• “Keep it simple!”: an eye-tracking study for exploring complexity and distinguishability of web pages for people with autism

      Eraslan, Sukru; Yesilada, Yeliz; Yaneva, Victoria; Ha, Le An (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-02-03)
      A major limitation of the international well-known standard web accessibility guidelines for people with cognitive disabilities is that they have not been empirically evaluated by using relevant user groups. Instead, they aim to anticipate issues that may arise following the diagnostic criteria. In this paper, we address this problem by empirically evaluating two of the most popular guidelines related to the visual complexity of web pages and the distinguishability of web-page elements. We conducted a comparative eye-tracking study with 19 verbal and highly independent people with autism and 19 neurotypical people on eight web pages with varying levels of visual complexity and distinguishability, with synthesis and browsing tasks. Our results show that people with autism have a higher number of fixations and make more transitions with synthesis tasks. When we consider the number of elements which are not related to given tasks, our analysis shows that they look at more irrelevant elements while completing the synthesis task on visually complex pages or on pages whose elements are not easily distinguishable. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first empirical behavioural study which evaluates these guidelines by showing that the high visual complexity of pages or the low distinguishability of page elements causes non-equivalent experience for people with autism.
    • Web users with autism: eye tracking evidence for differences

      Eraslan, Sukru; Yaneva, Victoria; Yesilada, Yeliz; Harper, Simon (Taylor and Francis, 2018-12-11)
      Anecdotal evidence suggests that people with autism may have different processing strategies when accessing the web. However, limited empirical evidence is available to support this. This paper presents an eye tracking study with 18 participants with high-functioning autism and 18 neurotypical participants to investigate the similarities and differences between these two groups in terms of how they search for information within web pages. According to our analysis, people with autism are likely to be less successful in completing their searching tasks. They also have a tendency to look at more elements on web pages and make more transitions between the elements in comparison to neurotypical people. In addition, they tend to make shorter but more frequent fixations on elements which are not directly related to a given search task. Therefore, this paper presents the first empirical study to investigate how people with autism differ from neurotypical people when they search for information within web pages based on an in-depth statistical analysis of their gaze patterns.