Explore, Create, Annotate: Designing Digital Drawing Tools with Visually Impaired People

People often use text in their drawings to communicate their ideas. For visually impaired people, adding textual information to tactile graphics is challenging. Labeling in braille is a laborious process and clutters the drawings. Audio labels provide an alternative way to add text. However, digital drawing tools for visually impaired people have not examined the use of audio for creating labels. We conducted a study comprising three tasks with 11 visually impaired adults. Our goal was to understand how participants explored and created labeled tactile graphics (both braille and audio), and their interaction preferences. We find that audio labels were quicker to use and easier to create. However, braille labels enabled flexible exploration strategies. We also find that participants preferred multimodal interaction commands, and report hand postures and movements observed during the drawing process for designing recognizable interactions. Based on our findings, we derive design implications for digital drawing tools.