Gartenfreund: Exploring the botanical garden with an inclusive app

Birnstiel S, Steinmüller B, Bissinger K, Doll-Gerstendörfer S, Huber S (2019)

Publication Language: English

Publication Status: Published

Publication Type: Conference contribution, Conference Contribution

Publication year: 2019

Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery

Pages Range: 499−502

Conference Proceedings Title: MuC'19: Proceedings of Mensch und Computer 2019

Event location: Hamburg DE

ISBN: 9781450371988


DOI: 10.1145/3340764.3344446


Many museums exclude visually impaired people by offering only visual presentations of exhibition pieces. To improve the experience of the botanical garden in Würzburg for visually impaired people, we conducted a human centered design process with blind self-experiences and contextual interviews with two experts. From the qualitative insights we prototypically designed the inclusive smartphone app Gartenfreund. Gartenfreund consists of an NFC triggered audio guide with precise path descriptions to the next station and an interactive soundscape that produces animal sounds from the canopy level at which the phone is pointed. A preliminary evaluation shows that sighted and visually impaired participants could use the app without any usability problems and that the path descriptions need to be shorter and supported by a tactile orientation system for blind users. Our main contributions are the insights from user research and the inclusive app Gartenfreund. In future work we will iterate the design and conduct a more extensive evaluation involving both blind and sighted users.

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How to cite


Birnstiel, S., Steinmüller, B., Bissinger, K., Doll-Gerstendörfer, S., & Huber, S. (2019). Gartenfreund: Exploring the botanical garden with an inclusive app. In F. Alt, A. Bulling, T. Döring (Eds.), MuC'19: Proceedings of Mensch und Computer 2019 (pp. 499−502). Hamburg, DE: Association for Computing Machinery.


Birnstiel, Sandra, et al. "Gartenfreund: Exploring the botanical garden with an inclusive app." Proceedings of the Mensch-und-Computer 2019 (MuC'19), Hamburg Ed. F. Alt, A. Bulling, T. Döring, Association for Computing Machinery, 2019. 499−502.

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