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Thread: Experimental site for blind people...

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  1. #1
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
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    Someone told me long ago that he had seen an experimental site that relied only in a navigation dependant on sound effects / music made especially for blind people.

    Does someone have any more information about it?

    Regards,
    David

  2. #2
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    hi phooka,

    i think this is the one you might be looking for >

    http://www.thunderhouse.com.br/cannes/laramara/

    its a pretty interesting concept, I wonder where it will end up?


    ij

  3. #3
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
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    This is exactly what I was looking for! I wonder what can be done now with F5 AS? I mean, the whole thing seems to be reacting to buttons... but with the new routines we could detect the "way" the cursor moves!?

    Thx ever so much ijohn! WHen I finish my actual portfolio, I am planning on experimenting in this area!

    Regards,
    David

  4. #4
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    No Problems Mate, glad to be of help.

    I think this one was actually an FK featured site for a while, many moons ago. I've had it in my favourites ever since.

    A lot of what i do is involved in trying to enhance and optimise the user experience, if only i had more time and less to do at work I would love to play with this stuff some more. It strikes me as a seed which could grow into a phenomenal idea.

    My previous forays into catering for the visually impaired involved integrating the 'betsie' browser (pioneered jointly by the BBC and RNIB here in the UK a couple of years ago) into a government site for last years isi/interforum ecommerce awards (unfortunately the site's gone now as they're in the ramp up to this years).

    I have to say i didn't find it the most effective tool - it basically tried to interpret the html within a page and represent it in a more clear fashion (ie bigger text, easier to recognise links). Unfortunately it dodn't handle tables too well and more often than not got things horribly wrong.

    We had a bit of a mini thinktank (corporate byword <cringe> ) after seeing the laramara site, came up with all kinds of ideas like textured mouse mats for compatable sites, ways of creating an audible navigation that you couldn't get lost in etc... but, as always, something more important (read: profitable) came up and our attentions were diverted elsewhere

    Anyway, let me know how you get on & please feel free to bounce any ideas you may have.

    Best Regards,

    John

  5. #5
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
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    Hey John, that thing you made looks ever so interesting! It is a real shame that our minds are directed into the lucrative bussiness of gettin' more money!!!

    Since I am not pro, only a teacher with a designer wannabe approach, I haven't got that weight on my shoulders... I am quite free to experiment! By talking to you I've decided to go further into 2 projects: the adaptation of my portfolio for both blind people and for ppl with a huge loss of sight.

    It made me think lots about this second group of people an american athlete that had 80% of visual loss. And also some elder people when they have so many problems in the supermarkets for simply reading a label...

    Of course the first project would rely on voices and sound effects... my idea is to make use of the left/right channel for the user to know where the cursor is in the screen...

    And in the second I'll make use of huge, distinctive colors in the screen and lots of sound feedback...

    I am gonna ask in Coffee Lounge if there is a doctor or an optician that knows about the best colors / shapes to use...

    Thx for your posts matey, they do inspire me!

    Regards and a Virtual Guinness!
    david

  6. #6
    only half-nerd PW.JaCkson's Avatar
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    COOL PROYECT

    well, i had heard about this kinda site before, and it interested me a lot cause i wana make my design thesis proyect about it. i saw once on discovery channel something similar exept it wanst the web. it was like gogles that had cameras on them and took and image and turned into vertical, diagonal and horizontal lines, and each of these made a different sound, and blind people actually could "see" trough the sound every picture made...i dunno where this study was taking place...i sure wish i could get more info on that, anyway that site is a really good aproach, probably the way to go.
    got a lo of work to do if i really wana do a thesis work like that

  7. #7
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    You dont need an optician...

    Phooka, you need an ergonomics specialist, or maybe an industrial designer (sorry, im not very good in ergonomics). This kind of studies are made since the second world war.

    Im interested in experimental sites too (not only for blinds), we can start a thread with them (i have my collection).

    Hasta la vista amigo!

    Alberto

  8. #8
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
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    Hi there!

    Alberto, I haven't started any kind of experimental sites of this sort, but I am going to do it now. I want to create a site where sound plays a great role, not only voice but sound effects... The thread is a good idea. I will need feedback for the project.

    But I suppose I'll post in Site Check where I am prone to get feedback from experienced site checkers!

    BTW, what is an ergonomics especialist? I thought ergonomy refered to the way sofas where made?

    Regards,

  9. #9
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    ergonomics...

    ... is the way to write the numbers on a watch too, to read them easier. Braun (the household goods) has made a lot in this way. And ergonomics helps to make things for old people, for blinds, etc (even sofas...).

    I wanted to say, my site is experimental, but thats not interesting, i think it would be interesting to start a thread with other experimental sites like this, or in other way too. I collect this addresses.

    Alberto

  10. #10
    caithness massiv
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    this is a great topic

    imho -- flash will *hopefully* be able to bridge the gap in the internet for those visually impared simply because sound can be huge in a flash site...

    i have always wondered how the internet can cater to those that can't see... after viewing this site, i know that it can be done!

    phooka --- your site and concept of making it more user-friendly to those 'impared' folks is wonderful... i wish you the best of luck with it

    right now... i would assume that most people in the visually-impared community don't use the internet that often... my biggest question is how will they even GET to the site???

  11. #11
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
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    After reading the response in this thread I've left the work on my site for a week (after all, I've been working on it for 3 weeks non-stop ) and decided to make a few experiments with sound navigation... I'll keep you informed!

    david

  12. #12
    Wichser
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    yeah phooka, defenitely. I read this thread with great interest and thought of somehting myself, I will try doing something maybe and then ahve it layed down in here, hop it works.
    But sure it's aneat project to do, I totally liked it.

    you could do the whole news and everything like that, just have someone red the news and then a navigation like the one we saw on that site.
    etc..etc..etc...

    this is great , keep it up!

    yo
    ICEBERG

  13. #13
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    does anybody know / remember the url of one of thise sites that has the menu that follows your cursor round the page as a small box, then when you click it opens up to be a navigation list?

    was thinking that something like this could be very useful in overcoming some of the problems of cursor position on the page.

    ie when clicked, it initially brings up four selections around where the click takes place. These could be home, sound control, navigation and favourites, for instance.

    from this point the user selects which menu to browse, which then folds out vertically into a standard hierarchical menu, as can be seen on msnbc.com for indexing news stories (you might have to dnload a small app to get it to work).

    if there's a way to get flash to extract the links in a users favorites folder and build them into the nav this also overcomes some of the problems with traversing sites.

    was also thinking that if the position of the cursor is no longer needed for site navigation, then cursor movement can be more freely utilised for other forms of interaction in the site.

    you'd also probably need to commit the cardinal sin of full screening to prevent cursors jumping outside the browser, so i guess we'd better include an exit option on the menu

    that was a bit more of a brain dump than planned, but thoughts/comments appreciated.

    ij

  14. #14
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
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    Hey John I cannot help you with that link... I've started making a few experiments of my own though...

    http://www11.ewebcity.com/phooka/misk/sight1.html

    I wanted to create a navigation based on a fade to left/right channels. My idea was to create a 3D shooter! But: F5 has real problems to control 2 different sound sources that do get panned in different manner...

    Furthermore, I think the fading should be limited to left/middle/right. I've used proportion (here is the code):

    pox = _root.ml._xmouse;
    poy = _root.ml._ymouse;
    pax = ((pox*100)/350);
    zo1.setPan(pax);
    if ((pox>=350) || (pox<=-350) || (poy>=190) || (poy<=-190)) {
    zo1.setVolume(30);
    } else {
    zo1.setVolume(100);
    }
    gotoAndPlay (2);


    but I think is difficult to follow de cursor if there is not a clear source. A 3 positional sound source would work better, I'll try that tomorrow...

    BTW, notice that the user knows he is "out of bounds" because the pulse sound gets reduced to only 30%...

    Sorry 4 the obtrusive sound, I'll make a slower loop with a more relaxed sound...

  15. #15
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
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    BTW, I think that we could control the Up/Down situation of the cursor by making a higher pitch when the _ymouse position goes Up the screen and lower when going down... What do you ppl think?

  16. #16
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    I just had an idea for navigation...

    What if instead of having a "point-n-click" navigation to move a user through a website, you used a "key-press" scenario? i.e. pressing 1 would take you to the homepage, 2 would take you to products, 3 would take you to compny profile, etc.

    When a key is pressed, a voice-over would say something like, "You chose 'products'. To confirm this choice, please press 'enter'."

    This would be very similar to a telephone prompting service that many largescale businesses use. Perhaps this is the solution!

    A site could be made with dual-interactivity. Upon entering, an audible message would say, "Press the numeral 1 on your keyboard to navigate this site in voice-assisted mode."

    What do you think? Perhaps a few of us could take one of our existing sites, and do a true test by simply adding this type of navigation to it. This would let us know how easy it would be, not just to 'create' new visually impaired sites, but to 'enable' existing sites. I'll give it a try!

    Regards,
    Jabez
    [Edited by JabezStone on 01-29-2001 at 10:25 AM]

  17. #17
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    hey phooks,

    i like the idea on your site, unfortunately i'm not actually a flash master (although you would be forgiven for thinking so )(<---- JOKE!!) so can't help ya with the code.

    my role here is more of a consultant / planner / information architect. i really find stuff like this intersting though, so if there's anything i can help with on this one pls let me know either on the board or by mail.

    keep going with the work though,

    best regards,

    john

  18. #18
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JabezStone
    I just had an idea for navigation...

    What if instead of having a "point-n-click" navigation to move a user through a website, you used a "key-press" scenario? i.e. pressing 1 would take you to the homepage, 2 would take you to products, 3 would take you to compny profile, etc.

    When a key is pressed, a voice-over would say something like, "You chose 'products'. To confirm this choice, please press 'enter'."

    This would be very similar to a telephone prompting service that many largescale businesses use. Perhaps this is the solution!

    A site could be made with dual-interactivity. Upon entering, an audible message would say, "Press the numeral 1 on your keyboard to navigate this site in voice-assisted mode."

    What do you think? Perhaps a few of us could take one of our existing sites, and do a true test by simply adding this type of navigation to it. This would let us know how easy it would be, not just to 'create' new visually impaired sites, but to 'enable' existing sites. I'll give it a try!

    Regards,
    Jabez
    I just wanted to add a little to my previous thoughts. The "keypress/vocal" navigation I suggested could easily be fitted to a normal HTML website as well, simply by including a small, 20X20 .swf file somewhere on each page of the site that uses GetURL to navigate through pages. The only thing I can think that would cause this not to work is that many times, you must actually click in an .swf to 'activate' it before it can recognize user input.

    I think that this idea would really aid in utilizing existing sites and future creation of dual purpose sites...

    Just a thought.

    Jabez

  19. #19
    War is futile: just drink beer phooka's Avatar
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    Jabez: this is a very simple yet interesting approach. I've been thinking on create a parallel portfolio for phooka.net, but now I am sure I will do it. If I am not mistaken, lots of blind ppl can use a keyboard with ease, so let's! I am still gonna go further into my "spacial-sound localization system"... SSLS (oh dear this sounds not so good

    IJohn... sorry if my small piece of code scared you! I am not master either, I simply read Macromedia's help and make a small program that is normally redundant and not effective... Ppl like FlashGuru would do the same in a few seconds, it takes me ages! So I am not master either, do not worry!

    david

  20. #20
    Modding with Class JabezStone's Avatar
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    Phooka,

    Your site is looking great! Very nice graphics and voice-overs. Can't wait to see the finished product!

    I am looking through my portfolio now to decide which site to voice/key enable. I'll let you know when it's posted.

    Jabez

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