Designing Interactive 3D Printed Models with Teachers of the Visually Impaired

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Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

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Students with visual impairments struggle to learn various concepts in the academic curriculum because diagrams, images, and other visual are not accessible to them. To address this, researchers have design interactive 3D printed models (I3Ms) that provide audio descriptions when a user touches components of a model. In prior work, I3Ms were designed on an ad hoc basis, and it is currently unknown what general guidelines produce effective I3M designs. To address this gap, we conducted two studies with Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVIs). First, we led two design workshops with 35 TVIs, who modified sample models and added interactive elements to them. Second, we worked with three TVIs to design three I3Ms in an iterative instructional design process. At the end of this process, the TVIs used the I3Ms we designed to teach their students. We conclude that I3Ms should (1) have effective tactile features (e.g., distinctive patterns between components), (2) contain both auditory and visual content (e.g., explanatory animations), and (3) consider pedagogical methods (e.g., overview before details).


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