Students improve mobile app accessibility for people with disabilities – USC Viterbi

Students improve mobile app accessibility for people with disabilities Lillian Goodwin | May 19, 2022

Two USC Viterbi PhD students aim to solve the size-based accessibility gap in our mobile applications

Paul Chiou (left) and Ali Alotaibi.

Mobile applications have all but become the saving grace for the mountains of clerical work in our daily lives. We use apps for everything from scheduling doctor’s appointments to filing our taxes, making everyday tasks quicker and easier than ever before. However, while these apps can be considered convenient for some, they certainly aren’t convenient for everyone.

Although a growing number of people are dependent on their mobile devices for everyday obligations, developers seldom seek to make their apps accessible to people with disabilities. Mobile apps don’t often pay heed to accessibility guidelines and this can make it more difficult for people with motor disabilities and older individuals to use the app, or even prevent them from carrying out those everyday obligations.

Enter Ali Alotaibi and Paul Chiou, two Viterbi Ph.D. students who want to make the process of redesigning apps for accessibility convenient, too. They noticed that a large number of apps on the market had a prominent issue: touch-targets—the portion of the screen [...]

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