User Engagement – Key to the development of AT products



  • Roxana Fischer, UX Research Analyst, Vispero

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


UX makes many people think of the visual appearance of a product, but what if the user's sense of sight is limited or missing? Is it enough to follow the accessibility guidelines? We want to dive into the importance of UX in assistive technologies and introduce how we implement a user-centered design lifecycle for the development of new features.


Compliance with accessibility guidelines is fundamental for assistive technologies but doesn't automatically lead to a pleasant user experience.

It is essential to ask: How can we ensure that assistive technologies meet the needs and abilities of users? For a screen reader user, speech, sound, and Braille output play the main role in perceiving the content.

Be sure to also listen to the stories users tell about their assistive technology. You'll find that the stories are rarely about the product features themselves. Most of the time, the stories revolve around the situation and the feeling of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

The user-centered design lifecycle starts with the initial idea, discussing user research and analysis. As part of the presentation, we will share our learnings of recent projects, such as the integrated voice assistant in ZoomText and JAWS.

At the end of the presentation, we like to answer the question and discuss our approach with the participants.


  1. Accessibility guidelines are fundamental in developing assistive technology, but they are not enough.
  2. Engaging users in the development of assistive technology is the key to improving user satisfaction.
  3. Continuously evaluate your design decisions with heuristics, user engagement, workflows, and focus groups.

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Assistive Technology, Research, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Roxana Fischer

I am a UX Research Analyst at Vispero, investigating the interface between our assistive technologies (JAWS, ZoomText, Fusion) and the users. My experience in accessibility started eight years ago when I coached blind and visually impaired users on how to use JAWS and ZoomText in their work environments effectively. Later on, I learned how to adapt these assistive technologies via scripts. This allowed me to significantly improve the interaction between the screen reader user and the relevant job-specific applications. This customization required an understanding of the application as well as the user's interaction with it. Seeing how these small adjustments improve the usability and productivity of the user significantly. This motivated me to be part of the development of these technologies on a large scale. For me, user engagement, usability testing, and academic research are essential for developing software. My last project was the research, design, and development of the first voice assistant in a Screen Magnifier and Screen Reader: Zoomy and Sharky. Throughout my bachelor's degree in computer science, my master's degree in human-computer interaction, and my experience as a coach and scripter, I learned about the technical side as well as its impact on users. This experience is guiding me.