Accessibility design
Concept app design for the local art museum which focuses on providing users with low vision easy access to the content within.

This project tasked me to find ways to make our school’s museum DOMA, David Owsley Museum of Art, more accessible.

This was of my most challenging projects to date, I was outside of my area of expertise due to how little I knew about low vision. My initial exposure to low vision was through my academic advisor Kielan Williams, without her experience and guidance, this project would not have been possible.

My research began with a tour of DOMA with Kielan to learn what aspects of the museum aided in her experience and what was detrimental to her experience. Witnessing her challenges with reading gallery content inspired me to focus my efforts on how I could design a more accessible experience.

Low vision is a wide spectrum of vision loss and the majority of one size fits all solutions do not work. Some low vision users might use a portable magnification device to aid their reading. These tools, while very useful, can be cumbersome while viewing labels and other written content due to the fact that the user has to find an optimal position to view and magnify the written content. I found that customization of the written content is needed in order to provide the most flexible reading experience.

Gallery and item selection.

My objective in this design solution is to provide users the ability to customize every aspect of their reading experience. I decided that this app concept would be a great chance to use a new technology called variable type. Variable type is a collection of fonts packaged into one file in which users can adjust the type’s features on a variable spectrum.

Before entering a gallery, the user is given an iPad and walked through the process of customizing their interface. The user has the ability to continually adjust the settings so when their environment changes, they can adjust it to fit their needs. These changes are recorded, with the permission of the user, so that the museum can see what needs are yet to be met with their current label design. This data can also be used as a tool for continual research in the aid of low vision.

Type settings.
Alternate reading and contrast modes.