UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Designing an eyes-reduced document skimming app for situational impairments Khan, Taslim Arefin


Listening to text using read-out-loud applications is a popular way for people to consume content when their visual attention is situationally impaired (e.g., commuting, walking, tired eyes). However, due to the linear nature of audio, such apps do not support skimming--a non-linear, rapid form of reading--essential for quickly grasping the gist and organization of difficult texts, like academic or professional documents. To support auditory skimming for situational impairment, we: (1) identified the user needs and challenges in auditory skimming through a formative study (N=20), (2) derived the concept of "eyes-reduced'' skimming that blends auditory and visual modes of reading, inspired by how participants mixed visual and non-visual interactions, (3) generated a set of design guidelines for eyes-reduced skimming, and (4) designed and evaluated a novel audio skimming app (Skimmer) that embodies the guidelines. Our in-situ preliminary observation study (N=6) suggests that participants are positive about our design and are able to auditorily skim documents. We discuss design implications for eyes-reduced reading, read-out-loud apps, and text-to-speech engines.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International