Evaluation of Non-visual Zooming Operations on Touchscreen Devices

  • Hariprasath Palani
  • Uro Giudice
  • Nicholas A. GiudiceEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9738)


The limited screen real estate of touchscreen devices necessitates the use of zooming operations for accessing graphical information such as maps. While these operations are intuitive for sighted individuals, they are difficult to perform for blind and visually-impaired (BVI) people using non-visual sensing with touchscreen-based interfaces. We address this vexing design issue by investigating the perceptual and cognitive factors involved in: (1) non-visual zooming operations, and (2) integrating information across multiple zoom levels to build a global cognitive map. A behavioral study compared map learning performance between two zoom-mode conditions and a no-zoom control. Results revealed that non-visual zooming operations are not only possible, but actually lead to improved efficiency of touch-based non-visual learning. Findings provide compelling evidence for the efficacy of incorporating zooming operations on touchscreen-based non-visual interfaces and have significant broader impacts for improving the accessibility of a wide range of graphical information for BVI people.


Interaction design Assistive technology Haptic information access Haptic interaction Multimodal interface 



We acknowledge support from NSF grants CHS-1425337 and CDI-1028895 on this project.1


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hariprasath Palani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Uro Giudice
    • 1
  • Nicholas A. Giudice
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Spatial Informatics Program, School of Computing and Information ScienceUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  2. 2.Virtual Environments and Multimodal Interaction (VEMI) LaboratoryUniversity of MaineOronoUSA

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