Accessibility toolbar

Accessibility: What's your experience with voice-first experiences?

This survey is for a dissertation project in part of a degree from the University of Southampton. It is anonymous.

By selecting the checkbox below and continuing with the survey, you agree that you have fully read the participant information sheet and agree (in principle) to the consent form.

You are being invited to take part in the above research study. To help you decide whether you would like to take part or not, it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. Please read the information below carefully and ask questions if anything is not clear or you would like more information before you decide to take part in this research.  You may like to discuss it with others but it is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you are happy to participate you will be asked to sign a consent form.

Participant Information

What is the research about?

This online survey is a research method used in a student’s dissertation, which forms part of their master’s degree.

I am researching how voice-first experiences can be changed for the better, focussing on accessibility, and I would like to know about your own experiences with smart home technologies, voice-activated devices, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri and your frustrations using these technologies. Ultimately, I am creating a web application (GUI) that will make voice-first experiences more inclusive and better for some people.

Accessibility tools, best practises and legal requirements has thankfully improved Web accessibility for visually, cognitively and mobility impaired people. Meanwhile, recent voice-first advancements have greatly improved independence for mobility and visually impaired people in the home, who now have a different interface to communicate with technology; however, the technology may not have been researched with focus placed on the limitations of such technology, in terms of inclusivity.


Why have I been asked to participate?

This study is gathering a wide range of attitudes towards voice-first interfaces to uncover common themes, and to prioritise technical features that can be built into the web application. There are potentially certain research benefits from having participants from a range of demographics.


What will happen to me if I take part?

Taking part means filling out this online questionnaire. There are multiple pages to the questionnaire, but it will probably not take longer than 10 minutes to complete. The research project lasts until the 5th September 2019, but your involvement will end when you complete this survey.

You will first be asked if you agree to take part. Your participation in this questionnaire is completely voluntarily, and you can opt out at any time. There are no financial (or otherwise) rewards.

At the end of the research session, anonymised data will be exported from the questionnaire. Quantitative data, such as data collected from radio buttons or checkboxes, will be used to create graphs and charts and maybe used to partition the data. Longer answer questions, where you can enter free text, will be thematically analysed and any common arising themes among responses will be highlighted by the investigator in their report.


Are there any benefits in my taking part?

There are no renumeration benefits from taking part. However, this research might benefit those who currently find it more difficult to use voice-first technologies, in the long-term.


Are there any risks involved?

There are minimal risks involved when filling out this online questionnaire.


What data will be collected?

Some personal data will be collected in the online survey hosted by iSurvey at the University of Southampton: such as gender and age. You will also be asked to explain any disabilities you have, for example hearing, speaking, or visual impairments, before asking about your past experiences with voice technologies. No other personal identifiable information is held, such as ethnicity, religious beliefs or genetic data.

Data submitted to the online survey will only be accessed after username and password combination has successfully been entered into iSurvey. When anonymised data is exported from iSurvey, it will be further held on a computer with biometric security feature.


Will my participation be confidential?

Your participation and the information we collect about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential. Entries will be anonymised. 

Only members of the research team and responsible members of the University of Southampton may be given access to data about you for monitoring purposes and/or to carry out an audit of the study to ensure that the research is complying with applicable regulations. Individuals from regulatory authorities (people who check that we are carrying out the study correctly) may require access to your data. All of these people have a duty to keep your information, as a research participant, strictly confidential.

Any personally identifiable information (names of friends, place name of where you live) you provide in open questions (free text fields) will be censored before inclusion in the final report.

You may also provide your email address at the end of the questionnaire for recruitment purposes. This will not be linked to the data you provide in the main questionnaire and will form a different data set – a list of email addresses who are. By submitting your email address here you opt-in to receive further research invitations by the researcher for up to 1 year. This list will also be stored on a password-protected computer. To opt out of this after you have entered your email address and submitted the online survey, you should email the investigator ( from the email address you would like to unsubscribe.


Do I have to take part?

No, it is entirely up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you decide you want to take part, you will need to sign a consent form to show you have agreed to take part.


What happens if I change my mind?

You have the right to change your mind and withdraw at any time without giving a reason and without your participant rights being affected. To withdraw from the survey, just close your browser’s tab and your survey data will not be submitted.

There is no possibility of withdrawing after you have submitted the form, as the data is anonymous and therefore no method of identifying your entry.


What will happen to the results of the research?

Your personal details are not collected as part of the research. Research findings made available in any reports or publications will not include information that can directly identify you without your specific consent.

Results of the research will help inform decisions made when designing and developing the Web application prototype. The prototype will be a starting point for any commercial interest and data collected from the survey will not form any commercial intelligence.

The final report will contain anonymised and censored data and no personally identifiably information.

To file a complaint or to request further information you can contact the researcher: or researcher’s supervisor: For more information about Ethics and Research Governance at University, see:


Where can I get more information?

If you would like any more information after reading this participant information sheet, you can contact the researcher: or researcher’s supervisor:


What happens if there is a problem?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, you should speak to the researchers who will do their best to answer your questions.

If you remain unhappy or have a complaint about any aspect of this study, please contact the University of Southampton Research Integrity and Governance Manager (023 8059 5058,

If you would like any more information after reading this participant information sheet, you can contact the researcher: or researcher’s supervisor:


Data Protection Privacy Notice

The University of Southampton conducts research to the highest standards of research integrity. As a publicly-funded organisation, the University has to ensure that it is in the public interest when we use personally-identifiable information about people who have agreed to take part in research.  This means that when you agree to take part in a research study, we will use information about you in the ways needed, and for the purposes specified, to conduct and complete the research project. Under data protection law, ‘Personal data’ means any information that relates to and is capable of identifying a living individual. The University’s data protection policy governing the use of personal data by the University can be found on its website (

This Participant Information Sheet tells you what data will be collected for this project and whether this includes any personal data. Please ask the research team if you have any questions or are unclear what data is being collected about you.

Our privacy notice for research participants provides more information on how the University of Southampton collects and uses your personal data when you take part in one of our research projects and can be found at

Any personal data we collect in this study will be used only for the purposes of carrying out our research and will be handled according to the University’s policies in line with data protection law. If any personal data is used from which you can be identified directly, it will not be disclosed to anyone else without your consent unless the University of Southampton is required by law to disclose it.

Data protection law requires us to have a valid legal reason (‘lawful basis’) to process and use your Personal data. The lawful basis for processing personal information in this research study is for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. Personal data collected for research will not be used for any other purpose.

For the purposes of data protection law, the University of Southampton is the ‘Data Controller’ for this study, which means that we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. The University of Southampton will keep identifiable information about you for 1 year after the study has finished after which time any link between you and your information will be removed.

To safeguard your rights, we will use the minimum personal data necessary to achieve our research study objectives. Your data protection rights – such as to access, change, or transfer such information - may be limited, however, in order for the research output to be reliable and accurate. The University will not do anything with your personal data that you would not reasonably expect.

If you have any questions about how your personal data is used, or wish to exercise any of your rights, please consult the University’s data protection webpage ( where you can make a request using our online form. If you need further assistance, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer (

iSurvey (wholly operated and hosted by the University of Southampton) is the only other data collection tool used in this online survey.

Apart from the list of email addresses, of people who have opted-in to hear more about voice experiences and have actively be, all data is anonymised, meaning each participant’s data can no longer be used to trace back to the individual. This list will be kept separate from data records.


Thank you.

Thank you for reading this information sheet and considering taking part in this research.


Data Protection Act Plan

The following is an exhaustive and complete list of all the data that will be collected through an online questionnaire:

The data is relevant to the study purposes because I am investigating how voice-first experiences can become more inclusive, in regard to accessibility. Separating explanations of past experiences with voice-enabled technology between age, gender and different disabilities might highlight aspects of voice user interfaces which discriminate against certain people.

The data will be processed fairly because the participants have agreed to submit this information in the online form, after reading the participant information sheet and agreeing to the consent form.

The data’s accuracy is ensured because it is stored electronically.

Data will be stored in the iSurvey web application, then exported to the investigator’s computer which has a biometric security facility. The data will be held in accordance with University policy on data retention.

Data files will be protected by iSurvey’s secure login form and data on the computer protected by its biometric security facility.

Personal identifiable data will be destroyed by the investigator once the report has been submitted on or before the 5th September, by deleting the iSurvey and deleting the files on the computer.

The data will be processed in accordance with the rights of the participants because they will have the right to access, correct, and/or withdraw their data at any time and for any reason.  Participants will be able to exercise their rights by contacting the investigator (e-mail: or the project supervisor (e-mail:

Data will be anonymised by removing the link between consent form and submitted data when exporting from iSurvey. Any open questions (free text fields in the online questionnaire) will be censored if they contain any information which might identify the participant, such as local place names or names of friends.

Data will not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

ERGO number: 52067, version 2 12/08/2019.