Jacinda Eng



During the summer of 2019, I interned as a New Technologist at Microsoft and Cyborg Mobile. My team was given the theme “visual learning” as a topic for building an iOS app in six weeks. That’s where my team created, Vysus, a social media platform for the visually impaired with accessibility designed at its core. Leading the UI creation of this project, I focused on building around the user’s needs based off user testing and research.


Before designing on Swift, I first started out with drawing the screens on paper.


My team used our initial prototype to conduct user interviews to get a feel for the transitions of the screens. We constructed a script of what we wanted the voice assistant, Victoria, to say on each screen. We would switch the paper screens according to the script during the interview. We interviewed a variety of individuals ranging from different ages to level of visual impairment in order to cover a diverse audience.


For the user-login, I wanted to design a simple and user-friendly login experience. Users can either create an account with Vysus or login with existing social media platforms. After logging in, the user is asked what five topics/genres they would like to see in their feed so the database knows what images to generate.


The home page is designed around accessibility. Only one image is displayed and centered on the screen each time. The arrows indicate how to swipe in order to comment or share. All the features represented by the different icons can be accessed by touchscreen and voice command.


This project taught me how to iterate through each step of the product design process from conducting and analyzing user interviews to constantly improving my team’s prototype. I learned the importance of always keeping in mind the target user’s needs. One of the challenges that I encountered was wanting to make the design of the user interface more complex as many apps today have intricate animations and displays. To design with accessibility at its core, I made sure to apply the feedback my team received from our user interviews such as making sure the font size of the screens was at least 36 pt. for easy-reading and colors between the text and background had a sharp contrast. I realized through designing Vysus that many social media apps are not designed around accessibility with small text and inaccurate alt text captions. Going forward, I hope to always design a product with accessibility at its core to ensure everyone is provided equal access.