SIMOproject – 2017/2018
UX design for an application catered to the blind and visually impaired
I met Euan, the passionate founder of SIMO, at my day job and over this past year I have volunteered some of my time doing various UX work for them.
They started with one simple aim:
to provide a usable indoor navigation system for the blind and vision impaired.
SIMO is Simple Information for Mobility and Orientation. We do research & design, and dedicate ourselves to developing safe, inclusive and accessible products. Over the past ten years the SIMO team have been developing innovative technologies to provide real-time accurate indoor positioning. The solution: a low cost method of indoor positioning using Cloud, Wifi, Bluetooth and phone-based sensors.
Understanding the flow of how an intended user would interact with the application would help design what was needed for an interface. At each step of the journey we want to present the user with the relevant options to help them with a next possible goal. The main user journey maps I can share are for the main vision impaired user and the business process of setting up a site.
Prototyping – Wireframes
How do you design a UI on a smartphone for the vision impaired? It can’t be purely voice based.
People who can’t see or see well often still use a touch screen, but rely on screen readers to read out the section of the screen they are touching to tell what it is. Due to this in my app wireframes covering different parts of the process, I made buttons or important options take up a large part of the screen and always in the same position so they were easy to remember, and other important information enlarged to cater for those who had some vision.
I also started thinking about what the business side would need in terms of an application for setting these environments up and ongoing maintenance.
SIMO is all about accessibility. If our main entry point to the brand isn’t as accessible as possible then what will customers assume about the products that we offer. The website was built off of WIX which is a great website making service, however upon assessment it didn’t give us the range of accessibility that we wanted. I proposed to switch to a wordpress CMS with a pre-built theme with a strong accessibility rating built in, for the customisation that we needed whilst not a large development overhead. We also needed to start thinking about the vision for the website once we were operational and out of research phase. This is currently in progress.
Wireframe: SIMO website