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  • 1.
    Ahmed, Salah Uddin
    et al.
    University of South-Eastern Norway, Norway.
    Dalipi, Fisnik
    University of South-Eastern Norway, Norway.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
    Plugin: a Crowdsourcing Mobile App for Easy Discovery of Public Charging Outlets2019In: HCI International 2019: Posters. HCII 2019 / [ed] Stephanidis C., Springer, 2019, Vol. 1034, p. 323-329Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Nowadays, the growth of mobile apps is so fast and viral; they have the potential of transforming our everyday lives by creating huge opportunities to individuals and businesses. This translates into a growing demand for developing such apps, which need to be easy to learn and use. In this paper, we conduct an evaluation of an android mobile app, which we designed and developed to find and register power outlets in public spaces. Our evaluation of the prototype consisted of two stages. First, we provided the users with two tasks, with an additional option to indicate their perception of how easy it was to complete these tasks. Second, upon completing both tasks and offering their comments, participants were asked to take the SUS (System Usability Scores) questionnaire. The results of the evaluation indicate that the app usability and learnability is acceptable despite being a prototype. The findings and participants’ comments give us a direction on how this app can be improved in the future.

  • 2.
    Bahadur Thapa, Ratan
    et al.
    Oslo and Akershus University, Norway.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Oslo and Akershus University, Norway.
    Giannoumis, G. Anthony
    Oslo and Akershus University, Norway.
    Using non-speech sounds to increase web image accessibility for screen-reader users2017In: Proceedings of the 35th ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: ACM Press, 2017, article id 19Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Screen-reader users access images on the Web using alternative text delivered via synthetic speech. However, research shows that this is a tedious and unsatisfying experience for blind users, because text-to-speech applications lack expressiveness. This paper, poses an alternative approach using an experiment that compares audemes, a type of non-speech sounds, with alternative text delivered using synthetic speech. In a pilot study with fourteen sighted users, findings show that audemes perform better across many areas. Specifically, audemes required lower mental and temporal demands and led to less effort and frustration and better task performance. Moreover, participants recognized audemes with higher accuracy and lower errors. Audemes were also perceived as more engaging compared to alternative text delivered using synthetic speech. Additionally, audemes were found to be richer in delivering information. This study suggests that non-speech sounds could substitute or complement alternative text when describing images on the Web.

  • 3.
    Beyene, Wondwossen
    et al.
    Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway.
    A Case for Adaptation to Enhance Usability and Accessibility of Library Resource Discovery Tools2017In: Universal Access in Human–Computer Interaction. Design and Development Approaches and Methods, Springer, 2017, Vol. 10277, p. 145-155Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Library resource discovery tools (RDTs) are the latest generation of library catalogs that enable searching across disparate databases and repositories from a single search box. Although such “Google-like” experience has been applauded as a benefit for library users, there still exist usability and accessibility problems related to the diversity of user goals, needs, and preferences. To better understand these problems, we conducted an extensive literature review and in this process, we initially grouped issues into three categories: interface, resource description, and navigation. Based on these categories, we propose adaptation as an alternative approach to enhance the usability and accessibility of RDTs. The adaptations could be conducted on three levels pertaining to categories of issues found, namely: interface, information, and navigation level. The goal of this paper is to suggest how the process of adaptation could be considered in order to mitigate usability and accessibility issues of RDT interfaces.

  • 4.
    Dalipi, Fisnik
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM). University of South-Eastern Norway, Norway.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
    Kurti, Arianit
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM). RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden.
    Integrating MOOCs in Regular Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities from a Scandinavian Perspective2018In: Learning and Collaboration Technologies: Design, Development and Technological Innovation. LCT 2018 / [ed] Panayiotis Zaphiris and Andri Ioannou, Springer, 2018, Vol. 10924, p. 193-204Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    MOOCs are increasingly being considered by universities as an integral part of their curriculum. Nevertheless, there are several challenges that to some extent slow this process, where the most important one is the accreditation challenges and financing. These challenges are particularly important in the context of universities in Scandinavian countries where education is mostly free. In order to gain more insights on the status of proliferation of MOOCs in Scandinavian universities and understand any specific challenges, we conducted a study by analyzing two sources of data: research publications and university websites. Further on, these data have been analyzed using a framework that differentiates and categorizes MOOCs in terms of accreditation and scalability. As a result of this analysis, we have identified the remaining challenges as well as a number of opportunities regarding the full integration of MOOCs in the educational system of the Scandinavian Higher Education Institutions.

  • 5.
    Dalipi, Fisnik
    et al.
    Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA), Norway.
    Yayilgan, Sule Yildirim
    Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway.
    User Interface Evaluation of a Ski Injuries Management System2017In: Advances in Human Factors in Sports and Outdoor Recreation, Orlando, USA: Springer, 2017, p. 213-222Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although many technological devices and solutions to enhance the skiing experience are now available for skiers, skiing sometimes could turn to be potentially dangerous. The speed of movement, environment unpredictability, and variable weather conditions, among others, can contribute to some of the most common skiing injuries that skiers incur. In this paper, we conduct an interface prototype evaluation of a ski injury registration system architecture that is already developed. This system will improve the communication from the ski resort to the medical center, in case an injury has occurred. The results of the interface evaluation indicate that the ski patrollers showed very positive attitude and experience with this prototype. Furthermore, the post-task and SUS (System Usability Scale) question results showed very high score for all participants, indicating that locating the body parts and the right injury was very easy using the interface.

  • 6.
    Edwards, Richards
    et al.
    Indiana University, USA.
    Stewart, Jennifer
    Indiana University, USA.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Indiana University, USA.
    Assessing Effectiveness the Distributed Pair of Programming Online for an Informatics Curriculum2010In: ACM inroads, ISSN 2153-2184, E-ISSN 2153-2192, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 48-54Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies have shown that distributed pair programming improves student performance and retention in online computer science (CS) courses. However, as online CS courses become more commonly offered in computer science and Informatics departments around the country, it is imperative that distributed pair programming becomes as effective as when performed in co-located spaces such as computer labs. The present study identifies a disparity in student attitudes towards pair programming in co-located versus online environments. This study identifies several qualitative measures that can impact the pedagogical advantages of pair programming when implemented into an existing online computer science curriculum. This on-going study focuses on the online Informatics curriculum at Indiana University Bloomington and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Begun in Spring 2009, the research focuses on student experiences and perceptions of pair programming, and utilizes both quantitative and qualitative assessment methods. In order to improve the effectiveness of distributed pair programming, it is crucial to properly assess teaching and learning practices that will improve student engagement and motivation in distributed pair programming exercises. Student experience surveys, using a modified Likert scale, demonstrate that student-centered perceptions of the ease and effectiveness of pair programming differs significantly between co-located and online activities. This paper identifies several key areas where there is a noticeable variance between co-located and online pair programming experiences, and argues that addressing and improving these key areas will be vital for the successful implementation and sustainability of distributed pair programming efforts.

  • 7.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Investigating bookmarking habits of blind users2013In: Proceedings of the 6th Balkan Conference in Informatics, Thessaloniki, Greece: ACM Press, 2013, p. 137-140Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To easily revisit websites of interest, users typically use the browser's bookmarking feature. Due to technological barriers to access the web, however, the blind and visually impaired users make a little use of this feature. To further investigate such claim, we conducted a survey with 12 blind and visually impaired K-12 students. The results of the interview show that students have no or limited use of the bookmarking service. The main reason is found to be the small number of websites they visit, thus not having the need to bookmark them. Another reason is the difficulty to create and also access the created bookmarks. An interesting result from the survey is that blind and visually impaired like to share the websites they use. To take advantage of this, we propose a solution that will combine the bookmarking and sharing features using a "bag" metaphor, which enriched with non-speech sounds, could encourage blind and visually impaired students browse larger number and more diverse websites.

  • 8.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
    Babar, Ayesha
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
    Carine, Kanani
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
    Hamidi, Ali
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
    Mörtberg, Christina
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
    Participatory Design Approach to Internet of Things: Co-designing a Smart Shower for and with People with Disabilities2018In: Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction: Virtual, Augmented, and Intelligent Environments. UAHCI 2018 / [ed] Antona M., Stephanidis C., Springer, 2018, p. 246-261Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Smart home products are becoming widespread aiming to increase people’s independence, especially for the elderly and people with disabilities. In order to design them suitably for this community, their involvement in the requirement gathering and design process is particularly important. In this paper, we report a study we conducted with six people having various disabilities. The aim was to identify the type of smart product that mostly increases their independence at home. We used three requirement gathering methods in a participatory fashion, namely, cartographic mapping, future workshop, and cultural probe. The outcome of the study revealed that participants mostly needed a product for a bathroom, specifically a smart shower. The initial prototype design of the product was developed together with participants. Researchers further investigated the prototype design using littleBits electronic modules. The smart shower is anticipated to have the most effect in increasing not only user independence, but also privacy.

  • 9.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway.
    Beyene, Wondwossen
    Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway.
    Developing Heuristics for Evaluating the Accessibility of Digital Library Interfaces2017In: Universal Access in Human–Computer Interaction. Design and Development Approaches and Methods / [ed] Antona M., Stephanidis C., Springer, 2017, p. 171-181Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Digital libraries are important resources for the education of all, including people with disabilities. Designing their interfaces to include broader range of users has been a challenge, partly because to evaluate their accessibility, access to participants is a difficult part. Hence, to overcome such limitation, researchers often use heuristics to evaluate library interfaces. Generic heuristics are typically lengthy or too general, hence not suitable to uncover accessibility issues with library interfaces. In this paper, we address this issue by proposing heuristics specifically designed for the evaluation of digital library interfaces. The initial set of heuristics was derived from four different sources independently rated by two domain experts. In addition, four new items were proposed based on observations we conducted in another study on the accessibility of digital libraries. The final set of heuristics proposed is consisted of sixteen items tailored specifically to evaluate the accessibility of digital library interfaces.

  • 10.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    Indiana University, USA.
    Bolchini, Davide
    Indiana University, USA.
    Mannheimer, Steve
    Indiana University, USA.
    Towards a Modeling Language for Designing Auditory Interfaces2009In: Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction: Applications and Services : 5th International Conference, UAHCI 2009 Held as Part of HCI International 2009 San Diego, CA, USA, July 19-24, 2009 Proceedings, Part III / [ed] Constantine Stephanidis, Springer, 2009, p. 502-511Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Auditory applications are systems that communicate content, navigation capabilities and functionality mainly via the aural channel, or via a combination of the aural and visual channels, and can support the user interaction in a multimodal fashion as well (e.g. through touch or speech). In this paper, we present the preliminary results of an exploratory research effort aimed at establishing a design modeling language for auditory applications, by extending an existing interactive application design model (IDM, Interactive Dialogue Model) used in the area of hypermedia and information-intensive applications. Our exploratory research capitalizes on previous experience in hypermedia modeling, aural information architectures, and design of auditory applications. We use an auditory application, the Acoustic Edutainment Interface (AEDIN), as a real case study to inform and exemplify the use of the modeling language. 

  • 11.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    Oslo and Akershus University, Norway.
    Kurti, Arianit
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science. Interactive Institute Swedish ICT.
    Vogel, Bahtijar
    Malmö University.
    Raufi, Bujar
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Augmenting requirements gathering for people with special needs using IoT: A position paper2016In: CHASE '16: Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering, ACM Press, 2016, p. 48-51Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Requirements gathering are an important aspect of application development, especially when users are people with special needs. Traditionally, this process is being conducted using conventional methods, such as interviews, workshops and questionnaires. These approaches, however, are unable to grasp the full context when collecting data from the communities of people with special needs, mainly because of the difficult access to participants and incomprehensiveness of the data gathered. To mitigate such issues, in this position paper, we argue that existing traditional methods could be complemented by means of Internet of Things. The immense amount of data gathered from various devices interconnected could help generate meaningful data that will complement the usually insufficient amount collected using traditional methods. This new approach is, however, associated with challenges that are discussed along with a possible scenario on how data complementing from traditional and the indirect method could be done. 

  • 12.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    Indiana University, USA.
    Mannheimer, Steven
    Indiana University, USA.
    Bolchini, Davide
    Indiana University, USA.
    Acoustic Interaction Design through “Audemes”: Experiences with the Blind2009In: Proceedings of the 27th ACM international conference on Design of communication, ACM Publications, 2009, p. 23-28Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents and discusses design decisions for an acoustic edutainment application for blind users called AEDIN (Acoustic EDutainment INterface), comprising audio elements used as navigational and thematic landmarks in touch-screen computers. We tested designs with blind and visually impaired teenagers. Preliminary results demonstrated the efficacy of AEDIN as an easy-to-learn and memorize architecture, and a potentially fun interface. The paper illustrates the lessons learned from the design and evaluation experience and contextually outlines new research directions for aural communication design.

  • 13.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    Indiana University, USA.
    Mannheimer, Steven
    Indiana University, USA.
    Bolchini, Davide
    Indiana University, USA.
    Usability Evaluation of Acoustic Interfaces for the Blind2011In: Proceedings of the 29th ACM international conference on Design of communication, SIGDOC'11, Pisa, Italy: ACM Publications, 2011, p. 9-16Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With the rapid advent of touchscreen devices, opportunities are increasing to develop innovative interfaces, including applications that combine touch input with auditory feedback to serve the blind and visually impaired (BVI) community. Targeted to blind high- school children, our innovative design, AEDIN (Acoustic EDutainment INterface), uses non-speech sounds simultaneously as navigational prompts and content icons/signifiers for recorded text-to-speech educational essays, which are the main content of this application. A study of two versions of AEDIN was conducted with 20 participants from a K-12 school for the BVI to evaluate its usability and identify ways to improve it. Through the collection of quantitative and qualitative data, we discovered key design improvements that made AEDIN a highly usable and enjoyable interface for these users. The paper highlights good design practices for acoustic interfaces.

  • 14.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway.
    Mripa, Njomza
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Bunjaku, Ridvan
    ALMOOC, Macedonia.
    Accessibility of MOOCs for Blind People in Developing Non-English Speaking Countries2016In: Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, Springer, 2016, Vol. 500, p. 519-528Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Besides the globally popular MOOCs, localized MOOCs specific to a region or language are also emerging. These specialized MOOCs often aim to address specific needs that are typically unaddressed by the global MOOCs. Such example is Almooc that aims to address the needs of the Albanian-speaking persons who lack English proficiency. Despite the MOOCs adage to include and offer education to all people, research has shown that their interface is not accessible to people with disabilities, such as the blind. To evaluate the level of accessibility of Almooc, in this paper we report findings from three different methods: usability testing, automatic accessibility checking, and heuristic evaluation. The results indicate that Almooc is not currently accessible to blind people, however, we present recommendations to easily overcome the discovered issues.

  • 15.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    Oslo and Akershus University College, Norway.
    Murano, Pietro
    Oslo and Akershus University, Norway.
    Giannoumis, G. Anthony
    Oslo and Akershus University, Norway.
    Universal Design of User Interfaces in Self-driving Cars2017In: Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. AHFE 2017 / [ed] Di Bucchianico G., Kercher P., Springer, 2017, Vol. 587, p. 220-228Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Self-driving cars are already being tested in our roads, and several benefits to society are expected with their mainstream use. They also present an opportunity to increase independent mobility for people with disabilities and the elderly. To achieve this, however, the in-car interaction should be redesigned to be suitable for these groups of previously excluded car users. An investigation of existing literature helped us identify two main challenges that could impact the adoption of self-driving cars by such users, namely, their acceptance and multimodal in-car interaction. To mitigate such challenges, we propose in this paper a model that frames the process of universally designing the in-car interactions to increase usability for everyone, while maintaining safety. We argue that integrating universal design early in the development of in-car interaction will ensure their accessibility and usability by all people.

  • 16.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    Indiana University, USA.
    Pfaff, Mark S.
    Indiana University, USA.
    Mannheimer, Steve
    Indiana University, USA.
    Bolchini, Davide
    Indiana University, USA.
    Audemes at work: Investigating features of non-speech sounds to maximize content recognition2012In: International journal of human-computer studies, ISSN 1071-5819, E-ISSN 1095-9300, Vol. 70, no 12, p. 936-966Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To access interactive systems, blind users can leverage their auditory senses by using non-speech sounds. The structure of existing non-speech sounds, however, is geared toward conveying atomic operations at the user interface (e.g., opening a file) rather than evoking broader, theme-based content typical of educational material (e.g., an historical event). To address this problem, we investigate audemes, a new category of non-speech sounds whose semiotic structure and flexibility open new horizons for the aural interaction with content-rich applications. Three experiments with blind participants examined the attributes of an audeme that most facilitate the accurate recognition of their meaning. A sequential concatenation of different sound types (music, sound effect) yielded the highest meaning recognition, whereas an overlapping arrangement of sounds of the same type (music, music) yielded the lowest meaning recognition. We discuss seven guidelines to design well-formed audemes.

  • 17.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Raufi, Bujar
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Kurti, Arianit
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science.
    Vogel, Bahtijar
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science.
    Accessibility Requirements for Blind and Visually Impaired in a Regional Context: An Exploratory Study2014In: 2014 IEEE 2nd International Workshop on Usability and Accessibility focused Requirements Engineering (UsARE) / [ed] Shah Rukh Humayoun, Norbert Seyff, Nauman A. Qureshi, Anna Perini, Achim Ebert, David Callele, and Simone D. J. Barbosa, IEEE Press, 2014, p. 13-16Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    At the time when we are debating the Internet as a human right, an access to basic online information is a challenge for blind and visually impaired community. Steps taken for their digital inclusion, such as, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are often insufficient. In this paper we present initial requirements gathered during three workshops organized with various stakeholders coming from three different countries. Initial results suggest that the context of use and the cultural dimension play a crucial role in making digital content accessible for this community. Additionally, a one-solution-fits-all model is inadequate without considering levels of visual impairment when providing customized web and mobile experience. Finally, we lay out challenges that with comprehensive requirements gathering in the future, could address various problems that blind and visually impaired face.

  • 18.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway.
    Sulejmani, Lirim
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Automatic Adaptation Techniques to Increase the Web Accessibility for Blind Users2016In: HCI International 2016 – Posters' Extended Abstracts: 18th International Conference, HCI International 2016 Toronto, Canada, July 17–22, 2016 Proceedings, Part II / [ed] Constantine Stephanidis, Springer, 2016, p. 30-36Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite the available guidelines and tools to build accessible websites, many still fail to be accessible and usable by the blind users. Web content adaptation has been used as an approach to enhance website accessibility by applying automatic transformation techniques. We describe here a system that automatically increases webpage accessibility by applying three different techniques: link enrichment, image enrichment, and navigation enrichment. Preliminary evaluation of these techniques reveals that the prototype successfully eliminates half of the accessibility errors identified by validating tools and it performs equally well regardless of the accessibility compliance level of the website.

  • 19.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    et al.
    Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway.
    Vogel, Bahtijar
    Malmö University.
    Kurti, Arianit
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Computer Science. Interactive Institute Swedish ICT.
    Raufi, Bujar
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Astals, David Salvador
    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.
    Web Accessibility for Visually Impaired People: Requirements and Design Issues2016In: Usability- and Accessibility-Focused Requirements Engineering: First International Workshop, UsARE 2012, Held in Conjunction with ICSE 2012, Zurich, Switzerland, June 4, 2012 and Second International Workshop, UsARE 2014, Held in Conjunction with RE 2014, Karlskrona, Sweden, August 25, 2014, Revised Selected Papers / [ed] Ebert, Achim; Humayoun, Rukh Shah; Seyff, Norbert; Perini, Anna; Barbosa, D.J. Simone, Cham: Springer, 2016, p. 79-96Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Access to web content continues to be a challenge for the visually impaired, as the needs of such community are very diverse. The access is further hindered by the fact that designers continue to build websites non-compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). To better understand the needs of the visually impaired community, three workshops were organized with various stakeholders coming from three different countries. The results from the workshops suggest that one-solution-fits-all model is inadequate without considering the levels of visual impairment when providing customized web experience. A set of requirements devised from the workshops guided the process of building a middleware prototype. Using eight adaptation techniques, the prototype provides the required user experience based on users level of visual impairment. Preliminary evaluation of the middleware suggests that several adaptation techniques perform better with non-WCAG compliant websites compared to those being compliant.

  • 20.
    Giannoumis, G. Anthony
    et al.
    Oslo and Akershus University, Norway.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Oslo and Akershus University, Norway.
    Pandya, Umesh
    Wayfindr, UK.
    Krivonos, Daria
    Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway.
    Pey, Tom
    Royal Society for Blind Children, UK.
    Usability of Indoor Network Navigation Solutions for Persons with Visual Impairments2018In: Breaking Down Barriers. CWUAAT 2018 / [ed] Pat Langdon, Jonathan Lazar, Ann Heylighen, Hua Dong, Springer, 2018, p. 135-145Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) obligates States Parties to ensure personal mobility and independence for persons with disabilities by promoting access to and the development of assistive technology (AT)—i.e. products and services that enhance daily living and quality of life for persons with disabilities. Research has examined the experiences of persons with different disabilities using ICT and AT for indoor navigation and wayfinding. However, in the last year, ICT developers have made substantial strides in deploying Internet of Things (IoT) devices as part of indoor network navigation solutions (INNS) for persons with visual impairments. This article asks, ‘To what extent do persons with visual impairments perceive INNS as usable?’ Quantitative and qualitative data from an experimental trial conducted with 36 persons with visual impairments shows that persons with visual impairments largely consider INNS as usable for wayfinding in transportation stations. However, the results also suggest that persons with visual impairments experienced barriers using INNS due to the timing of the instructions. Future research should continue to investigate the usability of INNS for persons with visual impairments and focus specifically on reliability and responsivity of the instruction timing.

  • 21.
    Mannheimer, Steve
    et al.
    Indiana University, USA.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Indiana University, USA.
    Bolchini, Davide
    Indiana University, USA.
    Palakal, Mathew
    Indiana University, USA.
    Educational Sound Symbols for the Visually Impaired2009In: Universal Access in Human-Computer Interaction: Addressing Diversity : 5th International Conference, UAHCI 2009 Held as Part of HCI International 2009 San Diego, CA, USA, July 19-24, 2009 Proceedings, Part I / [ed] Constantine Stephanidis, Springer, 2009, p. 106-115Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Acoustic-based computer interactivity offers great potential [1], particularly with blind and visually impaired users [2]. At Indiana University’s School of Informatics at IUPUI, we have developed an innovative educational approach relying on “audemes,” short, nonverbal sound symbols made up of 2-5 individual sounds lasting 3-7 seconds - like expanded “earcons”[3] - to encode and prompt memory. To illustrate: An audeme for “American Civil War” includes a 3-second snippet of the song Dixie partially overlapped by a snippet of Battle Hymn of the Republic, followed by battle sounds, together lasting 5 seconds. Our focus on non-verbal sound explores the mnemonic impact of metaphoric rather than literal signification. Working for a year with BVI students, we found audemes improved encoding and long-term memory of verbal educational content, even after five months, and engaged the students in stimulating ways.

  • 22.
    Mannheimer, Steven
    et al.
    Indiana University, USA.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Indiana University, USA.
    Huckleberry, Donald
    Indiana University, USA.
    Palakal, Mathew
    Indiana University, USA.
    Using Audemes as a Learning Medium for the Visually Impaired2009In: HEALTHINF 2009. Second International Conference on Health Informatics, Porto, Portugal: INSTICC Press, 2009, p. 175-180Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we demonstrate the utility of short, nonverbal sound symbols—called “audemes”—in the encoding and recalling of text-based educational materials. In weekly meetings over a school year with blind and visually impaired pre-college students, we explored their capacity for long-term memory of individual audemes, audeme sequences, and textual content presented in conjunction with these. Through interviews and group discussions, we also explored the ability of these students to create intuitive narratives enabling memory of complex audemes and series of audemes. Further, we explored the mnemonic power of positive affect in audemes, and the impact of thematic association of information-to-audeme. Our results showed that the use of audemes can improve encoding and recall of educational content in the visually impaired population. The ultimate goal of our work is implementation of an “acoustic interface” allowing users to access a database of audemes and associated text-to-speech content. 

  • 23.
    Marcano, Laura
    et al.
    Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA), Norway.
    Yazidi, Anis
    Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA), Norway.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA), Norway.
    Komulainen, Tiina
    Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA), Norway.
    Towards Effective Automatic Feedback for Simulator Training2017In: Proceedings of the 58th Conference on Simulation and Modelling (SIMS 58)Reykjavik, Iceland, September 25th – 27th, 2017, Linköping University Electronic Press, 2017, p. 203-208, article id 028Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The presence of an expert instructor during simulator training is of great importance for the trainees, if not indispensable. The instructor’s role is to give feedback and guide the trainees to help them make the right decisions on time as effectively as possible. The instructor starts or pauses the training scenarios when needed and facilitates reflection during and after the scenarios. However, the fact that simulator-training sessions are very dependent on the participation of a guiding instructor can be a drawback, since there are not always sufficient expert instructors to fulfil the training demands. In this work, an intelligent tutoring system (ITS) is proposed as an automatic feedback solution for simulator training. It is based on effective assessment of the system conditions using a clustering based anomaly detection technique as a core component. Furthermore, we provide insights into the design of a proper interface for our ITS. The article presents the methodology for developing such a system which consists of three stages: data collection, data analysis and delivering feedback.

  • 24.
    Memeti, Suejb
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    Pllana, Sabri
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
    Kurti, Arianit
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    Jusufi, Ilir
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    IoTutor: How Cognitive Computing Can Be Applied to Internet of Things Education2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We present IoTutor that is a cognitive computing solution for education of students in the IoT domain. We implement the IoTutor as a platform-independent web-based application that is able to interact with users via text or speech using natural language. We train the IoTutor with selected scientific publications relevant to the IoT education. To investigate users' experience with the IoTutor, we ask a group of students taking an IoT master level course at the Linnaeus University to use the IoTutor for a period of two weeks. We ask students to express their opinions with respect to the attractiveness, perspicuity, efficiency, stimulation, and novelty of the IoTutor. The evaluation results show a trend that students express an overall positive attitude towards the IoTutor with majority of the aspects rated higher than the neutral value.

  • 25.
    Mijuskovic, Adriana
    et al.
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Norway.
    Cloud Storage Privacy and Security User Awareness: a Comparative Analysis between Dutch and Macedonian Users2016In: International Journal of Human Capital and Information Technology Professionals, ISSN 1947-3478, E-ISSN 1947-3486, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 1-18Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There are many factors influencing the user awareness level of privacy and security concerns when storing data on the cloud. One such factor is the users’ cultural background, which has been an inspiration to many studies comparing various cultures. Along those lines, this paper compares the user awareness level between Dutch and Macedonian users, which has not been investigated before. An online study was conducted to measure users’ attitude towards privacy and security of data in the cloud-based systems. The research process was conducted by delivering an online survey to Computer Science students and employees working in different software companies in the Netherlands and Macedonia. The comparative analysis indicates that there are differences in user’s attitude towards storing private data in the cloud. The results of this paper demonstrate that Dutch compared to Macedonian users in general have higher level of awareness regarding the privacy and security of cloud storage. 

  • 26.
    Mijuskovic, Adriana
    et al.
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    User Awareness of Existing Privacy and Security Risks when Storing Data in the Cloud2015In: Proceedings of International Conference on E-Learning 15, European Commission, 2015, p. 268-273Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many studies have ranked the security and privacy of cloud-based systems to be a major concern for their adoption by companies, however, there are not many studies investigating users’ awareness level about these issues. An online study was conducted to study users’ attitude towards privacy and security of data in the cloud-based systems. The research was conducted by delivering an online questionnaire to Computer Science students and employees working in software development companies. The results showed that users in general are aware of existing privacy and security risks when storing data in the cloud, but they lack knowledge when asked to describe those risks and threats in detail. This study indicates a necessity to increase the privacy and security awareness to cloud users about the risks when storing their data in the cloud. 

  • 27.
    Raufi, Bujar
    et al.
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Zenuni, Xhemal
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Ajdari, Jaumin
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Ismaili, Florije
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Methods and Techniques of Adaptive Web Accessibility for the Blind and Visually Impaired2015In: Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences: World Conference on Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship / [ed] Sefer Şener, Ercan Sarıdoğan, Selva Staub, Elsevier, 2015, Vol. 195, p. 1999-2007Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Massive volumes of information shared on the web together with linked open data initiatives and exabytes of data generated through social networks frequently disorientates and confuses web users in their everyday interaction. Additionally, web users constitute a highly heterogeneous entities with different needs and requirements. Considering this, user adaptive software systems have been developed as a new application approach to ease the interaction between users and web information with the intent to bridge the gap between such presentation and navigational pitfalls. The user adaptive interaction is especially useful when considering a marginalized group such as blind and visually impaired users. This paper attempts at providing an overview of a state-of-the-art survey concerning adaptive interaction between users and web information space with special emphasis on exploiting methods and techniques for adaptive web accessibility for blind and visually impaired people. Likewise, the exploration of possibilities of new methods and techniques for user adapted interaction for blind and visually impaired is highly required in order to alleviate the accessibility according to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Recent studies indicate that even when the guidelines are implemented on web information systems, there is little indication that people with disabilities will gain better accessibility. To address these issues, we introduce various visual and auditory approaches to extend such adaptive methods and techniques for blind and visually impaired. 

  • 28.
    Raufi, Bujar
    et al.
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Ismaili, Florije
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Ajdari, Jaumin
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Zenuni, Xhemal
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Semantic resource adaptation based on generic ontology models2014In: Proceedings of ICSOFT_PT 2014: 9th International Conference on Software Paradigm Trends, Vienna, Austria, Austria: IEEE, 2014, p. 103-108Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, a substantial shift from the web of documents to the paradigm of web of data is witnessed. This is seen from the proliferation of massive semantic repositories such as Linked Open Data. Recommending and adapting resources over these repositories however, still represents a research challenge in the sense of relevant data aggregation, link maintenance, provenance and inference. In this paper, we introduce a model of adaptation based on user activities for performing concept adaptation on large repositories built upon extended generic ontology model for Adaptive Web-Based Systems. The architecture of the model is consisted of user data extraction, user knowledgebase, ontology retrieval and application and a semantic reasoner. All these modules are envisioned to perform specific tasks in order to deliver efficient and relevant resources to the users based on their browsing preferences. Specific challenges in relation to the proposed model are also discussed.

  • 29.
    Rohani Ghahari, Romisa
    et al.
    Indiana University, USA.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Indiana University, USA.
    Yang, Tao
    Indiana University, USA.
    Bolchini, Davide
    Indiana University, USA.
    Back Navigation Shortcuts for Screen Reader Users2012In: Proceedings of the 14th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on Computers and accessibility, ASSETS'12, New York, USA: ACM Publications, 2012, p. 1-8Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When screen reader users need to back track pages to re-find previously visited content, they are forced to listen to some portion of each unwanted page to recognize it. This makes aural back navigation inefficient, especially on large websites. To address this problem, we introduce topic- and list-based back: two navigation strategies that provide back browsing shortcuts by leveraging the conceptual structure of content-rich websites. Both are manifested in Webtime, an accessible website on the history of the Web. A controlled study (N=10) conducted at the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired compared topic- and list-based back to traditional back mechanisms while participants completed fact-finding tasks. Topic- and list-based back significantly decreased time-on-task and number of backtracked pages; the navigation shortcuts were also associated with positive improvements in perceived cognitive effort and navigation experience. The proposed strategies can operate as a supplement to current back mechanisms in information-rich websites.

  • 30.
    Trajkova, Milka
    et al.
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    South East European University, Macedonia.
    Usability Evaluation of Kinect-based System for Ballet Movements2015In: Design, User Experience, and Usability: Users and Interactions : 4th International Conference, DUXU 2015 Held as Part of HCI International 2015 Los Angeles, CA, USA, August 2–7, 2015 Proceedings, Part II / [ed] Aaron Marcus, Springer, 2015, p. 464-472Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Since the 1800s, ballet education is influenced by the use of mirrors. The aim of this study is to evaluate a Kinect-based system called Super Mirror, to discover if it has an impact on the usability in ballet instruction. Ballet students were evaluated on eight ballet movements (plié, élevé, grand plié, battement tendu (front, side and back), passé and développé) to measure the Super Mirror’s impact. The results show a potential usage in ballet education but improvements of Super Mirror are needed to comply with the standardized subject matter expert’s criteria. 

  • 31.
    Urbas, Rasa
    et al.
    University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
    Kuscer, Ana
    University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Informatics.
    Urska, Stankovic Elesini
    University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
    Accessibility of Slovenia’s Museums for Blind and Visually Impaired2018In: Proceedings 9th international symposium on graphic engineering and design, GRID 2018, Novi Sad: University of Novi Sad , 2018, p. 489-494Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Accessibility of museums and other cultural institutions is not equal for all visitors. Since the perception of the human surroundings bases mainly on the visual experience, people with vision disabilities, either blind or visually impaired, are deprived of this kind of experience. Desiring to provide an equivalent user experience more and more institutions show the tendency of offering different variations of adjustments. Adjustments for blind and visually impaired are usually limited to the use of existing exhibition materials for all visitors either in the form of audio guides, guides or brochures in Braille, tags in Braille, less often tactile objects, tactile maps, floor markings, larger signs or indicators, magnifying glass, and sound elements. Though it seems that numerous adjustments are being used, the reality shows that they are still rare. Besides that, these materials and adaptations usually do not fulfil the requirements of adequate museum experience therefore, the need of improving the current state is necessary. In this paper an overview of needs and demands, which need to be fulfilled within the graphic arts and communication technologies possibilities, either for Braille, tactile or audio demands for presenting the lack of visual experience with blind and visually impaired, is presented.

  • 32.
    Yang, Tao
    et al.
    Indiana University, USA.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Indiana University, USA.
    He, Li
    Indiana University, USA.
    Bolchini, Davide
    Indiana University, USA.
    Navigating by Index and Guided Tour for Fact Finding2012In: Proceedings of the 30th ACM international conference on Design of communication, SIGDOC'12, New York: ACM Publications, 2012, p. 181-190Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The primary mechanism for navigating a website consists of pages with lists of links (or indexes). Such indexes are most effective when they convey the necessary hint (or scent) to anticipate the content they point to. When indexes fail to do so, users who are seeking specific information need to click on a link just to explore where it leads to, and then go back to the index to select another item. In a study with 150 participants, we explored whether guided tour navigation – which enables users to linearly browse items without going back to the index – could outperform scentless indexes in fact-finding tasks. Our results suggest that indexes remain a better solution than guided tours, even when lacking information scent. Guided tours, however, improve user’s performance when the target content is found in the first half of collection with 20 items. Implications for designing effective navigation patterns are discussed.

  • 33.
    Yang, Tao
    et al.
    Indiana University, USA.
    Ferati, Mexhid
    Indiana University, USA.
    Liu, Yikun
    Indiana University, USA.
    Rohani Ghahari, Romisa
    Indiana University, USA.
    Bolchini, Davide
    Indiana University, USA.
    Aural Browsing On-The-Go: Listening-based Back Navigation in Large Web Architectures2012In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI'12, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2012, p. 277-286Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mobile web navigation requires highly-focused visual attention, which poses problems when it is inconvenient or distracting to continuously look at the screen (e.g., while walking). Aural interfaces support more eyes-free experiences, as users can primarily listen to the content and occasionally look at the device. Yet, designing aural information architectures remains a challenge. Specifically, back navigation is inefficient in the aural setting, as it forces users to listen to each previous page to retrieve the desired content. This paper introduces topic- and list-based back: two navigation strategies to enhance aural browsing. Both are manifest in Green-Savers Mobile (GSM), an aural mobile site. A study (N=29) compared both solutions to traditional back mechanisms. Our findings indicate that topic- and list-based back enable faster access to previous pages, improve the navigation experience and reduce perceived cognitive load. The proposed designs apply to a wide range of content-intensive, ubiquitous web systems.

1 - 33 of 33
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