User studies involving users with disabilities often incur greater financial and complexity costs than those involving general populations. Developers of end-user systems rarely, if ever, test their applications with disabled users in the early stages of design, typically preferring instead to interview a few typical, nondisabled users, or simply conduct an informal expert review. This is problematic since the biggest design decisions are often made early in the design process. Without feedback or input from disabled users about a system, design decisions may not reflect their needs. In particular, users with vision or motor impairments may bring special requirements to the user interface design process. This paper examines the feasibility of simulating the interaction experiences of users with motor impairments to help developers identify disability-related usability problems similar to those received during user testing. We present EASE (Evaluating Accessibility through Simulation of user Experience), a discount evaluation tool that simulates the interaction experiences of users with motor impairments. We show that the use of simulation in the context of users of word prediction software, with motor impairments, is an effective approach to obtaining results similar to those found through actual user studies with motor impaired users. Further, we discuss some of the advantages simulation of this sort affords, the design and implementation of EASE, and some on-going research into other possibilities for simulation.




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