The Legend
                                  of the
                        Typical Screen Reader User



                ...
Screen reader users prefer...




Thursday, November 12, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey
                                and
           http://webaim.org/projects/sc...
Disclaimers

         • The sample was not controlled
         • Respondents are likely to be more technical
         • Sa...
Survey #1
                                January 2009
                              1121 Respondents

                   ...
There is NO typical screen reader user




Thursday, November 12, 2009
Prevalence of Disability

                                       No
                                       10%




       ...
Screen Reader
                                Proficiency
                                         Beginner
               ...
Those with disabilities
              were 6X more likely to
               report themselves as
                “Advanced...
Internet Proficiency
                                         Beginner
                                           1.5%
    ...
Primary Screen Reader
 75%



   50%


    25% 66.4%


        0%
                                 10.4%        8.9%      ...
Screen Readers
                                 Commonly Used
 75%



   50%


             75.2%
    25%


              ...
Screen Readers
                                    Commonly Used
  75%
                                                   ...
Screen Reader Updated in
                            the Previous Year?

                                 No
             ...
Screen Reader Updates

         • Increased from 75% to 84% in 10
           months
         • 6% using a screen reader > ...
How did you learn to use
                   your primary screen reader?
    100%

        75%

         50%

          25%...
Browser Usage
 50%

  40%

   30%

    20%

    10%           32%
                              26.2%
                    ...
Mobile screen reader usage
 50%

  40%

   30%

    20%                                             50%

    10%

        ...
Do you see free or low-cost screen
                readers (such as NVDA or VoiceOver)
                as currently being ...
Javascript Disabled?

                                         I Don’t Know
                                             1...
Problematic Items
  1.CAPTCHA
  2.Inaccessible Flash content
  3.Links or buttons that do not make sense
  4.Images with m...
Progress over the previous year


                              Less Accessible   No Change
                              ...
Which of the following do you
              think has a bigger impact on
           improvements to web accessibility?
   ...
Use of ARIA Landmarks
                                  Sometimes use landmarks
                                          ...
Social Media Usage
 50%

  40%

   30%

   20% 47.7%                                                             51.3%
   ...
Social Media Accessibility
   Accessible




 Inaccessible
                              Blogs   Facebook   LinkedIn   MyS...
General Social Media
                                 Accessibility
                                              Somewhat...
Likelihood of Flash
                                  Accessibility
                                   Somewhat Likely
   ...
Headings

                  76% always or often navigate by headings

           50.8% use headings as the primary method ...
Other Notables
  • Text-only versions are not commonly
         accessed. Screen reader-only content is
         accessed ...
What suggestions do you have
          for developers/manufacturers
                of screen readers?



Thursday, Novemb...
“Focus on web standards
                            (e.g., ARIA)”



Thursday, November 12, 2009
“Be more open. Listen to
                          your customers.”



Thursday, November 12, 2009
“Lower your prices or I’ll
              switch to Screen Reader X
             (as soon as it’s fully useful).”


Thursda...
“Spend more time fixing bugs
               than implementing new
            features I’ll never/rarely use.”


Thursday, ...
“Support/fix Flash accessibility.”




Thursday, November 12, 2009
“Remove JAWS demo
                               mode restrictions on
                              evaluation and testing...
“Keep up the good work.
                    I can’t imagine life without
                          these wonderful
       ...
There is NO typical screen reader user

                  ... but we can learn much about typical behavior




Thursday, N...
The survey results pages have
               much, MUCH more

            http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey
  ...
Thank You!

                                      Jared Smith
                                   http://webaim.org
       ...
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The Legend of the Typical Screen Reader User

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Responses and insight into the WebAIM screen reader user surveys. Feedback from the surveys provides great insight into accessible web design and development.

Presented by Jared Smith of WebAIM (webaim.org) at Accessing Higher Ground Conference, 2009

Published in: Technology, Design
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  • Survey details at http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey2/ and http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey/
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The Legend of the Typical Screen Reader User

  1. 1. The Legend of the Typical Screen Reader User Jared Smith http://webaim.org Thursday, November 12, 2009
  2. 2. Screen reader users prefer... Thursday, November 12, 2009
  3. 3. Thursday, November 12, 2009
  4. 4. http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey and http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey2 Thursday, November 12, 2009
  5. 5. Disclaimers • The sample was not controlled • Respondents are likely to be more technical • Safe to consider the sample representative of connected, tech-savvy screen reader users? Thursday, November 12, 2009
  6. 6. Survey #1 January 2009 1121 Respondents Survey #2 October 2009 665 Respondents Thursday, November 12, 2009
  7. 7. There is NO typical screen reader user Thursday, November 12, 2009
  8. 8. Prevalence of Disability No 10% Yes 90% Thursday, November 12, 2009
  9. 9. Screen Reader Proficiency Beginner 4.7% Intermediate Advanced 42.8% 52.5% Thursday, November 12, 2009
  10. 10. Those with disabilities were 6X more likely to report themselves as “Advanced” screen reader users Thursday, November 12, 2009
  11. 11. Internet Proficiency Beginner 1.5% Intermediate 33.6% Advanced 64.9% Thursday, November 12, 2009
  12. 12. Primary Screen Reader 75% 50% 25% 66.4% 0% 10.4% 8.9% 4.9% 2.9% 2.6% JAWS Window Eyes VoiceOver SA or SAToGo NVDA Zoomtext Thursday, November 12, 2009
  13. 13. Screen Readers Commonly Used 75% 50% 75.2% 25% 23.5% 22.3% 25.6% 0% 14.6% 7.5% JAWS Window Eyes VoiceOver SA or SAToGo NVDA Zoomtext Thursday, November 12, 2009
  14. 14. Screen Readers Commonly Used 75% January 2009 October 2009 50% 74% 75% 25% 23% 24% 26% 0% 15% 6% 8% JAWS Window Eyes VoiceOver NVDA Thursday, November 12, 2009
  15. 15. Screen Reader Updated in the Previous Year? No 16.4% Yes 83.6% Thursday, November 12, 2009
  16. 16. Screen Reader Updates • Increased from 75% to 84% in 10 months • 6% using a screen reader > 3 years old Thursday, November 12, 2009
  17. 17. How did you learn to use your primary screen reader? 100% 75% 50% 25% 72.9% 0% 32.9% 24.2% 10.5% Self-Taught Informally Training Other Thursday, November 12, 2009
  18. 18. Browser Usage 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 32% 26.2% 18.8% 0% 12.7% 8.3% IE8 IE7 IE6 Firefox 3+ Safari Thursday, November 12, 2009
  19. 19. Mobile screen reader usage 50% 40% 30% 20% 50% 10% 0% 12% January 2009 October 2009 Up over 400% in 10 months! Thursday, November 12, 2009
  20. 20. Do you see free or low-cost screen readers (such as NVDA or VoiceOver) as currently being viable alternatives to commercial screen readers? I Don’t Know 32% Yes 47.8% No 19.7% Thursday, November 12, 2009
  21. 21. Javascript Disabled? I Don’t Know 15% No Yes 74.9% 10.4% Thursday, November 12, 2009
  22. 22. Problematic Items 1.CAPTCHA 2.Inaccessible Flash content 3.Links or buttons that do not make sense 4.Images with missing or improper alt text 5.Complex or difficult forms 6.Lack of keyboard accessibility 7.Unexpected content changes 8.Missing or improper headings 9.Too many links or navigation items 10.Complex data tables Thursday, November 12, 2009
  23. 23. Progress over the previous year Less Accessible No Change 33.3% 20% More Accessible 46.3% Thursday, November 12, 2009
  24. 24. Which of the following do you think has a bigger impact on improvements to web accessibility? Better assistive technology 31.4% Better (more accessible) web sites 68.6% Thursday, November 12, 2009
  25. 25. Use of ARIA Landmarks Sometimes use landmarks 32% Use landmarks when present Not supported 20.5% 5% Unaware of landmarks 42.1% Thursday, November 12, 2009
  26. 26. Social Media Usage 50% 40% 30% 20% 47.7% 51.3% 42% 38.2% 10% 0% 13.4% 9% Blogs Facebook LinkedIn MySpace Twitter YouTube Thursday, November 12, 2009
  27. 27. Social Media Accessibility Accessible Inaccessible Blogs Facebook LinkedIn MySpace Twitter YouTube Thursday, November 12, 2009
  28. 28. General Social Media Accessibility Somewhat Inaccessible Somewhat Accessible Very Inaccessible I Don’t Know Very Accessible Thursday, November 12, 2009
  29. 29. Likelihood of Flash Accessibility Somewhat Likely Somewhat Unlikely Very Likely I Don’t Know Very Unlikely Thursday, November 12, 2009
  30. 30. Headings 76% always or often navigate by headings 50.8% use headings as the primary method of finding information in a page Thursday, November 12, 2009
  31. 31. Other Notables • Text-only versions are not commonly accessed. Screen reader-only content is accessed only slightly more often. • Majority have difficulty with pop-up windows. • Prefer “Skip to main content” or “Skip to content” over “Skip navigation”. Thursday, November 12, 2009
  32. 32. What suggestions do you have for developers/manufacturers of screen readers? Thursday, November 12, 2009
  33. 33. “Focus on web standards (e.g., ARIA)” Thursday, November 12, 2009
  34. 34. “Be more open. Listen to your customers.” Thursday, November 12, 2009
  35. 35. “Lower your prices or I’ll switch to Screen Reader X (as soon as it’s fully useful).” Thursday, November 12, 2009
  36. 36. “Spend more time fixing bugs than implementing new features I’ll never/rarely use.” Thursday, November 12, 2009
  37. 37. “Support/fix Flash accessibility.” Thursday, November 12, 2009
  38. 38. “Remove JAWS demo mode restrictions on evaluation and testing.” Thursday, November 12, 2009
  39. 39. “Keep up the good work. I can’t imagine life without these wonderful technologies!” Thursday, November 12, 2009
  40. 40. There is NO typical screen reader user ... but we can learn much about typical behavior Thursday, November 12, 2009
  41. 41. The survey results pages have much, MUCH more http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey and http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey2 Thursday, November 12, 2009
  42. 42. Thank You! Jared Smith http://webaim.org twitter: @jared_w_smith AHG hashtag is #ahg09 Thursday, November 12, 2009
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