The ever increasing prevalence of electronic information online has provided a medium that allows for greater access to a wider range of users. It is important that user groups such as older adults, or individuals with visual impairments or disabilities, have an equal level of access to electronic information as do individuals without visual impairments or disabilities. This study examined whether allowing older adults the ability to customize various aspects of text would improve their reading performance and subjective usability ratings, while reducing the level of reported visual fatigue for online reading. Data from 16 older adult participants (age 49 to 69) and 16 younger adult participants (age 18 to 22) were analyzed. Participants were asked to read text passages using a big or small screen size, and answer reading comprehension questions under conditions where they were able to customize text or not able to customize text. Reading performance and ratings of usability and visual fatigue were obtained. Results showed an interaction between customization condition and age group. In the customized reading conditions, younger adults were more accurate than older adults, but their performance did not differ significantly in the non-customized reading conditions. There was no effect of screen size on any of the dependent measures. Implications of these findings are discussed.
|Advisor:||Vu, Kim-Phuong L.|
|Commitee:||Dick, Wayne E., Strybel, Thomas Z.|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Information Technology, Psychology, Web Studies|
|Keywords:||Accessibility, Elderly adults, Online reading, Online text, Usability, Visual fatigue|
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