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Brian Wentz


Publications by Brian Wentz (bibliography)

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Wentz, Brian and Lazar, Jonathan (2011): Are separate interfaces inherently unequal?: an evaluation with blind users of the usability of two interfaces for a social networking platform. In: Proceedings of the 2011 iConference 2011. pp. 91-97. http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1940761.1940774

With the increasing use of web-based applications in the workplace, it is imperative that all users can equally access those applications. It has been previously reported that blind users have problems accessing Facebook, but little empirical data on the topic exists. It has also been suggested by Facebook and anecdotal user comments that the mobile interface (hereafter referred to as "Facebook Mobile") for the application is more usable than the standard, desktop interface (hereafter referred to as "Facebook Desktop") for individuals who use screen readers to access the Facebook interface from their computers. This paper presents empirical data from 15 blind users, who took part in the usability evaluation of Facebook Desktop as well as a second phase of usability testing with 15 blind users to evaluate Facebook Mobile (when accessed from a computer and web browser). This research concludes that Facebook Mobile is more usable than the Facebook Desktop interface; however, the mobile interface is missing some features and is not consistently aligned with the Facebook Desktop interface. The implications of this study raise the question of whether there is often a usability and functionality difference between different interfaces for an application when one interface is suggested to be the "accessible" version.

© All rights reserved Wentz and Lazar and/or ACM Press

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