This issue paper is under development.

This document an issue paper looking into the challenges and issues faced by users with learning disabilities and cognitive disabilities when using voice menu systems and voice ML.

This is part of a series of issue papers written by The Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force (COGA). COGA is a joint Task Force of the Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG).

This work will be used as a base document for other work including a road-map for improving accessibility for people with learning disabilities and cognitive disabilities.

Since 2013 Flat design has become a popular UI design pattern characterized by clean flat areas of color, clear typography and simply iconography. Affordances provided by skeuomorphic features such as simulated 3D buttons using bevels are shunned and some claim this makes it harder for new users to understand the UI as the metaphors are not based on the real world.

Flat Design hit the main stream consumer products with iOS 7 and Windows 8. For the web, examples of flat design include Facebook which has always been fairly flat and Google's Material design which is now available as part of Polymer 'framework' built on web components.

Challenges for People with Cognitive Disabilities

The primary challenges would appear to be that it is more difficult to locate desired items to interact with and it may not be clear what the interaction may do without trying the interaction first. This could potentially be daunting. Google Material Design uses shadows to indicate the virtual height along with icons and.or text but otherwise has no visual clues to aid understanding or recollection. It does however provide animations to clearly indicate the response of the display to an interaction, from touch, pointer, keyboard or voice.

Interestingly, the article Flat Design and Accessibility points out that several features of flat design appear to be beneficial to those with visual disabilities. Relatively large areas of uncluttered contrasting colors, simple iconography and large clear fonts all make reading easier, if not necessarily easier interpretation.

Effect of memory impairments

To be developed.

Effect of impaired reasoning and executive function

To be developed.

Effect of attention related limitations

To be developed.

Effect of impaired language and auditory perception related functions

To be developed.

Effect of reduced knowledge

To be developed.

Comments from UX experts

Proposed solutions

This section is to be developed.



This section is to be developed.

A question was posted regarding research on the usability of flat design which was answered with some potential sources of research useful for this paper. See What usability studies have looked into the effectiveness of flat design, and what have they found? -