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This document contains explorations for text descriptions of track shapes for Energy Skate Park.

Observations

  • For simple track shapes, descriptions typically begin at the track's "beginning"
  • For more complex track shapes, descriptions strategies varied:
    • orderly - describing from left to right (or right to left).
    • general to specific - describe the general shape first before describing the specifics left to right
  • Most descriptions were relative to the left or the skater. One user used absolute terms using units and degrees
  • Some people incorporated the red nodes into descriptions.

Some Issues to Consider

  • The "beginning" is relative. Is it left, right side? Closest to the skater? Will need to set description relative to a fixed location.
    • Suggestion, start at left-most point and start description from there.
    • If start and end positions are in the same vertical space, then the top most is where the description starts
    • If the start and end positions are the same point, then choose the point which goes left and/or upward first
  • Feature-based descriptions
    • What are the useful things to describe?

Programmatic Generation of Text Descriptions Based on Slope

Idea: Use some known heuristics of slopes to generate descriptions.

  • If the slope is > 1 or < -1, then it is "steep"
  • If the slope is < 1 or > -1, then it is "gentle"
  • If the slope is 0, then it is a flat horizontal line
  • If the slope is near 0, then it is almost a flat horizontal line
  • If the slope is NaN or very close to the Rise value, then the slope is vertical or nearly vertical
  • If X values repeat themselves, then the track is going back on itself horizontally
  • If Y values repeat themselves, then the track is going back on itself vertically (possibly a "hill")
  • If both X and Y values repeat themselves, then the track is doing a loop

Potential descriptive text read out by screen reader: “Track has a gentle slope up, then a steeper slope up. Followed by a steep slope down and then another steep slope down. There is a loop, then a steep slope up. Finally there is a plateau.”

Line drawing showing shape of looped track with suggested descriptive text in a talk bubble

Programmatic Generation of Text Descriptions Based on "Node-to-Node"

A player has created a complex track like the following screen snap of a multi sloped track that includes steep slopes, gentle slopes, sharp angles and a loop:

The track can be described node-to-node, so the user gets a general idea of the shape.


A limitation of this form of description is that it does not convey the shape of the track as a whole. Nor does it describe qualities like tracks overlapping one another, or appearing stacked. However, such descriptions may not be important to the overall learning.

Example Tracks


Track 1 - Simple Shape

Track 2 - Simple Shape

Track 3 - Bumps

Track 4 - Wavy Loop

Track 5 - Simple Loop

Track 6 - Complex

Track 7 - Complex

Track 8 - Complex

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