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Accessibility in User-Centered Design: Example Scenarios

About the Examples

This section provides fictional examples of personas that include accessibility. The Scenarios section of the Accessibility in the Analysis Phase chapter provides guidance on including accessibility considerations in scenarios. As discussed in the previous section, scenarios vary widely in how thorough or comprehensive they are, depending on their purpose.

The examples in this section are detailed-level scenarios, which often are used when redesigning existing products rather than early in the design of new products.

This section includes the following fictional example scenarios:

Aspects of the examples that specifically relate to accessibility are highlighted, and surrounded by transparent images with alternative (ALT) text "start highlight" and "end highlight" for screen reader users and others who don't see images.

Each persona includes a note about the variability among people with disabilities, as discussed in "Individual Differences" in the Analysis Phase chapter.

Scenario 13
Task: Change retirement account investments
Persona: Roger
User Group: Retiree

Date: October 2003


HRWeb is a Human Resources (HR) Management web-based application used by Acme Insurance. HRWeb handles HR management such as employee records, compensation, and benefits management. User Groups for HRWeb include: HR managers, HR specialists, HR administrative assistants, non-HR managers, non-HR administrative assistants, employees, retired employees.


Roger has been tracking the increase in natural gas prices on the Web. He decided that he'd like to exchange some shares out of the Blue Chip Fund in his retirement account into a mutual fund that specializes in natural gas. Having researched natural gas on the Web, Roger feels that the Specialty Natural Gas Fund is safe and this would be a great time to purchase the fund.

Roger is working on his home computer on Wednesday morning. He has about an hour before his tee time, so he decides to make the changes in his retirement account that he's been thinking about.

Roger opens Internet Explorer. He clicks Favorites and selects HRWeb.

When the HRWeb home page is loaded, Roger enters his username and password. He could click the GO button but instead he presses Enter to continue.

Roger clicks the Quotes tab to check on the price of the Specialty Natural Gas Fund.

The Quotes screen brings up a list of all the funds available to Roger. start highlightIt's difficult to read the screen, and Roger realizes that his wife must have set the text size to medium. Roger clicks View on the toolbar. He presses the down arrow key to highlight Text Size and presses Enter. Largest is automatically highlighted, so Roger presses Enter.end highlight

Roger needs to scroll down to see the Specialty Funds, but he has now lost track of the cursor. start highlightHe moves the mouse around but cannot find the pointer.end highlight So he presses the page down key several times until the Specialty Funds are displayed. He sees that Specialty Natural Gas is at $19.62 and has gone up $0.44 since Tuesday.

Roger clicks the Back button to return to the HRWeb home page.

The home page comes up. start highlightThe tab titles have not been resized to larger text. Roger has trouble finding the Exchange tab and wonders if he should bother to open his screen magnification software. He decides that it's too much trouble, and simply leans closer to the screen. He finds the Exchange tab and clicks on it.end highlight

The Exchange screen comes up. The first question asks, What source of funds do you want to exchange out of? start highlightRoger prefers to use the keyboard instead of the mouse, since it is sometimes difficult to get the mouse to point to what he wants, so Roger presses the tab key repeatedly until he gets to the account list field. He presses the down arrow but nothing happens. Grabbing the mouse, Roger tries twice to click the down arrow. He succeeds on the third try, and the list of his accounts appears.end highlight He has two IRA accounts. He presses the down arrow key to highlight the second account in the list.

Roger clicks the Continue button.

The Exchange Out Of screen comes up. Roger clicks the down arrow to see a list of his funds. He owns seven mutual funds. He clicks Blue Chip Fund.

The next question says: Do you want a percentage of the fund or a dollar amount to be exchanged? There are two radio buttons, percent and dollar. start highlightAfter several unsuccessful attempts to click the small radio button, Roger clicks dollar.end highlight The cursor automatically goes to the input field and Roger types 8000.

Roger clicks Continue. The Exchange To screen comes up.

Roger clicks on the drop down arrow and sees a list of the 70 mutual funds available to him. He has difficulty dragging the scroll bar, so he presses the down arrow key to get to Specialty Natural Gas Fund, which is toward the bottom of the alphabetical list. He selects this fund by pressing enter when it is highlighted.

The screen says, "This exchange will occur at 4:00 PM If you want to cancel this exchange, contact us before 4:00 PM. The fee for this exchange will be $14.27. Do you accept these terms?" The screen displays two buttons, Accept and Cancel.

Roger clicks Accept.

The confirmation screen appears. There are three buttons: View Contribution, Make another Transaction, and Logout.

Roger clicks Logout.

Remember that people are diverse. Be careful not to assume that all users, including users with disabilities, use the product the same way. People use different interaction techniques, different adaptive strategies, and different assistive technology configurations. People have different experiences, different expectations, and different preferences. This scenario is just one example of a user in this user group.

Scenario 11
Task: Make 3 phone calls
Persona: Kim
User Group: College Students

Date: October 2003


CellCall, Inc. is revising the design of its most popular phone, model CC90310, to give it an updated look and increased functionality. The primary target user groups for model CC90310 are high school students, college students, young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.


Today is Kim's mother's birthday and she wants to call and wish her a happy birthday. Besides, she could use more money in her food account, and she figures this would be a good time to ask for it.

photo of TTY and cell phone

start highlightKim and her mother both have Alport Syndrome, a genetic condition that has led to significant hearing loss. Kim's mother, who wears hearing aids in both ears, prefers to use TTY for phone calls when she can. Kim is sitting outside the classroom building, and since she has a digital wireless phone and portable TTY, she can call her mother from anywhere. She plugs the cable into the hands-free jack on the cell phone and into the jack on her portable TTY and turns on her cell phone. Kim checks to see if "T" shows on the display, indicating that TTY mode is already on, but she sees that it is not on. To set her phone to TTY mode, Kim presses ##889 and then presses the Menu-OK button. She then highlights "Save phone #" and presses Menu-OK. Next she highlights "Accessibility" and presses Menu-OK. Finally she highlights "TTY On" and presses Menu-OK. Kim dials her mother's number. Kim can tell by the light pattern on the TTY that the phone has dialed and is ringing.end highlight

Kim's mother answers the phone. start highlightKim's TTY display shows that her mother has typed her own name and then GA (go ahead).end highlight

Kim types, "Was thinking of U today. Happy Birthday! GA"

Kim reads on her TTY, "Thank you, Kim! I was thinking of you today, too. GA."

Kim and her mother talk for about 10 minutes. Kim says good-bye to her mother, and presses end on her wireless phone. start highlightKim usually turns TTY mode off when she completes a TTY call in case her next incoming call is a text messaging call, not a TTY call. She presses ##889 and presses Menu-OK, highlights Save Phone # and presses Menu OK, highlights Accessibility and presses Menu-OK, highlights TTY Off and presses Menu-OK. Kim then disconnects her TTY.end highlight

As Kim is walking back to the dorm, her phone vibrates, and she sees that her sister has sent her a text message. Kim's sister has a cell phone with text messaging, and she and Kim sometimes prefer to use text messaging instead of TTY, especially when either is away from home. Kim selects "Read" and scrolls down to read her sister's message. They talk for a long time, messaging back and forth, before saying good-bye.

Kim needs to call her professor about an assignment. start highlightKim's professor doesn't use text messaging but he does have a TTY. When talking to her professors, Kim prefers that they hear her voice, rather than a relay operator, so Kim chooses to use "voice carry over" for this call to her professor. Voice carry over allows Kim to talk to her professor and the relay operator will type the professor's exact words for Kim to read on her TTY. Since Kim's wireless phone requires her to go through several menus and sub-menus to switch between "voice" and "TTY" mode, she decides not to use her wireless phone.end highlight

Kim goes to the Student Union to use a TTY pay phone. Kim dials the relay service. On the TTY phone display, Kim reads, "ID 999337. M. NUMBER CALLING PLS GA. " The operator has typed his ID number, "M," indicating that the operator is male, and has asked for the phone number Kim wants to call. Kim gives her name and her professor's phone number. The operator dials the professor and says that Kim Callahan is calling.

Kim reads on her TTY, "Hello, Kim. Nice to hear from you. What can I do for you."

Kim says, "I have a question about the last assignment."

Kim reads on her TTY, "Why don't you come in and see me tomorrow and we can go through it."

Remember that people are diverse. Be careful not to assume that all users, including users with disabilities, use the product the same way. People use different interaction techniques, different adaptive strategies, and different assistive technology configurations. People have different experiences, different expectations, and different preferences. This scenario is just one example of a user in this user group.


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