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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12777-12794; doi:10.3390/ijerph111212777

Mobile Applications for Participation at the Shopping Mall: Content Analysis and Usability for Persons with Physical Disabilities and Communication or Cognitive Limitations

1
Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal—Lucie-Bruneau Rehabilitation Center (CRIR-CRLB), 2275 Avenue Laurier East, Montreal, QC H2H 2N8, Canada
2
School of Rehabilitation, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128 Succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal, QC H3C 3J7, Canada
3
Department of Psychology, University of Quebec at Montreal, C.P. 888 Succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2014 / Revised: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 10 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Public Health)
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Abstract

The aim of this exploratory study was to determine the important features in content and usability of existing mobile applications evaluating environmental barriers and facilitators (EBF) to participation for persons with physical disabilities presenting mild communication or cognitive limitations. A rigorous process based on a user-centered design approach led to the identification of two relevant mobile applications to evaluate the EBF. An accessibility expert, the research team as well as five users then tested the mobile applications in a shopping mall. A thematic content analysis of the research team’s and users’ comments established 10 categories of key features that adequately respond to the needs of the clientele targeted in this study. In terms of content, granularity and contextualization of the information provided were considered important. With respect to usability, relevant features were place finding, rating system, presentation of results, compatibility, user-friendliness, aesthetics, credibility of the information as well as connectivity/interactiveness. The research team and the users agreed on some aspects such as aesthetics, but had different perspectives on features such as the rating system or the connectivity/interactiveness of the application. The users proposed new features suggesting that the existing mobile applications did not correspond to all their needs. View Full-Text
Keywords: universal design; mobile applications; participation; user-centered design; evaluation universal design; mobile applications; participation; user-centered design; evaluation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Auger, C.; Leduc, E.; Labbé, D.; Guay, C.; Fillion, B.; Bottari, C.; Swaine, B. Mobile Applications for Participation at the Shopping Mall: Content Analysis and Usability for Persons with Physical Disabilities and Communication or Cognitive Limitations. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 12777-12794.

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