Is Wikipedia usable for the blind?

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Is Wikipedia usable for the blind?
Authors: Marina Buzzi, Barbara Leporini [edit item]
Citation: Proceedings of the 2008 international cross-disciplinary conference on Web accessibility (W4A)  : 15-22. 2008. Beijing, China. ACM.
Publication type: Conference paper
Peer-reviewed: Yes
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DOI: Define doi.
Google Scholar cites: Citations
Link(s): Paper link
Added by Wikilit team: No but verified
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Is Wikipedia usable for the blind? is a publication by Marina Buzzi, Barbara Leporini.


[edit] Abstract

Today wikis are becoming increasingly widespread, and offer great benefits in a variety of collaborative environments. Therefore, to be universally valuable, wiki systems should be easy to use for anyone, regardless of ability. This paper describes obstacles that a blind user may encounter when interacting via screen reader with Wikipedia, and offers some suggestions for improving usability.

[edit] Research questions

""how the blind interact with wikis via screen reader" (p. 16)"

Research details

Topics: Technical infrastructure, Other antecedents of participation [edit item]
Domains: Computer science, Information systems [edit item]
Theory type: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Main topic [edit item]
Theories: "N/A" [edit item]
Research design: Other [edit item]
Data source: N/A [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: N/A [edit item]
Unit of analysis: User [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: Live Wikipedia [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: N/A [edit item]
Wikipedia language: Multiple [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"In this paper we analyzed various usability issues that Wikipedia presents for blind users.

Our analysis highlighted that although Wikipedia contents are accessible via screen reader, usability should be improved in order to facilitate interaction by the blind. Critical issues are related to updating the editing UIs, currently inaccessible for the blind. Therefore we have discussed some possible solutions to these problems.

In the future we plan to modify the Wikipedia editing UI by applying ARIA specifications. Afterwards, user testing will be carried out with blind users in order to effectively compare the original and ARIA-implemented Wikipedia UIs and evaluate the improvement, if any.

This paper may contribute to the Wikipedia Usability Project, which aims to make Wikipedia easier for everyone to use; additionally, our contribution aims to promote the application of standards relating to Web accessibility and usability."

[edit] Comments

"Language versions: "We tested both the English and Italian pages in order to understand whether language-based versions have the same or very similar user interfaces." (p. 16)

Method: "To evaluate accessibility and usability of Wiki systems via screen reader, we selected a very popular Wiki: the Wikipedia portal (http://www.Wikipedia.org/). Specifically we analyzed three kinds of pages: (1) the home page, (2) the result of a search, and (3) the edit page and functions, by using the screen reader Jaws for Windows (http://www.freedomscientific.com) v. 8.0. We used both the MS IE version 6.0.29 and the Mozilla Firefox version 2.0.0.12 browsers. The test was carried out by both authors independently; afterwards, outcomes were compared and integrated. One author has been totally blind since childhood and uses the JAWS screen reader every day; thus she knows this tool’s functions very well and is able to use advanced commands." (p. 16)"


Further notes[edit]

This is a 'usability' study.

Facts about "Is Wikipedia usable for the blind?"RDF feed
AbstractToday wikis are becoming increasingly wideToday wikis are becoming increasingly widespread, and offer great benefits in a variety of collaborative environments. Therefore, to be universally valuable, wiki systems should be easy to use for anyone, regardless of ability. This paper describes obstacles that a blind user may encounter when interacting via screen reader with Wikipedia, and offers some suggestions for improving usability. some suggestions for improving usability.
Added by wikilit teamNo but verified +
Collected data time dimensionN/A +
CommentsLanguage versions: "We tested both the EngLanguage versions: "We tested both the English and Italian pages in order to

understand whether language-based versions have the same or very similar user interfaces." (p. 16)

Method: "To evaluate accessibility and usability of Wiki systems via screen reader, we selected a very popular Wiki: the Wikipedia portal (http://www.Wikipedia.org/). Specifically we analyzed three kinds of pages: (1) the home page, (2) the result of a search, and (3) the edit page and functions, by using the screen reader Jaws for Windows (http://www.freedomscientific.com) v. 8.0. We used both the MS IE version 6.0.29 and the Mozilla Firefox version 2.0.0.12 browsers. The test was carried out by both authors independently; afterwards, outcomes were compared and integrated. One author has been totally blind since childhood and uses the JAWS screen reader every day; thus she knows this tool’s functions very well

and is able to use advanced commands." (p. 16)
is able to use advanced commands." (p. 16)
ConclusionIn this paper we analyzed various usabilitIn this paper we analyzed various usability issues that Wikipedia

presents for blind users.

Our analysis highlighted that although Wikipedia contents are accessible via screen reader, usability should be improved in order to facilitate interaction by the blind. Critical issues are related to updating the editing UIs, currently inaccessible for the blind. Therefore we have discussed some possible solutions to these problems.

In the future we plan to modify the Wikipedia editing UI by applying ARIA specifications. Afterwards, user testing will be carried out with blind users in order to effectively compare the original and ARIA-implemented Wikipedia UIs and evaluate the improvement, if any.

This paper may contribute to the Wikipedia Usability Project, which aims to make Wikipedia easier for everyone to use; additionally, our contribution aims to promote the application of

standards relating to Web accessibility and usability.
lating to Web accessibility and usability.
Conference locationBeijing, China +
Data sourceN/A +
Google scholar urlhttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Is%2BWikipedia%2Busable%2Bfor%2Bthe%2Bblind%3F%22 +
Has authorMarina Buzzi + and Barbara Leporini +
Has domainComputer science + and Information systems +
Has topicTechnical infrastructure + and Other antecedents of participation +
Pages15-22 +
Peer reviewedYes +
Publication typeConference paper +
Published inProceedings of the 2008 international cross-disciplinary conference on Web accessibility (W4A) +
PublisherACM +
Research designOther +
Research questions"how the blind interact with wikis via screen reader" (p. 16)
Revid10,836 +
TheoriesN/A
Theory typeN/A +
TitleIs Wikipedia usable for the blind?
Unit of analysisUser +
Urlhttp://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1368049 +
Wikipedia coverageMain topic +
Wikipedia data extractionLive Wikipedia +
Wikipedia languageMultiple +
Wikipedia page typeN/A +
Year2008 +