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Geospatial assistive technologies for wheelchair users: a scoping review of usability measures and criteria for mobile user interfaces and their potential applicability.

  • Prémont, Marie-Élise1
  • Vincent, Claude1, 2
  • Mostafavi, Mir Abolfazl1, 3, 4
  • Routhier, François1, 2
  • 1 Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration (CIRRIS), CIUSS de la Capitale Nationale site de l'Institut de réadaptation en déficience physique de Québec, Quebec City, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 2 Department of rehabilitation, Université Laval, Québec, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 3 Centre de recherche en géomatique, Université Laval, Québec, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 4 Départment of geomatics, Université Laval, Québec, Canada. , (Canada)
Published Article
Disability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2020
DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2018.1539876
PMID: 30663444


Background: Wheelchair users are increasingly using route planners and navigation systems to help them get around the city. The absence of a list of usability criteria for wheelchair user-centred design and recommending geospatial assistive technologies creates uncertainty about the choices to be made by rehabilitation clinicians and geographic information systems specialists. The aim of this study was to compile such a list by identifying usability criteria from standardized questionnaires linked to user interfaces and geospatial assistive technologies (GATs).Material and methods: We conducted a scoping review in ACM Digital Library, Inspec/Compendex and PsycINFO for the period 2005-2016 using keyword strategies. From 84 articles identified, after screening and exclusion procedures, 15 articles were selected. Data were extracted from them and reported in table 1 (relevant questionnaires listed in alphabetical order, type of user interface, population studied, psychometric properties, type of measurement scale and information about the construct, number of subscales and items) and in table 2 (usability criteria up to 20 items for the questionnaires, scales or constructs, pointing criteria as gold standard in physical rehabilitation and as in geographic information).Results: We identified 87 usability criteria in 12 standardized questionnaires in 15 articles (with at least two types of psychometric properties). There are 54 usability criteria that could be used in clinical situations concerning their potential applicability to GATs for wheelchair users: 20 are familiar to rehabilitation clinicians who recommend assistive technologies, 21 are generic to GATs while 13 are specific to mobile applications or voice recognition systems. It remains 34 criteria that are not actually familiar to clinicians: actual use, content (including content-clarity, content-color, content-consistency, content-credibility, content-legibility, content-relevance, content-trustworthy, and content-understandable), control-obviousness, customer service behavior, delivery format, design-application, ease of navigation, entry-point type, everyday words, fingertip-size controls, font, functions-expected, functions-integration, gestalt, graphics, habit, hierarchy, input, network externality, speech characteristics, structure, subtle animation, time spent waiting, transition, user goal orientation and verbosity.Conclusions: More research is needed to develop a questionnaire specific to geospatial assistive technologies for wheelchair users linked with mobile applications and information content.Implications for rehabilitationFor manual wheelchair users paired with geospatial assistance technology, "effectiveness, efficiency, learnability and satisfaction" are essential criteria for route planning and navigation task.Clinicians can optimize the selection of a geospatial assistance technology considering 16 criteria: appearance, assistance-human support, comfort, ease of holding, ease of use, emotional aspect, endurance, facilitating conditions, intention to use, minimal memory load, physical effort, price value, simplicity, social influence, training and usefulness.Clinicians should have in mind that WC users want to plan a route with as few obstacles as possible. Information on the screen should be accessible to WC users (text, contrast, symbols, graphics, photos, voice, vibration, route views). Hands are occupied with the hand rims, WC users would prefer "listen to verbal" instructions to continue their route instead of looking on their electronic device. 34 criteria are specific for route planning and navigation task.

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