“Pictograms” for the Blind?

[Elevator Buttons – Braille subtitled; Foto: Tom Bieling]

Taking the elevator this morning again, i was asking myself:

Are there any kind of “non-visual” pictograms or icons for blind people? For me as a non-blind person my life is often supported by visual support, as e.g. the Emergency-Button in an elevator: Different and significant in color and visualisation, i can immediately identify such very important button in an elevator.

While, as we can see on the picture above: A blind person has to read the whole word, before he/she knows, that it belongs to the emergency-function. The other text-descriptions are much shorter (“E”, “1”, “2”, …).

This means, that in the blind world people have to deal with reversed functions. In the visual world of non-blind people special/important information is meant to be identified quicker then other information.

In one of my up-coming studies, i want to find out, if and how we could design concise information for blind people (either using braille or not), that could be analog to the idea of pictograms.

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