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Publication

The thesis attained a distinction and I’m determined to further reflect upon the process and implement the research findings in practice involving an extended collaboration with the disability community and theatre sector.

I’m currently working on the following publications for:

“TinkerProp: A Voice-Enabled Vocational Game-Based Approach for Introducing Creative Prop Making to Blind and Partially Sighted Novice Designers.” 

Abstract

Blind and partially sighted (BPS) people experience high rates of unemployment and can be excluded from design-based work due to perceptions that sight is a requirement. Prop or object design for theatre, film and TV is one such area dominated by a sighted workforce and approach. We contribute TinkerProp, a web-based low fidelity prototype of an accessible voice-user interface (VUI), to help create initial proposals for work in the field of prop design. Our work has two parts: 1) design of TinkerProp with inputs from 7 experts (4 BPS, 3 non-BPS); 2) usability testing with 8 BPS novice designers. We compare TinkerProp to a traditional vision-based approach using speculative design, audio gamification of ideation, and Wizard-of-Oz methods. Two independent judges evaluated the final design proposals. Our results showed that BPS designers found TinkerProp engaging and useful for learning prop design and had increased interest and confidence in gaining employment in prop-making when compared to a control group. In addition, the two judges’ ratings indicated their mutual agreement favouring the proposals developed with the use of TinkerProp. This study is an attempt to (re)initiate discourse around accessibility of art, craft and design education and employment among the HCI community in a unique and creative way. We describe the VUI prototype design process, discuss lessons learned, and contribute evidence for the possibility of technology to augment training for employment traditionally associated with needing sight.

  • CHI23 – the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is the premier international conference of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).