Afroza Sultana

Afroza recently completed her Ph.D. from the School of Information Studies, McGill University, under the supervision of Prof. Karyn Moffatt. She is interested in applying user-centered and participatory design methods to develop accessible and adaptive touchscreen user interfaces for older adults and other underrepresented populations such as, individuals with motor and/or cognitive impairments, and children.

In her doctoral studies, Afroza investigated target selection difficulties with touch input that are encountered by older adults due to their age-related motor declines. These selection difficulties might be precluding older adults from enjoying the full benefits of modern touchscreen handheld devices, although there is a rising interest in using such devices among these individuals. She designed controlled laboratory studies and applied quantitative methodologies to understand the age-related differences in selection errors and selection trajectories with touch input. Her study results demonstrated that older adults encountered a broader range of selection errors with disproportionately higher miss error rates. To analyze touch input trajectories, she introduced sixteen three-dimensional finger trajectory analysis measures, extending from prior works on mouse input trajectories. The selection trajectory analysis study demonstrated that older adults took smaller corrective submovements all over the trajectories because of experiencing higher counts of overshoots and undershoots, higher deviations from the ideal selection path, and sudden high finger velocity, which also reduce their overall performance throughput. Insights gathered from these findings pointed towards potential design solutions (e.g., designing larger targets, designing mid-air pointing gestures, and providing feedback to stay close to the ideal selection path) for better accessible touchscreen interfaces for older adults. Other future implications of these studies are creating standards for measuring the performance of novel touch interaction techniques and designing ability-based touchscreen interfaces – all of which will considerably benefit other accessibility-related research areas.

Prior joining ACT Lab, Afroza completed her Master’s in Computer Science from University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, and her Bachelor’s in Computer Science from North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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