Information visualisation in the user interface for augmentative and alternative communication

John L. Arnott, Leishi Zhang, David O'Mara, Norman A. Alm, Andrew Taylor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This study investigated the possibility of using Information Visualisation (IV) in the user interface of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems. AAC systems exist to assist people to overcome communication handicaps. Computer-based AAC systems can contain stored communication material for people with impaired communication to retrieve and use during interaction. As the size of the stored information corpus in an AAC system increases, the task of searching and retrieving items from that corpus will become more demanding, which will make it less easy for someone to successfully access and use such material. IV has therefore been investigated here as a way of accessing AAC content. A prototype visualisation interface was developed as a means of retrieving stored biographical text in an AAC context. Trial of this prototype showed that it was possible for people to successfully retrieve the stored information with the IV-based user interface, indicating that an IV-based interface could have potential within AAC. Further work could be pursued to investigate performance with larger corpora and alternative visualisation metaphors; alternative metaphors (using timelines, for example) may be preferred by different people who use AAC.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-161
    Number of pages15
    JournalTechnology and Disability
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


    • Information visualisation
    • User interfaces
    • Augmentative and alternative communication
    • Assistive technology
    • Human computer interaction


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