Manara - Qatar Research Repository
10.1007_s10209-023-01053-3.pdf (1.11 MB)

Accessibility first: detecting frustration in web browsing for visually impaired and sighted smartphone users

Download (1.11 MB)
journal contribution
submitted on 2024-01-11, 10:29 and posted on 2024-01-15, 09:59 authored by Yasmin Abdelaal, Dena Al-Thani

Smartphone adoption has become increasingly prevalent in modern society, reflecting the widespread integration of these devices into various aspects of daily life, yet accessibility and usability problems persist. Smartphones pose numerous challenges to individuals with visual impairments (VI). This is due to smaller screen sizes, lack of physical buttons, and prevalent problems. These challenges frustrate users as they are unable to accomplish their goals. In this paper, the physiological response of VI and sighted individuals are compared and examined. The participant's frustration is measured through physiological signals. The GSR is the signal captured to detect the user's frustration caused by the superimposed accessibility and usability web-related issues. GSR, being less obtrusive, is an effective way to measure frustration. There were 13 VI and 16 sighted participants. Using a within-subject and between-subject design, participants completed four tasks, each was completed under frustrating and non-frustrating conditions while wearing an Empatica E4 wristband to collect GSR data. Challenges were both group-specific and mutual. A slowed internet connection and constant page refreshes are frustrating tasks for sighted participants. VI participants faced an unsearchable drop-down list and an inaccessible menu. Pop-up ads and session timeout are common tasks. Among VI participants, there was no significant difference between frustrating and non-frustrating tasks. When VI participants experienced a session timeout, they significantly showed a higher level of arousal. When comparing the physiological responses of sighted and VI participants in the page refresh and session timeout tasks, the results show that the arousal level is significantly higher in VI participants, primarily due to accessibility issues.

Other Information

Published in: Universal Access in the Information Society
See article on publisher's website:


Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English


Springer Nature

Publication Year

  • 2023

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • College of Science and Engineering - HBKU