Saulynas, S., Burgee, L.E., Kuber R. (2017). All Situational Impairments are not Created Equal: A Classification System for Situational Impairment Events and the Unique Nature of Severely Constraining Situational Impairments. Wuhan, China: Proceedings of iConference 2017.


This study explores situationally induced impairments and disabilities (SIIDs) from a unique perspective. A two-week diary study of mobile technology users was conducted to create a corpus of situational impairment events (SIEs) that mobile device users may experience in the wild. As a result, themes and classifications describing the type of SIEs that were encountered (such as ambient environmental and social/cultural issues) were created. In addition, within the created classification system, the authors identified the presence of a subset of SIEs that were severely constraining in the sense that a workaround is not available or easily obtained, or where a technological solution was found that only led to the introduction of a new SIE. The use of the classification of SIEs as well as the identification of the unique nature of those that are severely constraining can help influence the future design of mobile technologies.