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Interaction Design: FireEyes

Website: Deque Systems FireEyes
About: FireEyes is a Firefox plug-in that runs with Firebug. FireEyes automates the process of checking a webpage for accessibility compliance and produces detailed and comprehensive report of any accessibility errors on the page.

Figure 1: Worldspace FireEyes Plugin

Role: Interaction designer and user researcher
Design Challenges:
  • FireEyes plugin displays accessibility issues on a webpage. The plugin has to show several types of information and actions within a very limited space.
  • The tool has to be accessible by vision-impaired users and users with other disabilities, using assitive technology.
Design Process:
  • In-depth user analysis was required to understand the challenges faced by developers building accessible websites. In addition, detailed research on the various accessibility guidelines and their implication was conducted.
  • The plugin was designed to work seamlessly with Firebug in helping developers identify and fix accessibility issues. A dashboard UI was built to help developers view, analyze and manage accessibility guideline violations in their webpages. It also allows users work collaboratively with other developers to fix them.
  • Feature requirements and ideas were translated into interative protoypes for both the dashboard and the plugin.
  • The tool was tested by users with visual impairment and web developers to ensure usability, accessibility, intuitiveness and clarity.
  • Designs were implemented based on the outcome of the testing and product experts' inputs.

Figure 2: Worldspace FireEyes Dashboard

Outcome: FireEyes was the only tool of its kind to assist developers building accessible websites. It provides useful information about and a central portal to manage the accessibility violations on a website or web application. It offers a high degree of customization to users looking to meet specific accessibility standards.
Tools and Programming used: HTML, CSS, Adobe Dreamweaver
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