For a person with any sort of movement disorder, the ability to pinpoint motion becomes reduced. That means that as a general rule of thumb, more space will be required to help accommodate this.
What do we mean by more space? The National Parkinson Foundation offers an extensive list of home safety tips for those dealing with movement disorders, including widening pathways throughout the home as well as removing any potential tripping hazards and clutter.
But walkways in the home aren’t the only places where increased space can be helpful.
Touch screens are growing in popularity for a wide variety of uses in daily life. With decreased ability to use fine motor skills, using a touch screen of any kind can become difficult. Increasing space can also be beneficial for touch screens in a number of ways.
According to a study published in the March 2013 edition of Applied Ergonomics, increasing the size of buttons on touch screens greatly improved the accuracy of those with a motor control disability.
In fact, as the size of the buttons increased, the performance of disabled users continued to improve, even more so than those in the control group without a disability.
“Understanding how people (including those with disabilities) interact with touch screens may allow designers and engineers to ultimately improve usability of touch screen technology,” the study’s authors concluded.
In an article published in the book Assistive Technologies, the size of the screen is discussed as a factor, particularly with older users experiencing a reduction in motor skills. While many older users are able to hold a smaller device in a single hand, that is a complicating factor for others.
“Mobile touch screen interfaces are more challenging due to the limited screen space,” the authors write. Simply put, it’s much more difficult to create larger buttons when the screen space on a phone is small.
Workspaces should also be wider and free of clutter. By allowing those with motor disabilities additional space to work, especially with touch screen devices, large sweeping movements and gross motor skills become more effective.
One of the primary features of TabletTable is that the tablet device is recessed into a larger work station, creating a flush surface that helps to minimize the impact of movement disorders, especially those that include reduced fine motor control.
So, by increasing the size of buttons, screens and workspaces, touch screen functionality is improved and more accurate for those with reduced motor capabilities.