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Why I Hate The Interweb - Kath Moonan at Scripting Enabled
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Why I Hate The Interweb - Kath Moonan at Scripting Enabled


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Kath Moonan's presentation at Scripting Enabled in London, September 2008. She covers the outcome of research done by Abilitynet with people with visual impairments and web sites.

Kath Moonan's presentation at Scripting Enabled in London, September 2008. She covers the outcome of research done by Abilitynet with people with visual impairments and web sites.

Published in: Technology, Design
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  • 1. Why I hate the Interweb! And what we can do about it
  • 2. It’s really disheartening to hear users say they hate the web
  • 3. They tell me the only go online when they have to But some disabled web users get such a bum deal
  • 4. The web has the potential to give equal access to information for everyone! When things go well
  • 5. Why is the web still not accessible?
    • Accessibility viewed as too prohibitive and expensive
    • Some sectors have almost no take up – entertainment, lifestyle, Rock and Roll, fun!
    • Assistive technologies not fit for purpose?
    • Most popular browser not fit for purpose?
    • Disabled web users don’t know about the good stuff?
    • How much do we expect the user to know?
  • 6. About our research
    • Conduct regular lab based tests with diverse users
    • Sites tend to be information based (rarely web apps or rich media)
    • Many of the issues fall outside of the WCAG 1.0 guidelines
    • Patterns often emerge across users with different needs who are surfing in different ways
    • This means solving these issues will have a broad positive impact on the overall user experience
    • For all users
    • Accessibility is usability
  • 7. Issues uncovered by users in a typical recent test Proportion of users facing each difficulty The site being tested was information based with few transactions
  • 8. Talking to our users
    • We surveyed our users to find out what they found difficult about the web
    • And what would be on their wish list for a dream web
    • Low number of respondents
    • Across a broad range of impairment categories
      • Screen reader users
      • Screen magnifier and Large text users
      • Deaf users
      • Users with dyslexia
      • Users with learning disabilities
      • Voice recognition software and keyboard users
  • 9. Other issues
    • Be careful not to pigeon hole people – treat everyone as an individual
    • Amongst disabled users difference in the level of IT knowledge is vast from super geeks to technophobes
    • Those with the least technical knowledge may be most in need of assistance
    • Don’t make solutions based on technical know how
    • Solutions need to be easy to use
    • It’s not always easy to upgrade or install new software
    • How do we tell users about the good stuff?
    • How do we persuade users to try a tool again?
  • 10. And some ideas from the team Here’s what they said
  • 11. Common issues
    • Page layout – no control, too crowded, no hierarchy
    • Typography – text size, colour contrast,
    • Flash (menus, adverts) – distracting, can’t operate
    • Remembering / inputting user name and password
    • CAPTCHA graphics
    • Having to scroll to view content
    • Filling in forms
    • New Facebook is difficult to use
    • Low take up in Web 2.0?
  • 12. Johann Screen magnification software user
  • 13. Partially sighted uses ZoomText and increases text size
    • “ I like pages were the developers have considered the colour combinations they are using”
    • “ Websites which are heavily dependent on animation or flash movies can also make viewing very frustrating.”
    • “ I can use the directions part of Google maps with practice, but there is far too much scrolling around on maps for my liking, and the last time I tried to zoom in it didn't magnify anything.”
    • “ I also find it difficult when things pop up on the right-hand side instead of taking up the whole screen.   Although I am partially sighted, I am actually totally blind in my right eye, and this means I'm not as good at scanning as other people. ”
  • 14. Partially sighted uses Zoomtext and increases text size
    • Maps - Find these almost impossible to use, seem to run out of control, would like to be able to make them full screen, almost running as a separate program, would like them also to be linked to info about public transport
    • Do not like the new style Facebook, it feels more messy and difficult to find things
    • Forms - Wish designers would make boxes slightly bigger and with clear lines round the outside of the boxes
    • My screen resolution means I often have to scroll across, this is my biggest bugbear about using the web.
  • 15. Summary
    • Complex layout make navigation very difficult
    • Screen magnifier users are prone to RSI and posture related injuries
    • Different alignments make reading difficult
    • ZoomText is often slow and can be frustrating
    • Information on the right hand of the page can be easily missed
    • Tool which allows users to override page design
      • Reduce scrolling
      • Replace type settings and colour combinations
      • Convert fixed layout to relative
  • 16. Nicola Voice recognition software / keyboard user
  • 17. Nicola’s experience
    • What it’s like to use voice recognition or a keyboard
    • The problem with mouse clicks
    • Using webmail
    • Nicola’s wishlist
  • 18. Mild motor difficulties
    • “ Only a few things bug me. There is so much stuff that I would welcome a better filtering system on the search engines. I have never found a way to turn the page in a search engine that is offering many pages of results. “
    • “ As my eyes and mouse skills deteriorate it is desperately boring to click on the Next button or a tiny number - there probably is short cut but I cannot find it. “
    • “ Perhaps MS or Google could build a simple page turner on a single button to speed that process up.”
    • “ One afterthought, there are many too many formats for video, audio etc. “
  • 19. VR and keyboard user on Flash
    • “ I get frustrated when developers make a Flash interface that has no simple HTML alternative, these often don't work when using VR. Anything with a click and hold requirement, like some calendars and menu designs, are useless if you can't use a mouse and rely on VR or other pointing software to work for you.”
    VR = Voice recognition software
  • 20. Summary
    • Many users can use the mouse but it causes pain and fatigue
    • Some users can’t use the mouse at all
    • Tabbing can be difficult and frustrating
    • Flash menus can be particularly difficult
    • Don’t rely on mouse over to identify links or icons
    • “ It would really help if pages could be forced to fit the screen, to avoid scrolling and keep navigation simple and easy.”
    • Easy page turner for search engines
    • List of all the links on a page in one handy place
  • 21. Users with dyslexia
  • 22. Users with dyslexia
    • Difficulties with new Facebook interface
      • “ The new Facebook is very hard to access all the features as instead of having all the applications… on one page, you have to select different pages. The set out of the page is now harder to find your way round,”
      • Some of the information websites content is hard to read as the font size is small and the background colour is white. From a dyslexics viewpoint, this makes the website not very useable. The websites would be more useable if they used a different background colour from white and bigger font. ”
      • “ Filling in details for banks etc. I am not a brillant typing and make a lot of mistakes for example, pushing buttons by accident. This can sometimes be frustrating as when filling in your details if you accidently push a button, the page can change and delete in the details which you have filled in. “
  • 23. Summary
    • Page design has a huge impact on this group of users
      • Colour combinations
      • Typeface
      • Colour combination
      • Layout
      • Flexibility
      • Cognitive overload and difficulties with short term memory can make navigation difficult
    • Users often have to rely on navigating – searching too difficult if there’s no spell checker
  • 24. Screen reader users
  • 25. Jaws users
    • “ On Facebook for some reason the webpage seems to jump making it hard to click on the correct links. “
    • Facebook: incorrect labels
    • “ As you may or may not be aware Facebook has a new design which seems even more difficult to use”
    • Form fields – no labels or incorrect labelling
    • CAPTCHA alternatives difficult to listen to
    • Most calendars don’t work without a mouse
  • 26. Jaws users continued
    • “ Combo boxes, magic numbers (CAPTCHA), form filling, watching TV, purchasing items.”
    • “ I find webmail can be difficult to navigate.”
    • “ I have tried to purchase tickets for flights: EasyJet, Virgin, British Airways, train tickets, football tickets but have found it either impossible or too time-consuming. However, you often get a big discount if you purchase on the internet. “
  • 27. JAWs users - summary
    • Link text is really important – especially the first letter of the first word
    • Filling in forms, registration, logging in can be difficult
    • Audio feedback is really important
    • Many users have a very poor experience
    • Many users think Flash is inaccessible (full stop).
    • It can be hard to overcome the steep learning curve with constant set backs
  • 28. Users with learning disabilities
    • The new Facebook is too difficult
      • Writing is too small
      • Keeps freezing
      • Difficult to log in and out
    • Memorising email address and password
    • Not big enough space to write in form fields
    • Fulham Football Club is also difficult please fix!
    • Information overload – confusing page design
    • Rich media and images can be very engaging
  • 29. Summary
    • Put important information in important places
    • Keep it simple
    • Don’t overload users
    • Use rich media
  • 30. Common issues
    • New Facebook interface
    • Frustrations with navigation
    • Excessive scrolling
    • Dependence on the mouse
    • Filling in forms
    • Remembering user names and passwords
  • 31. Flash …
    • The current solution for accessible video is counter intuitive – please can we have an easy to use accessible player
    • When screen reader users hear “Macromedia Flash Movie” they automatically think inaccessible
    • YouTube is pants
  • 32. What difference does it make?
  • 33. Controlling video playback For Kirin EasyYouTube was empowering
  • 34. [email_address] All our test participants Especially Andrew, Nicola, Kirin Johann de Boer, Veronika Jermolina, Caleb Tang, Antonia Hyde Christian Heilmann Flame headed geek warrior! Thanks!