V. Gentile, A. Adjorlu, S. Serafin, D. Rocchesso, S. Sorce

Touch or touchless? Evaluating usability of interactive displays for persons with autistic spectrum disorders

Interazione Uomo-Macchina

Interactive public displays have been exploited and studied for engaging interaction in several previous studies. In this context, applications have been focused on supporting learning or entertainment activities, specifically designed for people with special needs. This includes, for example, those with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In this paper, we present a comparison study aimed at understanding the difference in terms of usability, effectiveness, and enjoyment perceived by users with ASD between two interaction modalities usually supported by interactive displays: touch-based and touchless gestural interaction. We present the outcomes of a within-subject setup involving 8 ASD users (age 18-25 y.o., IQ 40-60), based on the use of two similar user interfaces, differing only by the interaction modality. We show that touch interaction provides higher usability level and results in more effective actions, although touchless interaction is more effective in terms of enjoyment and engagement.

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