User Interface Adaptability | A. Stauffer

User Interface Adaptability within an Augmentative Communication App for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

April Stauffer, MA

April Stauffer, MA


A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts Graduate Department of Education at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Abstract

For individuals working in the field of education and early intervention, facilitating communication is considered the first step to developing learning interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The introduction of tablets and augmentative communication apps is changing the way that communication is being approached, opening up an entirely new area of research surrounding the effectiveness of these devices as communication tools. However, there is presently no clear set of criteria to identify which interface settings could work best for each individual with autism spectrum disorder. This study focused on the user interface of Proloquo2Go and specifically looks at the effect that button size and array size has on the usability of the app for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. It was found that 2 of 3 participants exhibited similar response rates and patterns of use with the app across all phases of the study, showing low influence of button size and array size. The third subject had a number of maladaptive behaviours which interferred with his ability to participate in the study, not allowing for any conclusions about usability to be made from his data. Further research is needed in the area of user interface characteristics for individuals with autism spectrum disorder to draw solid conclusions about a relationship between button size/array size and usability for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

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