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Friday, May 15 • 2:00pm - 2:45pm
Customer pain points for blind and low vision users: Debunking myths to avoid being blind sided

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We’ve held a focus group and usability sessions with blind and low vision customers to understand the opportunities to improve their experience with mobile devices.  Areas of discussion included:


  • How the participants learned about mobile devices and their functions

  • Why participants chose their particular device

  • What was their “out-of-the-box” experience

  • How did they learn about and use the voice interface on their device

  • How they learned to use their device

  • What mobile devices allow them to do that they couldn't do before

  • Is battery life a major issue for them

  • How their device has replaced some of their assistive technology




  • The Learning curve on voice UIs is steep.

  • Accessibility features should be easy to find and activate

  • Voice output is a necessity, not an option

  • Voice input and smart phone features are a powerful combination

  • Using their mobile phone gives them an increased sense of independence

  • Figuring out how to operate phone by themselves is challenging yet affirming

  • Information about accessibility features should be more widely available (in box, at POS, on internet)

  • Increasing battery life is perhaps even more important for them than the general population

  • A single smartphones often supplants multiple stand alone assistive technologies


Although smartphones have been transformative for these users, there are still improvements that need to be made.  We've taken these findings and implemented a set of Universal Design Accessibility Requirements within our company, and we'll talk about how you can too.

avatar for John Chin

John Chin

User Experience Strategist, Verizon Wireless
I have been involved in the user research and user interface development of many different mobile products and services at Verizon Wireless. Recently, my research has been focused on the usability and accessibility of mobile devices and their applications. As a user experience design... Read More →
avatar for David Philbin

David Philbin

Strategist and Customer Research Lead, Verizon Wireless
Dave leads a customer research team at Verizon focusing on the user experience around mobile devices. He and his team apply customer research techniques to solve the problems facing the customer and the company. He has over 20 years of experience in the fields of human factors, usability... Read More →

Friday May 15, 2015 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT
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