spatial awareness for its users. Results shed light on how TP3 helped increase awareness of the environment, specifically in terms of how it helped users find destinations, allowed them to serendipitously discover new points of interest, helped them to improvise solutions to problems encountered, and, in general, provided them with a greater sense of independence.

The Art of Mobile User Experience Research

Kris Mihalic, Nokia

Mobile UX research differs from Web based research in many ways, while retaining the basic principles. This talk highlights key aspects of mobile UX research and shows how it fits into the development process, business needs, and product strategy. The talk references specific examples of mobile research on award-winning consumer products.

Building Mobile Experiences: Testing Rapid Functional Prototypes in Real Contexts of Use

Frank Bentley, Motorola

The mobile device is a novel computation tool because of its integration into our daily lives. When creating new services that take advantage of our interactions with the world and the people in it, it's important to get early data on how that new service works in the wild. Usability evaluations or a lab study simply do not suffice.

Understanding how a new concept fits into the patterns in daily life allows for a deep understanding of the value of a given concept and how it can be improved as it makes it way towards a product. This talk will share experiences from building rapid prototypes of new concepts at Motorola and the multi-week evaluations we have performed in the everyday lives of our participants.

New Usability Process at the State of Michigan

Chuck Baird, Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget

Assistive technology experts demonstrate and discuss how persons with visual impairments use various devices and Web applications to access the Internet and other forms of information. The demonstrations highlight accessibility concerns with several web sites, e.g., finance, shopping, and weather web sites, when using assistive technologies.

Best Practices for Mobile Application Design

Jason Withrow, Washtenaw Community College Internet Professional Program

This presentation integrates theory and practice, arriving at a core set of principles and practices to inform the design of your next mobile application. A wide range of mobile devices and capabilities will be considered, as well as the inevitable design tradeoffs that occur when working in the mobile space.

Afternoon Session

Workshop: Creating Beautiful Android and Apple Mobile Applications Easily

Nick Kwiatkowski, Michigan State University Telecommunication Systems, Michigan Flex Users Group

Today's world demands that you not only have an online presence, but you also have an online app to help your company or service be found. Creating mobile apps is a brand new world for many, many developers and UX designers are just getting their hands around what is required to make it flow. Nick will show you how to use a chain of Adobe applications that you may already have such as Adobe Catalyst, Adobe Device Central, Adobe Photoshop, and Flash Builder to create beautiful, functional mobile applications that you can sell or promote at the Apple Store or Android Marketplace.