Designing a Mobile User Interface for the Deaf: A Malaysian Context

By Chui Yin Wong and Chee Weng Khong.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Malaysia is a fast-paced developing nation with relatively low computer-Internet penetration, and high mobile network growth. Undeniably, the advancement of mobile communication technologies has created a new form of social network for communities to communicate and share similar interests via the mobile platform. With many such developing nations around in the world, it is inevitable that some social, communal and public support aspects may be left behind in the process of national and economic development. This paper looks at a case study on designing a mobile social network user interface for the deaf community in Malaysia, namely DHearT. DHearT is a mobile community design attempts to address the local digital divide and also to bridge the communal and communication gap between the deaf and hearing communities via the locally expanding mobile networks. In this paper, we also describe the form of partnership and challenges between a design institution, a telecommunication company and NGOs.

Keywords: Online Community, Deaf, Mobile user Interface, Icon Design, Metaphor, Design Process, Human Factors, Bridging Digital Divide

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.563-580. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 7.522MB).

Chui Yin Wong

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Chui Yin Wong is currently a Senior Lecturer for Interface Design (ID) Department, Faculty of Creative Multimedia (FCM), Multimedia University (MMU) Malaysia. She also plays a role as an Industrial R&D Liaison for ID. Chui Yin’s research interests are interface design, usability, user experience, interaction design, user research, inclusive design, mobile technologies, and Human-Computer Interaction. She is the Malaysian representative for IFIP TC13: Human-Computer Interaction. Chui Yin is the co-Program Chair (Design Case Studies) for Interaction Design for International Development (IDID) 2010 in India. In addition, she also serves as the co-chair for MYREN (Malaysian Research and Education Network) Interface Design and Ambient Intelligence (IDAI) Working Group, and also Special Interest Group (SIG) on Universal Usability and Interaction Design (UUID) at MMU. Currently, she is leading a project in ‘mobile and seniors’, which is funded by Telenor Research and Innovation Centre for Asia Pacific (TRICAP).

Chee Weng Khong

Programme Coordinator, Interface Design, Faculty of Creative Multimedia, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Chee Weng is the Head of the Interface Design Department at Multimedia University, Malaysia. His professional background is in product design, engineering design and design ergonomics. His current research activity looks at improving the usability of local public telecommunication products and services. Chee Weng has led several reseach centres at the university including the Centre for Collaborative Multimedia, Centre for Interpretation and Expression, and the Centre for Ergonomics since 1998. When he took over the lead for the Interface Design Department in 2004, he actively promoted user-centred design in the products, services and applications for Information and Communication Technologies. Chee Weng’s other interests include applied Quality Function Deployment in design, collaborative design (co-design), developing design-based curricula for Industrially Developing Countries (IDCs) and rapid prototyping. He is also the co-Chair for the Interface Design and Ambient Intelligence (IDAI) Working Group, which is one of the Research Areas under the auspices of the Malaysian National Research and Education Network programme. Recently, Chee Weng formed a special interest group in Universal Usability and Interaction Design at Multimedia University. This SIG deals with the usability practices and universal design projects particularly on areas relating to bridging the digital divide.

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