“The trend in the development of apps should be universal design”


22 December, 2013

“The trend in the development of apps should be universal design”

We addressed the following issues in our interview with Halena Rojas: the Smartphone user with visual disability and computer developers. Halena works as a consultant in the fields of accessibility, universal design e-learning and new technologies. She previously worked as a programmer in various educational projects. We had the opportunity to hear her in the past DRT4ALL Congress, where she presented the findings of her study on accessibility in app builders for Android phones. Today we talk about smartphones, apps development and accessibility.

– What have smartphones contributed to the daily lives of people with visual disability?

Smartphones are a gateway to information, and they improve the quality of life of these people, mainly in the fields of entertainment and education, but also in many aspects of their daily life.

– Do you use apps often?

Yes, quite often.

– In the current context, what would you say is the ratio of accessible applications to the total number of apps?

To my knowledge, there are no precise statistical data on the percentage of accessible apps available. In my opinion data, the ratio of apps available is less than 25% relative to the total, although I must say that many developers are more accessibility-conscious than before.

– And in the field of culture, are museums are adapting to this change of format and consumer habits?

I would say in Spain, museums have begun to adapt, but they have a lot to do still.

– When a user with visual disability is in an exhibition or a particular collection of works, what does he expect to find?

Speaking for myself, not to be reckless, I usually do not expect anything. That way, if I enjoy the moment … excellent, and if not … no big deal! I have respect for other people, and I would say that many would find expect to find the adaptation that allows them to enjoy art as anyone else would.

– Specific apps for each type of public or universal design?

Universal design. Targetization tends to be useful for the developer, but it does not favor inclusion or equality of opportunity. Today, specialized developments take better care of specific needs, but the trend in the development of general apps should be universal design.