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Issues Related to Vision and Hearing

The following issues are related to vision and hearing (including speech). This section focuses on problems where environmental changes and other circumstances have a noticeable, temporary effect on vision and hearing.

Blurred field of vision

Products must be highly visible to deal with glasses that fog over due to temperature changes, walking along streets at night, people with weak eyesight, and other situations. Supplying other non-visual means of communication is also helpful.

Can't see / difficult to see

Markings are difficult to see in dark rooms or in direct sunlight. People also find it difficult to see after moving suddenly from a dark area to a bright area or vice versa. Products must be designed to be easy to see in many different environments.

Difficulties in seeing distant objects

This problem affects people with myopia and weak eyesight. There are situations where it is helpful to confirm information from a distance. Products must be designed so they provide information in a format that anyone can readily check in the envisioned usage environment.

Difficulties in seeing close objects / can't see small objects

As our society ages, there are more people affected by farsightedness, a condition that generally begins in one's 40s. Therefore, clear, legible markings wherever possible is one of the key requirements for each product.

Restricted vision

When people look only at an LCD screen, they pay less attention to things in their peripheral vision. Ski goggles and other items can also physically restrict one's field of vision. Therefore, product markings must be designed to be as simple and legible as possible. It is important to continue to study ways of ensuring users don't overlook information in their peripheral vision.

Can't tell objects apart

People with color blindness have difficulty distinguishing between certain colors. And everyone finds it difficult to distinguish between items when there are many unfamiliar terms or symbols grouped together. Therefore, products must be devised and designed so that everyone can easily distinguish between terms or symbols.

Difficulties in hearing

People with hearing impairments and seniors who have difficulty hearing sounds are also product users. People over 40 find it increasingly hard to hear high-pitched sounds. And no one can pick out small sounds when there is loud ambient noise. Therefore, it is necessary to provide volume controls or other means of conveying information.

Difficulties in speaking

It is not socially appropriate to speak in art galleries, libraries, and other places. At other times, colds or other illnesses may prevent people from speaking. Therefore, it is important to fully consider the usage environment when implementing voice inputs or similar technologies.