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Thoughts on "Object permanence" and "Motor automaticity" with AAC (from Ajit via Google) #143

lseeman opened this issue Aug 11, 2020 · 1 comment


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lseeman commented Aug 11, 2020

from Ajit (from Google) on AAC: I took a little more time to look through the guidelines in this document. 

There were two best practices that I've had personal experience with during my AAC career, which I couldn't find references to in the document. Perhaps worth looking into (or feel free to point me to where they are in the doc). 

  1. Object permanence. We frequently found that scrolling to find objects is challenging cognitively. This is true not just in the AAC use case but also for MCI. When we were doing research for Action Blocks, for example, we found some older adults putting all of their apps in folders on one page of the home screen - even if that makes the icons really small - because they didn't find paging through different screens cognitively easy enough.

  2. Motor automaticity. This is a major theme in the AAC community, since a high level of cognitive burden due to the AAC app UI can interfere with the user's linguistic processes. There's a theme of keeping the same item on different screens always in a consistent physical location, so that the user can rely on muscle memory to activate and trigger them. I've found that this consistency greatly increases the learnability of user interfaces, particularly on touch surfaces.

@SteveALee SteveALee changed the title from Ajit (from Google) on AAC Thoughts on "Object permanence" and "Motor automaticity" with AAC (from Ajit via Google) Aug 12, 2020
@lseeman lseeman added the discuss label Sep 7, 2020
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Thank you for your comments. We intend to add clarifications, based on your
comments, to pattern 4.2.3 pattern 4.3.4 and Persona: Amy Scenario 1.

In addition you will find other places that we have address these issues:

Object permanence

Challenges with object permanence (not the particular phrase), are covered

· 3.2.1 User Story: Findable includes the user need - "I can reach
important information and the controls I need without scrolling or carrying
out other actions. They are not hidden or off screen."

· 4.2.6 Pattern: Make the Relationship Clear Between Controls and
What They Affect - "Avoiding multiple or nested scrolling areas"

· 4.3.1 Pattern: Make it Easy to Identify the Most Important Tasks
and Features of the Site - "Placing the tasks/features towards the top of
the page so the user does not have to scroll to see them,

Placing the tasks/features toward the top of the content so assistive
technology finds them quickly"

· 4.3.4 Pattern: Ensure the Most Important Things on the Page are
Easy to Find - "Make key content visually stand out and be visible to users
without needing to scroll the page or hover over content."

Motor automaticity

Challenges around motor automaticity (not the particular phrase), are
covered in:

· 3.7.4 User Story: Cognitive Stress - "I need simple, consistent

· 3.8.1 User Story: Adapt - "I need the controls to be consistently
positioned on the screen where I expect them to be."

· 4.2.3 Pattern: Use a Consistent Visual Design - "Use a consistent
visual design across groups of pages." and "Layout is consistent across
blocks of content, including position of interactive elements and
navigational controls."

Adding the terms into the document, the glossary, and Use Cases/Personas is
bigger than we can handle in the time we have available for publishing
version 1. We would like to address these issues more in the next version
(1.1) of our document, when we will have more time. We intend to consider
for version 1.1:

· Adding the terms motor automaticity and object permanence into
the document to make it easier for those looking for the term to find the
appropriate user stories and patterns

· Adding the terms into the glossary if the term becomes added into
the document

· Adding the terms into a Use Case/Persona

Thanks again for your review and help

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