With the proliferation of information technology devices also comes a massive increase in the number of information systems that are developed to meet the demands of users. By default, designers and developers of information systems tend to design for users without disabilities. The consequences for people with disabilities are enormous. This chapter aims to propose a disability-aware approach to information systems design that advocates that stakeholders consider the needs of people with disabilities throughout development. This aim is achieved by reviewing some of the difficulties encountered by people with disabilities when interacting with information systems, proposing a disability-aware approach and examining how this could be practically implemented through e-learning design. The recommendations from 48 students with disabilities from two universities in the United Kingdom and Canada are presented. The chapter also looks at possible future research for those interested in pursuing such approach.
In developing software systems, software engineers use software development life cycles such as the waterfall, prototyping or spiral model. Whilst these life cycles ensure that the system meets the needs of people without disabilities, the needs of people with disabilities are often overlooked thus resulting in systems that are inaccessible and unusable to them. In this paper, we propose a disability-aware software engineering process model which considers the needs of people with disabilities, hence improving accessibility and usability of the designed system. These needs are captured through the accessibility, usability and functional requirements of the system in the requirements analysis phase of the life cycle model.
Nganji, J.T., and Nggada, S.H. (2011). Disability-Aware Software Engineering for Improved System Accessibility and Usability. International Journal of Software Engineering and Its Applications (IJSEIA). Vol. 5, No.3, pp.47-62. [ Link to article ]
This paper looks specifically at how to develop light weight methods of evaluating pedagogically motivated software. Whilst we value traditional usability testing methods this paper will look at how Heuristic Evaluation can be used as both a driving force of Software Engineering Iterative Refinement and end of project Evaluation. We present three case studies in the area of Pedagogical Software and show how we have used this technique in a variety of ways. The paper presents results and reflections on what we have learned. We conclude with a discussion on how this technique might inform on the latest developments on delivery of distance learning.
Brayshaw, M., Gordon, N., Nganji, J., Wen, L., and Butterfield, A. (2014). Investigating Heuristic Evaluation as a Methodology for Evaluating Pedagogical Software: an Analysis Employing Three Case Studies. 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction-HCII2014 , 17-22 June, Crete, Greece, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 8523, pp.25-35.[Link to article]