Page 1

DESIGN BRIEF desn 410 / 2d Core Design Studio vi / f001 October 2012 / Instructor: Deborah Shackleton



CAROL HUANG Communication Design Student 778 898 5661


Section 1.0

Section 6

Executive Summary


page 2

page 11

Section 2.0

Section 7

Design Proposal

Educational Goals

page 2–3

page 11

Section 2.1

Section 8

Research Summary and Literature Review

Resources and Contacts

page 3–6 Section 2.2

Design Problem page 6–7 Section 2.3

Design Objectives page 8 Section 2.4

Design Criteria page 8–9 Section 3

User Profile page 9–10

page 12 Section 9

Schedule and Deliverables

Table of Contents Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

table of contents

page 12 Section 10

Budget page 13 Section 11

Appendices page 13–22 and enclosed documents

a. about dark table B. visual precedents c. ethics forms d. sustainable analysis

Section 4

e. softwares

Human Factors

f. user personas

page 10

g. appendices

Section 5

h. visual mock up

Market Research page 10–11


This document summarizes the information gathered by carol huang .

SECTION 1 :: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY background I had cataract surgeries done on both of my eyes two years ago. It was

then, I experienced the fear of losing my sight, especially being a conscious visual creative, and faced challenges in navigation in a sighted world. research question Without marginalizing, how does design allow for better

accessibility for blind users, thus promoting social engagement?

Section 1 and 2 / Executive Summary and Design Proposal Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

proposed project Redesign the website for a blind dining restaurant, Dark Table

(Please refer to appendice a for more information on the restaurant). The proposed website will offer a blind browsing experience for visual and blind epicureans. research To date, I have conducted research on various journal articles on design,

particularly persuasive technology and behavior change; also news and testimonies on popular media, such as youtube. I have consulted the book on The Politics of Blindness. Further research of online user-testing surveys and observations will be conducted. I will collect and analyze a combination of verbal, observational, and contextual information to identify what people say and do in their natural environment. I will be volunteering at the CNIB to assist adults with blindness to participate in various recreational activities. provisional conclusion It is our culture to perceieve blind people as dependent

upon the generosity of the sighted. Consequently, the majority of blind people have hidden under the protection of family and friends or within an institution, avoiding engagement in social activities. The proposed design–blind browsing for visual and blind epicureans– will put visual users in the shoes of blind people while browsing the site audibly. It is not another emphasis of the otherness and vulnerability of blind people, but a welcome message to the blind community. ________

SECTION 1 :: DESIGN PROPOSAL design opportunity

Many blind adults isolate their social circle within their families and close friend or support insititutes. Blind people's challenges are social as well as physical, and the lack of connection to the sighted world increases their sense of vulnerability. Dark Table offers a blind dinning experience, empowering blind people with dignity, comfort, support and a quality of dining experience. Specifically, Dark Table opened in Vancouver, BC in September 2012. The restaurant is nicely branded. However the website appears to be at its rudimentary monologue form. design challenge

Approach website design visually and audibly. The strong visual can not take away auditory experience.


project thesis

In recent decades, screen readers have largely replaced Braille. The auditory access to the Internet opens doors to a new level of communication for blind people. I intend to create a user-friendly website and a blind browsing experience for visual and blind epicureans, providing an interesting exposure to the world that is not lost with one's loss of sight. Of particular aims to bring dignity, comfort, support and a quality of life experience for visual and blind adults to enjoy equal rights and opportunites. ________



Blind people are comfortable with the terms blind and blindness, but not the general public (McCreath, 2010). The taboo around these terms is prevalent. Even when I started this project, I replaced “blind” with “visually impaired”, wanting to show respect and avoiding the use of the word as if it is a condition of despair. As the writer of The Politics of Blindness might respond, “No, I am blind; so my vision is not impaired– it's absent “ (McCreath, 2010). While we have no difficulty talking about blind issues, somehow we have an internalized discomfort with blindness. Just as Georgina Kleege points out in “Visible Braille, Invisible Blindness”, we equate blindness with ignorance, prejudice, or despair (Kleege, 2006). Reinforcing negative stereotypes, we often use blind not as a condition lacking visual perception, but as a judgment of others as ignorant. In a medical definition, according to the U.S. National Institute of Health, a person is considered legally blind if “visual acuity is not greater than 20/200 in the better eye with correction or a field not subtending an angle greater than 20 degrees” (Vorvick, 2010). Linda J. Vorvick, MD, further explains that there are many causes of blindness— age, disease, nutrition, trauma—which can occur at birth or later in life (Vorvick, 2010). Vision impairment is a very individual experience. What remains the same with every person with deficiency or severe sight loss is the need for coping mechanisms to deal with their impairment and to face their daily lives.

Section 2.1 / Research Summary and Literature Review Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

Since ancient times, blind people have been perceived as burdens, and were often brought outside of society and left to suffer (McCreath, 2010). Even in the twentieth century blindness was associated with diseases such as syphilis (Klauder, 1951). Conversely, some Muslim societies taught blind people to memorize the Koran and consulted them for scriptural interpretation. Blind Muslims were considered as respectable and dignified members of society (Princ). Such marked contrast value in the Muslim societies inspires me to look into selfesteem and behavior change of people with sight challenges. In “Visual impairments and self esteem: What makes a difference?”, Jayne Bowen proves that self-esteem can be greatly improved with the strategic “circle time”, where children share news, discuss issues and play games in a circle for half an hour per day (Bowen, 2010). Rules are set such as only allowing one person speak at a time, participants are free to say nothing, and no disparagement of others. All of the participating children had increased selfesteem levels six months later from low or very low to normal (Bowen , 2010). Similarly, according to research done by the Royal National Institute for Blind People, the support group enhances inclusion especially for those who are perceived by peers to be different(Gray, 2004). The role of the support group is evident and potentially longlasting in developing self-esteem in people with visual impairment.


Section 2.1 / Research Summary and Literature Review Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

That being said, blind people often depend on others because those others provide life's basic necessities for them. Consequently, many sighted citizens tend to regard people who are blind with pity. Such a consequence is not surprising: McCreath states that the majority of blind people have struggled to live as best they could with little constructive support from social and political establishments (McCreath, 2010). Canadian government support for blind people is divided into three categories: federal allowances for veterans, provincial disability programs and long-term disability programs (McCreath, 2010). These programs offer different support, despite the same audience. Put simply, one receives veteran allowance sums up to a possible $3900 per month (McCreath, 2010) with additional funds to purchase adaptive equipment which greatly enhances a blind person's mobility and lifestyle (Veterans Affair Canada, 2005). Provincial disability programs and long-term disability programs offer amounts ranging from $800 to $900 per month, without the additional funding for equipments (McCreath, 2010). This policy, pointed out by McCreath, creates a socially elite group of blind people while ignoring the majority of blind Canadians. The government sees blind people who apply for extra funding as burdensome, rather than as potential participants in the work world (McCreath, 2010). On the other hand, transit companies have been very proud of being fully accessible. Accessible transit refers to the service of which all buses have a low-floor. There are no steps to climb to get on board. However, to be fully accessible for the blind, transit should have stops announced, so that blind transit users do not have to make inquiries. TransLink in Vancouver, BC, uses automated enunciation of stops. But in Toronto, David Lepofsky, a blind lawyer, went to court in order for the Toronto Transit Commission to comply with such accessibility as TTC failed to verbally announce subway stops for vision-impaired passengers in 2005 (Wadland, 2006). As a person who is blind, Lepofsky is familiar with barriers where technology plays a part in creating them. While the online world embraces visual culture, it presents roadblocks for the blind. Lepofsky explained, “If this mass amount of information is in an inaccessible form like PDFs, or graphics that don't have proper tagging for a text-only environment, then it becomes yet another world we can't get in to—yet another opportunity denied” (Wadland, 2006). Similarly, as reported by John Blackstone on CBS, Bruce Sexton sued Target under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sexton is blind and wanted Target to upgrade its website to accommodate his need. When he wants to shop for a towel set on the website, the Screen Reader reads simply the image tag: “blank underline sequel underline T underline point five underline” (CBSNewsOnline, 2006). The disability rights law should be applied to the internet and especially commercial website like Target. Despite the barrier, Lepofsky admits the internet offers unprecedented access to information for people who are blind, something he “could never have dreamed of” thirty years ago (Wadland, 2006). In the past decades, the Internet has emerged as a unique and prominent medium, with more than 360 million users in the world and a growth rate of about 580% in year 2011 (Internet World Stats, 2012). As more and more people over the age of 50 become comfortable with technology, Internet usage among this demographic will only increase in coming years. On the other hand, there is a notable reduction of Braille literate people. From 1963 to 1993 the percentage of legally blind children who used braille declined from 51 to 9 percent (Schroeder, 2002). The reason behind the statistic is in part because of new technologies, but in part because Braille is no longer a requirement to blind children (McCreath, 2010). Almost 100 years


since the development of Braille, many blind Canadians still have not been given the opportunity to learn Braille during their formative learning years (McCreath, 2010). For adults who become blind as adults, it is even harder to pick up a completely new print language, when education is not their main priority.

For example, there was a controversy about the use of braille in the monument in which sculptor Robert Graham depicted social programs Roosevelt instituted during the Depression. The plaques include braille characters spelling out the program names, such as WPA, CCC, and so on. The Los Angeles Times reported that the dots in these inscriptions are four to five times the standard size – closer to the size of a bottle cap – and the spacing of the dots is irregular which makes the inscriptions impossible to decipher by the blind audience (Vick, 1997). Moreover, a third of the plaques are displayed approximately 8 feet off the ground, well out of the reach of visitors (Vick, 1997). At the time of the memorial’s opening, Robert Graham said,

My concept of that piece was to have Braille as a kind of invitation to touch, more than anything... Braille is not much different than touching a face or anything else...That was kind of the graphic idea, the layering of many faces coming out and the layering of the Braille and the layering of several tactile surfaces. (Vick, 1997)

The memorial is a work of environmental art where touching is understood to be a part of a multi sensory experience (Vick, 1997). However many quotations from Roosevelt’s speeches on display do not include braille transcriptions, which does not seem to have been any intention to make the memorial especially blind-friendly (Vick, 1997). Blindness does not seem to be on the artist’s mind. Rather, Graham was using the braille as a decorative motif, an interesting texture, not as an aid to blind visitors.

Section 2.1 / Research Summary and Literature Review Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

With the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, Braille signage started to appear in many public places; however, the visible sign proves only that the building is in compliance with the ADA, without having other facets properly observed and designed to aid blind people (Kleege, 2006). Similarly, designers and artists seem be unaware of how braille is read or of the decline in braille literacy in recent decades. The use of braille serves as a visible gesture toward tolerance of difference, but blind people who might derive meaning from it do not seem to be the intended audience.

Braille or no Braille, statistics show blind children and adults have access to a paltry three percent of the sighted world’s literature (Wadland, 2006). Quite often, books aren’t available either in audio or Braille format. This, however, has changed with the advancement of mobile technology (RNIB, 2011). With the Voice Over function and adjustable size display, blind and partially sighted people can listen to or read eBooks easily and even participate in the realm of social media. (Please refer to appendice b for more precedents.) Until very recently, much efforts have been put into developing technology to assist the visually impaired with way finding. (Please refer to appendice b for more details.) Many activists have also come to the front line to produce service to the visually impaired via the Internet. Some websites designed for visually impaired audience include BBC Radio4 In Touch and Kanchi. In Touch broadcasts News, views and information, presented by Peter White, for people who are blind or visually impaired. Caroline Casey’s Kanchi works with decision makers and leaders to promote the Disability Business Case through unique, innovative and effective business initiatives. In “Health Communication on the Internet: An Effective Channel for Health Behavior Change?”, Michael M . Cassel, Christine Jackson and Brian Cheuvront present a


Section 2.1 / Research Summary and Literature Review Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

theoretical rationale for using the Internet to conduct persuasive public health interventions. The characteristics of the World Wide Web and other Internet-based resources suggest that they constitute a hybrid channel with the persuasive capabilities of interpersonal communication and the broad reach of mass media (Michael, Jackson & Cheuvront, 1998). Internet-based resources also enable health professionals to disseminate persuasive health communications to an expanding global audience at relatively low cost. The potential of Internet-based resources to marry the advantages of interpersonal and mass communication provides a strong rationale for research leading to the development of Internet-based public health interventions (Michael, Jackson & Cheuvront, 1998). In “Creating Persuasive Technologies: An Eight-Step Design Process ”, BJ Fogg claims that the small goal may have bigger effects than expected; persuasion professionals have long understood that getting people to do small things naturally leads to their adopting more ambitious behaviors, even without a bigger intervention (Fogg, 2009). The designer must pinpoint why people are't performing the behavior: “Is it because they are not motivated to perform the behavior? Is it because they lack ability? Or is it because they are not being triggered to perform the behavior at the right time?” (Fogg, 2009). In practice, a persuasive technology solution will often require more than simply triggering a desired behavior. Rather, the solution must also boost motivation or facilitate the behavior, or both. If the target audience lacks only motivation, the persuasive design should focus on motivation; if ability is lacking, the solution should facilitate the target behavior (Fogg, 2009). Designers must select a channel that is familiar to the target user. Fogg believes that most people can change only one behavior at a time. The reality is that adopting a new technology is a behavior change. Fogg states that it’s unrealistic for designers to think they can layer in another behavior change, without overwhelming their audience (Fogg, 2009). He further advices that the designer should not be afraid of doing something that is similar to what has already worked. The project will have various ways to be unique in the later stage of the process (Fogg, 2009). I’m convinced that we can design persuasive technology to do big things, starting from laying a solid foundation. I will work to find something that works, to create an intervention that succeeds in helping blind people to adopt a very simple target behavior that can be measured. ________


When a sighted person browses a website, his or her sensory modality enables perception of nearly all the elements featured on the page. For example, one can perceive rapidly and nearly simultaneously the size of this page, the way it is composed, its color and typography. However, blind lack this visual perception. They browse a website by ear, one element at a time. Therefore, I want to design a website that provides a blind browsing experience for people who have and lack visual preception. In addition to focusing on graphic elements, I will explore to communicate information through an audio experience. further factors

A national study determined that less that 10% of all print-disabled citizens were accessing readable literature (Hammer, 2006). Book publishers remain slow to release accessible formats of new titles. Furthermore, only 9% of blind chilren is Braille literate (Schroeder, 2002). With the advent of audio technology, more blind people are able to


access more literature and the active world via the Internet. However, there is a lack of good web design that is tailored for blind audiences. Therefore, a good user-friendly website that works well with a screen reader is essencial. opportunity

To design an accessible virtual space for the legally blind to encourage engagement in physical space and to design a blind browsing experience for visual users to understand the challenges navigating without sight. form making investigations

Navigate audibly, blind users browse a website using screen readers. Screen readers are software programs that convert text into synthesized speech of which blind people are able to listen to web content. Common screen readers include JAWS, Window Eyes, and Home Page Reader. The user can let the screen reader read everything from top to bottom, one line at a time, or the user can use the tab key to navigate from link to link. The user can also navigate from one heading to the next or from one frame to the next. Similarly, Apple’s mobile devices have, under accessibility, a Voice Over function. Users are able to turn the function on to navigate the site. However, considering those who does not own an Apple product or a screen reader, the website will have a built-in interaction voice response system, allowing visual users to navigate the website audibly when turned this mode on. The visual experience is compensated with screen readers. Here are some challenges and solutions for accessible web design for blind users with screen readers (WebAIM, 2012): users generally do not use a mouse Don’t write scripts that require mouse usage. Supply keyboard alternatives.

images, photos, graphics are unviewable Provide text descriptions in alt text. If necessary, longer explanations.

users listen to the web pages Allow for users to skip over navigational menus, long lists of items, and other things that might be tedious to listen to.

users often jump from link to link using the tab key Make sure that links make sense out of context. “Click here” is problematic.

frames are viewed seperately. Minimize the use of frames. Provide frame titles that communicate their purpose (e.g. “navigational frame”, “main content”).

listening to cell contents may be difficult for users Provide column and row headers (<th>).

not all screen readers support image maps Supply redundant text links for hot spots in image maps

colors are unusable Do not rely on color alone to convey meaning

users expect links to take them somewhere Don’t write scripts in links that don’t have true destinations associated with them (e.g. href=”javascript: function(this)”)

Section 2.2 / Design Problem Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

The proposed design will focus on both visual (form) and audio (formless). This section will focus on formless or audio making investigations, because of the main focus of the project: blind browsing.



SECTION 2.3 :: DESIGN OBJECTIVES proposed content

I intend to recreate the current Dark Table website. Content includes About, Menu, Reservations, FAQ, Comments and Contact. Additional contents such as Location, Staff, Events and Gifts will be included. Images of the staff and food will be photographed to be upload onto the website. While blind users navigate audibly, visual users have a choice of visual or audio browsing. The website will turn black when the audio mode is turn on and the visual mode is turn off.

Section 2.3 and 2.4 / Design Objectives and Design Criteria Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

contributing value

The design will hopefully gain more customers at the restaurant; thus, drawing positive attention from sighted people to the blind community. Of particular emphasis on challenging the idea that blindness is mournful, tragedy and an emblems of loss. It will work to change mindsets and behaviors around blindness. improving problems

The proposed outcome will solve the inequality of web design without visual disabilities in mind, allowing people with and without sight to browse the website with ease and enjoy a good design experience, interface and aesthetic. filling void

There is a lack of interactive web design around the topic of blindess. The proposed design will educate the general public that blind people are able to access information virtually. Furthermore, the design will give blind people a right to a quality life experience to enjoy equal rights and opportunity as the sighted. ________

SECTION 2.4 :: DESIGN CRITERIA audience criteria

1. Motivated blind users who have auditory and mobile abilities, and have access to the Internet with Screen Reader or similar technology. 2. Curious epicureans and risk takers who have auditory, visual, and mobile abilities, and have access to the Internet. (Please refer to appendice C for Ethic Forms.) structural criteria

The website will consist of several sections, informing the users about the concept, menu, staff, location, contact of the restaurant. For better accessibility, the website will include more images with appropriate ALT text. Moreover, the website will have a built-in interaction voice response system, allowing visual users to navigate the website audibly when turned this mode on. performance criteria

The user-friendly website can be access visually and audibly, providing a wholesome experience to those with and without sight. The website will be accessible on both mobile and desktop devices. Keeping the current logo, the entire website will be redesigned. The design aims to serve the clientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs by employing an effective message. The design will serve multiple purposes, one of which is having a limited environmental impact throughout its lifecycle. The final outcome is a website, a paperless option. It


does not require further packaging, ink and press. The prototype will be tested on a laptop and mobile phones. (Please refer to appendice b for Sustainable Analysis.) aesthetic criteria

With a black background, the design will be minimalistic, but the simplity will be beyond the formalistic entity. I will create an experience that is beyond presenting information, but elevates experience.

The design outcome will ensure that the Screen reader sofeware is able to read every word on the website. ALT text will convey important information in images, text links will be provided in addition to any image map links, link text will be meaningful but brief, keyboard shortcuts will be included to aid navigation, scrolling marquees will be avoided (Microsoft, 2003). Most importantly, the design outcome will ensure that the Screen reader sofeware is able to read every word on the website. (Please refer to appendice e for information on the resources I may utilze to analyze accessibility.) In addition to developing a functioning website, photographs will be taken of the food and employee at the restaurant. Voice recording will also be conducted to assist navigation for those without screen reader technology. marketing criteria

The website will be tweeted, posted and pinned on various social media. ________

SECTION 3 :: USER PROFILE audience a

Section 3 / User Profile Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

technical criteria

21 years old, Asian male Speaks Korean, English and French In a relationship Fourth year at UBC, majoring in French Lives with parents No personal income Richmond, BC Uses the web about 5 hours a day to do research and participate in social media audience b

54 years old, white male Speaks English Married, 2 children Lives with family Masters in Business Vancouver, BC Uses email extensively; uses an iPhone; Uses the web about 3 hours a day to read news and literature Learning to adapt new navigation skills Vision lost at age 53 audience c

34 years old, Hispanic female Speaks Spanish and English Single Retail Manager at Arizia for five years Earns $3800 per month


Burnaby, BC Uses email extensively; uses an iPhone; Uses the web about 2 hours a to shop online and participate in social media Audience B browse website audibly with a screen reader, while audience A and C browse the web visually. The website will be designed to have a equal wholesome experience visually and audibly. (Please refer to appendice f for User Personas.) ________


Section 4 and 5 / Human Factors and Market Research Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

The audio aspect of the design will communicate a similar experience to listening to or reading with a screen reader. Therefore, voice-synthetic audio will be applied. The voice heard over the receiver affects a user’s response as the user interprets the persona of the interaction voice system (IVR). One identifies the interface’s personality through its human-like characteristics. This quality is found in computers and robotics that produce sounds or images that have such human-like qualities associated with them (Rochelle & Kortum, 2010). For example, it has been shown that synthetic voices produced by IVRs can possess emotional qualities. Such synthetic voices can also be identified as male or female voices, and users will attribute stereotypic gender qualities to these voices. For example, the “female” system voice was rated as being more attractive than the “male” system voice despite the fact that no human was attached to these synthetic voices (Rochelle & Kortum, 2010). Although synthetic voices are given a persona, their quality is not as human-sounding as that produced by natural speech recordings. The concept of persona is encompassed in social interface theory. Not only do people assign a personality to machines, but they will act and respond in a social manner. For example, a voice user interface (VUI) that identified itself with a person’s name (e.g. “Hello, I’m John”) elicited not only more interaction from more users, but the interaction contained more direct and complete responses than if the VUI did not identify itself. Similarly, IVR utilizing the first person (“I will read you a few statements…”) induced more disclosure of embarrassing information from participants than if it had utilized the third person (“Please listen to a few statements…”). Additionally, it can be argued that it is not the gender behind the voice, but the communication skills. For example, patients did not prefer a male or female physician, but a patient-centered communication style (Rochelle & Kortum, 2010). ________

SECTION 5 :: MARKET RESEARCH existing products

The current Dark Table website is at With white text on a black background, it has a traditional navigation system where the menu is on top and one scrolls down to content pages. benchmarks

Another blind dining restaurant, O Noir Montreal (, also owned by Moe Alameddine, has a designed website. Images of food photography are its main focused; however, such images are unaccessible by blind users. Instead of focusing on food, the proposed website will focus on the blind browsing experience, supporting the restaurant concept and Dark Table’s ambiance.


primary and secondary research

Aside from the location, sighted participants expressed a 100% difference when asked to choose to dine between O Noir and Dark Table based on its website. Participants found O Noir’s website more appleaing, as one sighted participant claimed that “I feel secure when I see where I am going, who I will encounter, what I am going to eat.” Another participant, who is blind, expressed the “images do not create imagery” on O’Noir’s website. This may be due to the lack of image-tagged alt text.

People are interested in the concept of blind dining. However, the website does not look sufficiently developed to make the audience feel excited and secure. By designing a better website that supports the wonderful ambiance of the restaurant, it will not only do the restaurant justice. Dark Table will gain popularity and have more customers. ________


A screen reader is needed to explore the possibility and limitations during the design and testing phase. In addition to concept design, the project will also require website development, studio protraits and food photography. A website developer may be needed to assist in coding the website. Hensel kits (beauty dish, honey cone and reflector) will be used to photograph employees at the Dark Table. audience response

While the client expressed his preferance for simplicity, the surveyed audience expressed an excitment and interest for the refreshing blind browsing experience on a website.

Section 6 and 7 / Feasibility, Educational Goals Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

market testing


Various institutes for blind people will be contacted for possible consultation on technology support and guidance. User-testing will also be conducted to better understand how people interact with an audio-only mode. ________

SECTION 7 :: EDUCATIONAL GOALS Understand the communication design needs of the blind community Explore and widen my knowledge of cultural sustainability in communication design Improve my written, oral and visual presentation skills Become more adept at coding and designing for website Become more adept at food and protrait photography ________



Dark Table: Core Instructors

Deborah Shakleton: Gilly Mah: Typography and Print Production

Peter Cocking: Press

Section 8 and 9 / Resources and Contact, and Schedule and Deliverables Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

DOC: Centennial bookbinding Hemlock Participants

National Braille Factory Private Individuals Canadian National Institute for the Blind CNIB Web Accessibility Compliance Audits / 1-800-563-2642 #8345 Ling Jenson, Teacher and Counsellor 604-431-2165 ________


Proposed website in pdf form

oct 25 nov 01 nov 29 nov 22 dec 06 dec 13


initial design development


website in pdf presentation

Spring 2013 Fully functioning website

oct 25 nov 01 feb 28 mar 13 apr 11 apr 18



design reiteration process book website coding

user testing

exhibition design presentation

SECTION 10 :: BUDGET Website unknown. Exhibition Design $100 for printing protraits Process Book $100 for 5 perfect binded process books, including text prints.


a. about dark table

Already a hit in major cities like London, Paris, New York, L.A. and Montreal, blind dining is in Vancouver, offering a unique opportunity to experience dining in the dark. An evening at Dark Table will take the customer on a culinary journey through uncharted territory, where the familiar—food, drink and friends—becomes a wonder to be explored and discovered, as if for the first time. Without the sense of sight, the senses of touch, taste, hearing and smell are intensified, allowing a new perception of reality. Dark Table opens in Kitsilano, at 2611 W4th, in September of this year, offering Vancouver exceptional cuisine, superb service and a voyage to the unknown. No light producing technologies are allowed in the dining room, including flashlights, cellphones, or luminous watches. Dark Table is owned by Moe Alameddine, founder of O.Noir, Canada’s only blind dining restaurants in Montreal and Toronto. The blind dining concept originated in Switzerland in the home of a blind man— Jorge Spielmann—who blindfolded his guests in an attempt to show them what eating is like for a blind person. Spielmann’s guests enjoyed the experience immensely, and claimed that when their sense of sight was removed, taste, smell, hearing and touch were amplified to the extent that the social act of eating took on a whole new meaning. These initial dinners evolved into a restaurant concept that included a dark dining room and blind servers, a tradition that Dark Table will continue. With an unemployment rate of 70%, the blind face obvious challenges in a society that is preoccupied with visual communication, but in a dark dining environment, the tables are turned—the non-sighted servers guide the sighted.

Section 11 / Appendices Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans


While Alameddine is proud to offer employment to blind and visually impaired people, he admits that it is truly the blind offering this unique, eye-opening experience to the sighted. b. visuals of precedents

Similar to the Voice Over function on mobile devices, the Voice Stick can scan books, newspapers, mails, and convert into synthesized speech (Designbuzz, 2012). Screen readers can also be used to convert text into Braille characters on refreshable Braille devices. Siafu, is similar to a refreshable Braille device. Instead of translating line by line, Siafu’s screen morphs itself to shape any image or web page according to the contents (Designbuzz, 2012). Surface morphs itself to Braille when text is displayed. Siafu allows for full interaction to the user by means of touch. The technology behind Siafu is Magneclay, an oil based synthetic agent. The oil has a loose molecular structure that can be arranged in infinite shapes when acted upon by external electrical and magnetic charges (Designbuzz, 2012). Similar tactile concept, Julien Bergignat has designed a beautiful and brilliant watch for the blind. The Tact keeps visually impaired


Section 11 / Appendices Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

users well informed about every passing minute of the day. Replacing needles with sensory points, the design comprises of two circles, out of which one represents the hour hand and the other minute hand. Both the circles have different sensory points (Innovative).

Following adoption of the long cane by the blind community as the primary means of detecting obstacles, much effort has been expended to supplement the long cane with electronic travel aids such as the Laser Cane and ultrasonic obstacle avoiders. Replaces the bottom of a cane with a wheel, Sebastian Ritzler has developed an interactive guiding system, known as Mygo, for the blind which aims at replacing the seeing eye dogs (Designbuzz, 2012). It is amazing to think about the world of possibilities that these technologies open up for individuals who are blind.


c. ethics forms

Project-based Research Application- Applicant Declaration TCPS2 Core Tutorial Certificate Letter of Agreement Consent Form Informed Consent for Online Surveys Media Release Agreement

Section 11 / Appendices Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

* Digital consent forms will be sent to blind participants via email or be read verbally by research investigator, Carol Huang, to participants *Please refer to the next page


d. sustainable analysis

Section 11 / Appendices Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

Without a physical form, Internet provides the luxury of unprecedented digital connection, but at the same time the amount of energy needed to keep millions of websites, servers and data centers up and running is enormous. Many do not realize that the internet has become one of today’s major polluters. Traditional approaches to web design and development may lead to applications that are less efficient than they could be. Therefore, a set of guidelines, suggested by Microsoft, will be carefully implemented within this project. enable power saving mode: Most PCs are idle for the majority of the time, where as they could be turned off when idle. This would save enormous amounts of energy. This has some implications for application design. Examples of power-saving features that all applications should enable include: • Applications do not restrict a computer from entering sleep mode. • Application can execute successfully when a computer has left sleep mode. • Applications do not unnecessarily hold network connections open and do not require full-screen animation as both of these may stop a computer from entering sleep mode. • Application uses disk access sparingly as constant disk access will stop hard drives from powering down automatically. (Microsoft, 2008) minimize the amount of data stored: Data uses power because data stored in application databases or file systems needs disks to be operating to store the data. Therefore, reducing the amount of data stored can reduce the amount of power used by an application by reducing the amount of data storage infrastructure. Efficient data archiving approaches can assist here. (Microsoft, 2008) design and code efficient applications: In the past, developers were forced to code carefully because computers were so slow that inefficient code made applications unusable. Recently, the computer has more powerful hardware operating at a faster rate than one can consume it, resulting in applications that can appear to perform well even though internal architecture and coding may be wasteful and inefficient. Inefficient code causes greater CPU cycles to be consumed, which consumes more energy, as we describe in more detail later. Tools such as code profilers are available that can automatically review the performance profile of code. (Microsoft, 2008) There is a compelling need for applications to take environmental factors into account in their design, driven by the need to align with organizational environmental policies, reduce power and infrastructure costs and to reduce current or future carbon costs. The potential reduction in the energy and emissions footprint through good architectural design is significant. These issues should be considered at the outset and during a project, not left to the end. e. softwares

Some resources I may utilze to analyze accessibility: colour blindess simulator: The tool assesses how accessible images and colors are seen through the eyes of an individual who is color blind. accesscolour: It tests the color contrast and color brightness between the foreground and background of all elements in the DOM to make sure that the contrast is high enough for people with visual impairments. juicy studios image analyzer: The tool will carefully examine the width, height, alt, and longdesc attributes to determine if they are fitted with their corresponding values. firefox add-on: allows for cross-examination every element of design on the web pages.


testable and improve accessibility: This tool tests and measures the readability of articles and/or any form of content. A few things it tests for are: Grade Level, ARI (Automated Readability Index), Flesh Kincaid, SMOG, and more. wave: An interactive tool that shows the level of accessibility on a website in three different styles: “Errors, Features, and Alerts”, “Structure/Order”, and Text-Only”. I will be notified of any JavaScript present, HTML errors, incorrect navigational structure and much more.

f. user personas

*Please refer to the next page

Section 11 / Appendices Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

adesigner: A disability simulator that helps designers ensure that their content and applications are accessible and usable by the visually impaired. Voice browsers and screen readers read aloud the text on Web pages and are used by visually impaired people. However, these devices are less effective with highly graphical material. aDesigner also helps users to check accessibility of ODF documents and Flash content. It also has accessibility information (MSAA/IA2) inspection functions.


g. annotated bibliography

Section 11 / Appendices Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

Bowen , J. (2010). Visual impairment and self-esteem: What makes a difference?. British Journal of Visual Impairment, 28(3), 235-243. doi: 10.1177/0264619610375504 The study proves that self-esteem can be greatly improved with the strategic “circle time”, where children engage in group activiies and enjoy equal rights and opportunites. Bowen’s article advises professionals in fields of counciling visually impaired children of this successible methodology, and how self-esteem can be built in a social environment. CBSNewsOnline. (Producer) (2006). internet access for the blind (cbs news) [Web]. Retrieved from CNS reports a case where Target is being sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act for the inaccessibility of online contents. This report claims that the disability rights law should be applied to the internet, especially commercial website like Target. Designbuzz. (2012, March 31). Design innovations for the visually impaired. Designbuzz: Design ideas and concepts. Retrieved from The website presents various interaction designs that have been developed to aid the visually impaired. The precedents allow me to understand the existing product designed for the visually impaired, and improve accordingly. Fogg, B. (2009). A behavior model for persuasive design. In Persuasive '09 (p. 40:1–40:7). doi: 10.1145/1541948.1541999 The eight-step process, drawn from successes in industry practice, begins with defining the persuasion goal to match a target audience with an appropriate technology channel. This is a good resource for a project on persuasive design as it define and direct the research direction. Gray, C. (2004) ‘Social Inclusion in a Mainstream Setting’, Curriculum Close-up 17: 12–14. London: RNIB. The ‘Circle of Friends’ works by trying to build relationships around the vulnerable child. It recognises the critical role that relationships play in all of our lives. It is also the case that peer support problem solving initiatives are often more powerful than teacher directives. The key resources that are needed to create a circle of friends are other willing pupils. Innovative timepieces for the visually impaired. Designbuzz : Design ideas and concepts. Retrieved from The website showcases various watch designs that are beautiful and accessible for people with visual impairment. The examples provide a wonderful balance between visual and tactile. Internet World Stats. (2012, July 29). World internet users and population stats. Retrieved from The website supports that the Internet is a prominent medium with statistic: more than 360 million users in the world. Hence, internet-based resources enable health professionals to disseminate health communications to an expanding global audience at relatively low cost.


Kleege, G. (2006). Visible braille / invisible blindness. Journal of Visual Culture, 5(2), 209-218. doi: 10.1177/1470412906066909 The article points out that the use of Braille serves as a visible gesture toward tolerance of difference, but blind people who might derive meaning from it do not seem to be the intended audience. This article gears the research question: how can design include and promote the blind community to participate in society, without further creating an otherness? McCreath, G. (2010). The politics of blindness. Vancouver, BC: Granville Island Publishing. McCreath discusses political issues around blindness in Canada. He expresses his dismay and unsatisfaction about the institutions, education, transit system, financial support–or the lack there of–in Canada. The book helps to put information in perspective. Michael, M., Jackson, C., & Cheuvront, B. (1998). Health communication on the internet: An effective channel for health behavior change? health communication on the internet. Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, 3(1), 71-79. doi: 10.1080/108107398127517 The article claims that Internet-based resources have potential of creating interpersonal communication. It has geared the project to take form virtually, creating an interpersonal relationship to support Bowen and Gray’s research on creating a circle of supportive friends.

Section 11 / Appendices Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

Klauder, J. (1951). Blindness due to syphilis. PMID, 32(7), 182-92. Retrieved from http:// As indicated, untreated syphilis can cause heart abnormalities, mental disorders, blindness, other neurological problems, and death. The understanding that blindness was associated with syphilis is false. However, this shows how people are fear of the eye condition, marginalizing people with blindness.

Microsoft (2003). Accessibility Design Guidelines for the Web. MSDN. Retrieved from Website managers and developers often do not realize they are developing sites that people with disabilities have difficulty navigating, or in many cases, cannot navigate at all. Microsoft provides a list of guidelines for accessible web design for disabled people. The guidelines will be carefully implemented within this project. Microsoft (2008). Green Computing. Architecture Journal. Retrieved from http://​EN.pdf This article suggests that tracking energy consumption at every level will become the factor of success for green architecture practitioners. The set of guidelines is constructive and offers a solid insight into green computing. Princ, R. (n.d.). A blind man reminds muhammad and corrects the qur’an. Retrieved from The web provides an interesting insight into Muslim society where blind people are valued in the religious community. The contrasting social treatment leads the research into social psychology and behavior change.


Section 11 / Appendices Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

RNIB. (Producer) (2011). ebooks for blind and partially sighted people [Web]. Retrieved from RNIB’s youtube video compiles testimonies of how eBooks have a big impact because of its fully accessible function. This video proves that the technology channel is familiar to the target user, which is strengthened by Fogg’s suggestion that adopting a new technology is a behavior change. Now the project can move onto the next change, without overwhelming the audience. Rochelle, E., & Kortum, P. (2010). The impact of voice characteristics on user response in an interactive voice response system. Interacting with Computers, 22(6), 606-624. Retrieved from S0953543810000639 System voice within interactive voice response systems was investigated in order to determine if voice impacts a user’s input responses. It is possible that a particular voice personality and/or gender may induce more or less disclosure. This article provides an insight into the social aspect of natural speech recording. It will guide the audio aspect of the project. Schroeder, F. (2002) Braille Usage: Perspectives of Legally Blind Adults and Policy Implications for School Administrators. Retrieved from htm As indicated, the percentage of Braille literate children has declined from 51 to 9 percent. This statistic drives the project into considering other mediums due to the lack of literacy. It is interesting to observe and understand how the children navigate through their methodologies. Veterans Affair Canada. (2005). Veterans independence program. Retrieved from www. The document explains the benefits of being a disabled veterans. The information is put into perspective with McCreath’s The Politics of Blindness, which expresses the inequality between people with blindness. The question raised is: how can we reduce such inequality in a web space? Vick, K. (1997, May 25). New fdr statue's braille shows a form of blindness. Retrieved from The LA Times reports an insensitive case where blind people can’t read Braille lettering on the memorial because it is too big and too far off the ground. This is a reminder that the design outcome does not merely serve purpose as decorative motif. Vorvick, L. J. (2010, July 28). Blindness and vision loss. Retrieved from http://www.nlm. The website offers basic understanding of eye care and illness. It provides a good medical understanding of eye illness and the target audience. Wadland, E. (2006, December 12). Blind literacy in the digital age. Retrieved from http:// The website guides the reader through various testimonies regarding to Braille literacy, and the lack thereof. It is an unbiased and non political article, allowing for a deeper considerations and full development of project’s medium. WebAIM (2012). How blind people use the web. Retrieved from articles/visual/blind The website provides wonderful tips to bridge web design with screen reader technology. It also reminds designers that ”what you see if not what you get”.


h. visual mock up

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for visual users You may choose to turn on audio to view website audibly or view without sound. You may also choose to navigate the website on “dark mode“, where you will not see the webiste clearly, audio will be automatically turn on.

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Section 11 / Appendices Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans

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“What I think of food, what I think of the experience. What I think of the service. You gotta give ’em a try.” - Shannon



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Section 11 / Appendices Blind Browsing for Visual and Blind Epicureans