Activity Analysis & Review of Accessibility Features

 Task Analysis : Cleaning and waxing winter boots

  1. Get shoebox from under bed
  2. Pick up jar of wax
  3. Pick up two rags from shoebox
  4. Wet one rag in sink
  5. Pick up each shoe and clean with damp rag
  6. Pick up second dry rag and twist into a point
  7. Insert rag into wax jar
  8. Polish wax into each boot

In order to get the shoebox from under the bed, one first needs to get on his hands and knees and extend his arm long enough to reach the box under the bed. Once the box is brought out from under the bed, one needs to open the box and pick up the hockey puck shaped jar of wax and place it outside the box. Additionally, two rags from inside the box need to be picked up as well. The first rag needs to be rinsed with water and or soap depending on the current condition of the boots. Each rag that is used needs to be able to be clumped up in one’s hand, requiring slight strength and dexterity. Furthermore, a moderate amount of pressure/force is required to mold them into a point and press them into the boot. One needs to be able to hold each shoe in one’s hands/lap while scrubbing off the existing dirt with the damp rag. I typically find it easier to perform this task from a kneeling position so that you have easier access to your tools on the floor. Once the boots are clean, the hardest maneuver by far is opening the jar of wax. It is difficult for me to do with full strength/acuity. One must slide his thumbnail under the edge of the lid, pull upward and twist off with the other hand. This action requires the most bilateral arm, hand and wrist strength of the entire task. Finally, once the jar is opened, one must pick up the other dry rag and form a pinched point, dip this point into the wax and then rub this applied covering into the leather of each boot. In order to ensure that the wax is adequately rubbed in, one must have the endurance required for working the wax into the boot for at least 3-5 minutes.

After identifying the functionality required to execute this particular chore (in my desired approach), I recognize that there may be alternatives for the semi to significantly impaired individual to achieve the same task. For one, the boots could be positioned on the table on top of a towel or blanket. This would eliminate the need for kneeling down. Furthermore, the wax jar, which is infinitely frustrating, could be opened by a friend and then transferred to a tupperware container or some receptacle that enables much easier access. Additional improvements to my approach could be added with further investigation into the specific needs of the individual user.

Review of Accessibility Features:

The accessibility features of my Macbook are striking in contrast to those of my iPad. For one, the learning curve for my laptop computer is significantly steeper. For visually impaired users, the voice over function on my Mac is a thirty page tutorial where navigation is contingent upon mashing multiple buttons. It feels unintuitive and complex. Perhaps this impression is based on the bias of comfort and expectability that comes with years of laptop/desktop computer use. Nonetheless, when I compare the voice over capabilities for the iPad, I am given clear and concise instruction for my movements. I was able to learn the voice over practices in a matter of minutes on the iPad. Perhaps again this is due to a more intuitive system of interaction that is laden in tablet computing today. In some ways, the iPad feels like it natively was designed with disabled users in mind. The organic swiping of fingers feels much less cumbersome than the precise button mashing that results with my mac. The voice over flow also seems less hurried and jumbled, perhaps because the iPad is distinctly limited in functionality compared to my mac. Nonetheless, the simple everyday tasks that anyone (disabled or not) would wish to do on a computer are far easier to accomplish on the iPad.