Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction






176 (1-20)


Online discussion forums have become an integral component of news, entertainment, information, and video-streaming websites, where people all over the world actively engage in discussions on a wide range of topics including politics, sports, music, business, health, and world affairs. Yet, little is known about their usability for blind users, who aurally interact with the forum conversations using screen reader assistive technology. In an interview study, blind users stated that they often had an arduous and frustrating interaction experience while consuming conversation threads, mainly due to the highly redundant content and the absence of customization options to selectively view portions of the conversations. As an initial step towards addressing these usability concerns, we designed PView - a browser extension that enables blind users to customize the content of forum threads in real time as they interact with these threads. Specifically, PView allows the blind users to explicitly hide any post that is irrelevant to them, and then PView automatically detects and filters out all subsequent posts that are substantially similar to the hidden post in real time, before the users navigate to those portions of the thread. In a user study with blind participants, we observed that compared to the status quo, PView significantly improved the usability, workload, and satisfaction of the participants while interacting with the forums.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.

Original Publication Citation

Sunkara, M., Prakash, Y., Lee, H.-N., Jayarathna, S., & Ashok, V. (2023). Enabling customization of discussion forums for blind users. Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction, 7(EICS), 1-20, Article 176.


0000-0002-6970-0203 (Sunkara), 0000-0002-4879-7309 (Jayarathna), 0000-0002-4772-1265 (Ashok)