During the last few years there has been a distinct rise in the use of digital media in society. According to the ARD/ZDF-Onlinestudie from 2011 17% of the respondents are using apps. In 2013 the percentage of people using Apps has already risen to 44%. The app market is continuously growing and there is an increasing supply of different apps (Khalid/Shihab/Nagappan/Hassan 2015, 70). Although the national and international statutory basis (the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from 2008, the Barrierefreie-Informationstechnik-Verordnung 2.0 from 2011 and the constitution of the federal republic of Germany from 1994) demand an equal information access for everyone, the implementation is still a problem. A disparate information access for digital technology results in a digital gap in society (Marr/Zillien 2010, 275 ff) and the development of a social imbalance, as described in the Habitus-Kapital Theorie (Dudenhöffer/Meyen 2012, 11).
For the project “Participation through quality of apps in rehabilitation – Reh@pp-Quality” the described problematic situation resulted in the research question: “What quality criteria for apps are for the empowerment of heterogeneous user groups relevant and viable?” with the subordinate question: “What are the possibilities to implement these quality criteria for apps?”
In the project an interdisciplinary catalogue of quality criteria (QCC) for apps was developed. At the beginning of the research phase the provisional QCC was developed based on the current stage of research.
To verify the catalogue the Delphi-Method was used. Technical experts and experts in their own cause were questioned about the quality of apps in two inquiry rounds using an online survey. Following the results were synthesized with the existing QCC. As a result the relevance of all quality criteria for apps could be verified.
The results of the investigation serve as the basis for the implementation phase. In this phase the implementation of the criteria and the promotion of the empowerment of heterogeneous user groups should be strengthened. To achieve this goal a website was established and a toolkit was published and distributed to app developers and users. This toolkit contains the verified QCC as well as two shortened versions of the QCC in the form of a checklist for app developers and a guide for users.