Context Paper + Production Schedule

How to Catalog the Graphics

In Order of Complexity. The team agreed that we’d label each schematic in the order of the curriculum, which goes from intro-level to advanced. Each label will be in two parts: the first will indicate the lab number, the second part will show the order in which it appears in the lab (i.e. the first schematic in Physical Computing will be labeled “Figure 1.1”). As long as they are correctly linked to the correct lab, it okay with the team.

Question: What is the best way to go about this without messing up the entire system? Should I create a new GitHub folder? Should I create an online library/inventory (Google Doc) with their label attributions?

Best Practices for Other Tactile Graphics

B.A.N.A. Guidelines and Standards. These are way more comprehensive than the work I’ve been doing, though they take quite a bit of time to get through, and my target audience has more of a need for a top-line how-to. One effort I can provide is sorting through copious amounts of dense material like this and making it more digestible for designers or makers. I did, however, enjoy this decision tree, which is a tool I could consider for my best practices- even if it’s to help sort when is optimal to choose from complex image descriptions, Braille translations, simulations, and tactile graphics.

Some other guidelines that aren’t in my own are:

  • A tactile graphic is a representation of a print graphic designed in a manner that is the most meaningful to the reader. It is not an exact reproduction.
  • The tactile graphic should be positioned near the left margin of the page or indented according to the braille code in use, rather than centered. A blank line is required before and after the tactile graphic.
  • Dashed lines should be 1/4 to 3/8 inch, separated by spaces approximately half the length of the dash.
  • Lead lines (from component to label) must be the least significant line in the graphic, with a preferred minimum length of 3/4 inch and a preferred maximum length of 1-1/2 inches, with no arrowhead at the end. If at all possible, a lead line should be straight.
  • Arrowheads should be solid isosceles.
  • Use no more than 5 line styles- anything more is confusing.

Tactile Graphics, Polly Edman. Found this book through the AFB, and ordered online to see how it stacks up to the standards above and the ones I’ve written.

AFB Basic Principles for Preparing Tactile Graphics. As a visual learner, I found the AFB’s standards to be the most straightforward, clear, and easy to use. There are some familiar points on there, but I’ve pulled out some guidelines that I haven’t included in my own:

  • Keep in mind the knowledge level, skill base, and age level of the reader. Use age appropriate language.
  • Edit/proofread the graphic with your fingers, not your eyes, before showing it to a student. Beware, if someone says your graphic is “pretty” or “beautiful”, take a second look, your student may not be able to understand it at all.
  • Determine if the original shapes and textures are necessary to convey the concept, or can simple geometric shapes or braille signs be used to illustrate the concept.

Recruiting Criteria

The Best Graphics to Test for Comprehension. The Big 6 Schematics (for our testing)

  • Switch into micro
  • Voltage divider into micro
  • Between that and a pot into a micro
  • LED or buzzer out of micro
  • Transistor controlling a motor out of micro
  • basic battery switch and load  (battery, switch, resistor, LED)

A Range of Vision Ability. Our continuum falls between Totally Blind and 20/20. This came at Antonio’s suggestion, as the term Low Vision can suggest more perception than the term blind.

Learning Style. I’ll be using the VARK model (Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, Kinesthetic/Tactile) and asking users to place themselves on each spectrum.

Ability to Come to NYU. ITP as a location feels the most contextually relevant to the research, however, it is not very accessible (narrow hallways, obstacles, power tools). Tandon would be a good location for its accessibility and proximity to engineering students. The Maker Space Design Lab seems well suited for testing and Anne-Laure could be a great resource (I followed up with her on this). Claire’s research sparked interest in potentially exploring the Andrew Heiskell Library as an additional option- does this slow our approval process?

Gender. Undergrad age to working professional (up until retirement)

Age. Undergrad to working professional (up until retirement) interests me because it’s not just for education purposes, it’s also hobbyists, artists, and anyone who is interested in getting involved with or developing their skills in the world of creative tech. I’d prefer to start at undergrad, since they are independent enough to be self-learners and self-starters.

Education Level. At least a high school diploma, as I imagine a lot of our users will be using the graphics to understand their school’s curriculum.

Finger Sensitivity/Size. A range adults, 18 and up, fully-grown, within the wide spectrum of gender.

Experience with Electronics. In order to ask if the user comprehends the schematic, a working elementary knowledge of electronics is necessary to give us feedback. The user, for example, could have just began Phys Comp this year, or are only one or two classes in,  and can report back on the basics: switches, resistors, parallel/series, connection points, Arduino pins, etc. We need to be able to ask them to verbally explain what’s going on or tell us a creative application of the circuit.

  1. Eric. Male, 31, Accessibility Consultant, Intermediate electronics experience
Personas chart detailing of Eric, showing his finger size, sensitivity, learning styles and experience with electronics
  1. Amanda. Female, 19, Undergrad Student in Interactive Design Media
Personas chart detailing of Amanda, showing his finger size, sensitivity, learning styles and experience with electronics

3. Jo. Queer, 27, Graduate Student at ITP

Personas chart detailing of Jo, showing his finger size, sensitivity, learning styles and experience with electronics

IRB Training

  1. Register for Cayuse.
  2. Refresher Course on CITI Training. Original certification was from 2018.
  3. Submit via Cayuse IRB.

Next Steps

  1. Convert the main 6 schematics for testing
  2. Ask Emily to do the same (2 hours testing/debugging). Document this process.
  3. Create the inventory of tactile graphics with cataloguing in order of labs
  4. Get confirmed IRB qualifications
  5. Prepare documents for IRB review
  6. Bullet point the style guide, go through changes
  7. CITI Investigators Common Rule training/Refresher course
  8. Changes to Personas from Amy

Production Schedule

*posted last week, but updated slightly with new learnings

Phase 1 | Observation 1/29/19-  2/12/19 |

  1. Organize existing research for a status check and onboarding Amy Hurst.
  2. Complete a competitive analysis on other electronics/microcontroller education techniques for low vision readers.
  3. Begin IRB approval process.

Phase 2 | Ideation 2/12/19-  2/26/19 |

  1. Consider user testing methodologies.
  2. Iterate on personas.
  3. Test style guide with Emily.
  4. Design the main 6 schematics for testing.
  5. Prepare IRB documents.
  6. Create the inventory of tactile graphics with cataloguing in order of PComp labs
  7. CITI Investigators Common Rule training/Refresher course.

Phase 3 | Rapid Prototyping 2/26/19-  3/12/19 |

  1. Write user testing script.
  2. Define tasks for testing.
  3. Prepare binder of printed tactile graphics for testing.

Phase 4 | User Feedback | 3/12/19- 4/2/19 |

  1. User testing on NYU campus with IRB approval.
  2. Debrief by listing the most serious issues.
  3. Order the issues by how serious they are- fix the top ones first.

Phase 5 | Iteration | 4/2/19- 4/16/19 |

  1. Repeat Phase 3 and 4 as many times as necessary to optimize the graphics for a larger user set.

Phase 6 | Implementation | 4/23/19- 4/30/19 |

  1. Prepare presentation of designer’s journey.
  2. Print and bind a book of the completed tactile graphics.
  3. Build an online hub that includes:
  • Style guide
  • Workflow guide
  • Research abstract
  • Downloadable book of all the finished tactile graphics.

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