INVESTIGATING THE NAVIGATIONAL HABITS OF INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE BLIND
I am exploring the navigational habits of blind individuals in Low and Middle-Income countries. The research aims to culminate with the end goal of running participatory design sessions using the data collected from the initial studies to generate insights to develop novel navigational technologies to assist blind individuals for people in such countries. A paper has been submitted to ACM-CHI, awaiting review.
PROTOTYPES FOR RUNNERS WHO ARE BLIND
Our team at UMBC designed and prototyped two designs for navigation/environmental awareness technologies to support runners with visual and age-related disabilities. The team developed three scenarios relating to blind runners in differing situations (e.g. running in the city vs trails, presence of moving vs static obstacles, running with others vs. running in a group, etc.).
We worked on developing two prototypes using a range of ideas which had been generated (i.e. using more than one wearable which would be donned by the user). These ideas were initially sketched out on paper. The team created physical prototypes from the outputs obtained from the data collected and is in the evaluation phase.
COEIT-UMBC RESEARCH WEBSITE
The task of revamping the College of Engineering and Information Technology’s website was presented to us as a semester project and we were keen to take in as much user input as possible and develop the website.
Conducting research from scratch, populating, and synthesizing data collected from user interviews, contextual inquiry, heuristic evaluation, etc., gave us compelling insights on what to incorporate in the redesign. We firmly believe that incremental development worked best for verbose websites like these. Our main goal was to integrate user research and user experience in the most subtle way possible.
APP-DC – THE CONCEPT APPLICATION
The blind community faces challenges with respect to navigation on a day to day basis. They are often subjected to a single application per use for a single function. Recent trends suggest a rise in the number of applications in the market.
According to my research, I believe that an integrated application would reduce the burden and improve the overall phone usage from the perspective of an individual who is blind. To address the above problem, I plan to build a prototype of an integrated system with voice capabilities to better assist the person in specific scenarios related to Navigation using a concrete design process and user research.