Accessible tech example: Queue management system

Standing in line isn’t fun for anyone, but it’s often extra annoying for people with low vision due to inaccessible technology. In a pharmacy in Stockholm we found an awesome, simple solution by Qmatic. Check out this 13 seconds video (captioned) to see it in action!

What’s usually the problem?

Below are some tasks that can be tricky for people with low vision when it comes to queue management systems:

  • Where do I press? Physical buttons are easy to find, but today many have moved over to touch screens.
  • What number is on my note? Usually the font is pretty big, but for people who are blind or have limited vision it can be impossible to read.
  • What number is now being served? Often there is just a sound notifying that a new number is being served, but requires good vision to see the actual number.

How they solved it

Queue system interface, with button behind tactile layer for low vision. Photo.

Qmatic solved this with a few simple features:

  • A tactile overlay on the touch screen, with braille writing for “low vision”. Even though most people with low vision can’t read braille, they’ll notice that it’s there and understand it’s for them.
  • A machine voice speaks the number on the note when it’s printed.
  • A machine voice speaks the number that is now being served. A great feature for anyone who doesn’t want to take their eyes of their phone!
  • Placed at a “wheelchair-friendly” height, with a tilt so that tall, standing people also can access it.

Great job Qmatic. This is a textbook example of how a few simple features can create an inclusive product and improve the user experience for everyone!

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