Developing a Web Search Interface for the Visually Impaired

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In this thesis the development process of a proof of concept for a web search interface for the blind is described. The need for such an application was con firmed in a survey that was conducted. It was found that blind and sighted users both performed an equal number of searches, but that the blind were often less successful at finding the information they were looking for. The development process consisted of several parts. Based on an extensive review of the literature and requirements, guidelines were formulated. This was followed by the design and implementation of an interface, that has a structure optimized for use with a screen reader. The interface shows clusters with search results that are returned for a user's query. The evaluation of the interface was done through expert reviews. Three experts tested the application using a screen reader and operating system of their own choice. Their findings were overall positive, that is, the interface con firms to the formulated guidelines, is intuitive and shows promise for improving the search process for the blind. This thesis concludes with suggestions for future research.
Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen