Re: Low-Vision user observation

On 10/01/2012 04:52 AM, Bryen M Yunashko wrote:
> Ok, so as promised, here's my observation of my experience starting with
> 3.6.  Note that this was done in a VirtualBox instance and a physical
> installation will probably happen later this week.  Here goes....
> WARNING:  Long, but hopefully insightful review.  If this review should
> be placed somewhere else, please let me know.

Long are good, as mean more details.

Some comments and questions below.

> Magnifier Configuration:
> Indeed, finding my way to the Accessibility icon was easy enough because
> I still have enough vision to get by on that.  (Note: A shipped
> wallpaper by any distro could negatively affect one's ability to get to
> the Accessibiliy icon if it is too bright of a wallpaper, overpowering
> the ability to see activity bar) I had not noticed the options button
> until it was pointed out to me.  Once I knew what to look for, then it
> was "findable."

So any advice to have this more "findable"?

> 1.  The activity bar on top and the notification alerts on the bottom
> are by default black.  With inverse turned on, they became white under
> magnification.  This made them unreadable.  I could barely even see the
> notification alert and certainly can't tell what time it is.  As I do
> add the GNOME shell extension allowing for notification applets in the
> activity bar, I won't be able to observe applet notifications under
> magnification.
> Similarly, the Alt+F2 run function is also now in white and I cannot see
> what I am typing.  Likewise, I just noticed that the login after screen
> lokout during idle usage is also unreadable.

Yes, with inverse turned on, both became white, but in the same way, the
text became black. So I assume that this is not enough.

Do you have any proposal to solve this issue? Inversion is working fine,
as far as I see, so don't know if the problem is related with the base
color, so the lack of configurable themes on GNOME Shell itself.
> 2. The crosshairs option is nice, but I found it distracting for the
> most part.  I suppose in all fairness if I stuck to it, after a while
> I'd get used to it.  It was a lot easier to locate my mouse pointer than
> a large cursor mouse pointer would be.  Nevertheless, the crosshairs do
> interfere to some extent.  See this screenshot where configuring in
> gnome-teak-tool, the crosshairs prevented me from seeing values as I
> toggled up or down. 

Well, crosshairs has still room for improvement. For example, some
people already asked that if you are not moving the cursor, or if you
are writing, the crosshair should automatically disappear.

Anyway, in relation with the mouse pointer, some other people have
already asked that. For example, one month ago I was at a presentation
made by ONCE about their experiences with GNOME, and how to configure it
for some schools using GNOME. They mentioned that had some problems with
the mouse pointer. Also about how to increase the size of the text cursor.

We should take a look to this for the next release.

> 3.  Performance is a concern.  I'll be fair and not completely judge the
> performance because I was running in virtual machine mode.  It was jerky
> moving around, my personal performance was a lot slower because of this.
> I couldn't just zip around.  I found myself frustrated with having to
> very slowly push my mouse to get to where I wanted to go.

Well, as you mentioned that you are running it in a virtual machine.
Just to mention that a virtual machine usually lower the performance a
bit. In my computer I don't have any problem with GNOME Shell, but when
tried a virtual machine performance became sloppy.

> I'm also not the kind of person who turns his machine off frequently.  I
> work off of my computer literally 24/7 and eventually leaving the vm
> running with magnification enabled soon chewed up even the RAM on my
> physical machine which overall runs on 4GB RAM.  I had to do a hard
> shutdown.

Hmmm, this sounds like something new to me. So it seems that having the
magnification activated a long time consumes RAM. We need to check if
that also happens without a virtual machine, and if so, that would mean
a bug. Thanks for pointing it.

> General Usage:
> My main challenge when using a computer these days is getting good high
> contrast inversion along with larger fonts and windows.  Generally, I
> set my fonts on the system to about 16.  

You can still set this value using the tweak tools.

> That first step of getting to HighContrastInverse is probably the most
> challenging because I have to first encounter a white window in
> gnome-tweak-tool before I can finally find my way to the specific
> setting under the right tab.  Once that is accomplished, (through much
> eye-squinting) the rest is "accessibly-easy" to do.
> However, now... with the introduction of GNOME 3.6, that theme is no
> longer provided.
As you mentioned this also on your original mail. In short: Yes, we know
that the HightContrastInverse was dropped.

Long explanation: we found that maintaining HightContrast and
HightContrastInverse themes was a time-consuming task, and in several
cases both were below the required maintenance status. More or less at
the same time, Joseph was working on the inverse and color effects of
the magnification tool, and we found that were really good. So we
concluded that instead of having two half-made themes, it would be
better to have a well done HighContrast theme, and that we could get the
HightContrastInverse theme by just using HightContrast theme plus the
inverse effect of the magnifier.

Were we wrong with that conclusion/decision?

> The mouse pointer is the next biggest challenge as it is often far too
> small for me to see in shipped default.  With the introduction of GNOME
> 3, I no longer had the ability to scale my mouse.  Instead, I would
> search on the web to find large-sized pointers and manually add them to
> my installation. 

Yes, on that ONCE presentation that I mentioned, they needed to do
manual configuration like that for those students.

> Naturally, I need to remember exactly where I'm supposed to put themes
> or pointers in my filesystem and because this is a one-time thing to do
> with each installation, I find myself scatching my head for a few
> minutes to recollect the steps I was supposed to do with each new
> release.  Clearly, this wouldn't be a good process for less-experienced
> GNOME users.

Yes, in general, taking into account the summary of your experience, and
the experience from other users, sometimes it is hard to know how to
configure your desktop. We have a lack of documentation and user
tutorials. The fact that some of the options are already considered as
"common" on the universal settings and other as "custom" on the tweak
tools, made the need of tutorials more important. In the same way, in
several cases, that split is debatable, and some of the things available
on the tweak tools should be available on the universal settings dialog

> I like that High Contrast is now an option listed under the
> Accessibility Icon.  However, I'm disappointed HighContrastInverse isn't
> also an option.  Having this option + a hotkey combination to
> automatically enable this upon first setup would be awesome and remove
> much of my initial machine setup challenges.  If this could be done
> without affecting the GNOME activity bar and notification alerts, it
> would be super-awesome.

Design team is working on the definition of the default KeyboardShortcuts:

Probably it would be good to propose some kind of keyboard shortcut for
this kind of theme activation.

> I would very much like to see us re-assess how low-vision users, who do
> not rely on magnification as a whole, configure their machines and see
> how we can make the steps shorter and more intuitive.

As far as I understand this paragraph, you are suggesting to allow the
configuration of the color effects outside of the magnification tool,
right? We already have a bug related with that, although we still don't
have any conclusion yet:

> For me, the ultimate solution in an ideal world would be not to even
> create a workable Inverse theme, but to literally toggle screen
> inversion in the workarea space of GNOME.  But the theme option has been
> a reasonable fall-back in lieu of this toggle option.
But you already mentioned that just using the inverse effect made you
hard to see the top panel and the alt+f2 run dialog. Could you elaborate

Finally, thanks for your detailed report. It included a lot of things to
think about, and pointed some elements that still require some work.

Best regards

Alejandro Piñeiro Iglesias

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