Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date




Publication Title

HCI International 2020 – Late Breaking Papers: Universal Access and Inclusive Design


Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 12426



Conference Name

22nd HCI International Conference, HCII 2020, July 19-24, 2020, Copenhagen, Denmark


Most computer applications manifest visually rich and dense graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that are primarily tailored for an easy-and-efficient sighted interaction using a combination of two default input modalities, namely the keyboard and the mouse/touchpad. However, blind screen-reader users predominantly rely only on keyboard, and therefore struggle to interact with these applications, since it is both arduous and tedious to perform the visual 'point-and-click' tasks such as accessing the various application commands/features using just keyboard shortcuts supported by screen readers.

In this paper, we investigate the suitability of a 'rotate-and-press' input modality as an effective non-visual substitute for the visual mouse to easily interact with computer applications, with specific focus on word processing applications serving as the representative case study. In this regard, we designed and developed bTunes, an add-on for Microsoft Word that customizes an off-the-shelf Dial input device such that it serves as a surrogate mouse for blind screen-reader users to quickly access various application commands and features using a set of simple rotate and press gestures supported by the Dial. Therefore, with bTunes, blind users too can now enjoy the benefits of two input modalities, as their sighted counterparts. A user study with 15 blind participants revealed that bTunes significantly reduced both the time and number of user actions for doing representative tasks in a word processing application, by as much as 65.1% and 36.09% respectively. The participants also stated that they did not face any issues switching between keyboard and Dial, and furthermore gave a high usability rating (84.66 avg. SUS score) for bTunes.


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Original Publication Citation

Lee, H. N., Ashok, V., & Ramakrishnan, I. V. (2020, Jul) Rotate-and-press: A non-visual alternative to point-and-click? In: Stephanidis C., Antona M., Gao Q., Zhou J. (eds) HCI International 2020 – Late Breaking Papers: Universal Access and Inclusive Design. HCII 2020 July 19-24, 2020, Copenhagen, Denmark. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12426. Springer, Cham.