Menu Location and Eye Gaze Fixation within VSDs

O'Neill Main slide

O’Neill, T., Wilkinson, K., & Light, J. (2017, November). The effects of menu location on eye gaze fixation patterns within AAC Visual Scene Displays. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), Los Angeles, CA. (O’Neill et al, 2017 Handout)


Abstract: Understanding how individuals visually process AAC displays will contribute to optimal AAC design. This investigation examined the effect of navigation menu location (i.e., top, bottom, left, or right) on patterns of visual attention within visual scene displays by individuals with developmental disabilities. The goal was to determine the optimal spatial arrangement of the navigational features of AAC technologies, in order to minimize visual processing demands and maximize efficiency of use.

Implications for AAC system design

(1) Human figures and a shared activity should be included as key elements in AAC VSDs

  • These elements attract visual attention, even among individuals with ASD
  • Background is not distracting
  • VSDs with these elements are not visually overwhelming

(2) We can change patterns of visual attention based on the location of the navigation menu

  • Depending on the location of the menu, we may promote visual attention to different elements

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