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Issues in the User Interface Design of a Content Rich Vocational Training Application for Digitally Illiterate Users

Authors: Jamie Otelsberg, Nagarajan Akshay, Rao R. Bhavani


This paper discusses our preliminary experiences in the design of a user interface of a computerized content-rich vocational training courseware meant for users with little or no computer experience. In targeting a growing population with limited access to skills training of any sort, we faced numerous challenges, including language and cultural differences, resource limits, gender boundaries and, in many cases, the simple lack of trainee motivation. With the size of the unskilled population increasing much more rapidly than the numbers of sufficiently skilled teachers, there is little choice but to develop teaching techniques that will take advantage of emerging computer-based training technologies. However, in striving to serve populations with minimal computer literacy, one must carefully design the user interface to accommodate their cultural, social, educational, motivational and other differences. Our work, which uses computer based and haptic simulation technologies to deliver training to these populations, has provided some useful insights on potential user interface design approaches.

Keywords: Human Factors, user interface design, Vocational training, computer human interaction, digitally illiterate, navigation issues

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