Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
'Accessibility Beyond the Guidelines' Breakfast at User Vision by Mark Palmer, 15 June 2009
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.


Saving this for later?

Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime - even offline.

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

'Accessibility Beyond the Guidelines ' Breakfast at User Vision by Mark Palmer, 15 June 2009


Published on

The very successful event - Breakfast at User Vision meeting took place on 15th June 2009 at User Vision office in Edinburgh. Our speaker, Mark Palmer - a passionate advocate for accessibility and web …

The very successful event - Breakfast at User Vision meeting took place on 15th June 2009 at User Vision office in Edinburgh. Our speaker, Mark Palmer - a passionate advocate for accessibility and web standards, gave a talk on the benefits of testing with disabled users. He covered:

* Recruiting for disabled testing
* Challenging our understanding of what is really accessible
* Unusable accessibility
* Issues not fully identified by the WCAG Guidelines
* Usability and Accessibility in conflict

For more info please visit our website:

Published in: Design, Technology

1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide
  • Morning Present our paper to share some of the issues that we have learned through testing with disabled users
  • Transcript

    • 1. User Vision Breakfast Briefing 15 th June 2009 Accessibility Beyond the Guidelines Lessons from testing with disabled users Mark Palmer
    • 2. Who we are
      • Leading user experience consultancy
      • Offices in Edinburgh & London
      • Our services
        • Usability testing
        • Eye tracking
        • Testing with disabled users
        • Expert evaluations
        • Accessibility reviews
        • Focus groups
        • Usability and accessibility training
      • Clients: DTI,, Houses of Parliament, Emirates Airline, RBS, ACAS & many more
    • 3. The WCAG – Positives
      • The recognised ‘standard’ for web acessibility
      • Has raised awareness of accessibility
      • Defines solutions and recommendations
      • Widely accepted benchmark of compliance level
    • 4. The WCAG – Negatives
      • Can’t account for how users adapt to accessibility problems
        • Unconventional methods
        • Use of assistive technologies not designed for their particular disability
        • Use of other technology (non-assistive)
      • Can’t account for all circumstances
      • DRC study showed about half of all issues encountered not directly attributable to the WCAG
      • Can encourage a focus on automated testing rather than empirical evidence
    • 5. Why test with disabled users?
      • Disabled users encounter more issues than able-bodied users
      • We make (often incorrect) assumptions about potential accessibility issues
      • The technically accessible may be unusable for disabled users
      • Helps us understand the relevance of any accessibility features we implement
    • 6. Recruiting disabled users
      • Can be difficult
        • Participants may have logistical difficulties
        • Many charities will not provide lists of users to contact
      • Blind users seem more willing to participate
      • Difficult groups to recruit
        • Learning difficulties
        • Cognitively impaired
        • Aspergers and Autism particularly tough
        • Physically disabled users using specific technologies
    • 7. Recruiting disabled users (2)
      • Requirement to provide more background info re tasks to disabled users
      • Establish database of disabled users
        • Referrals are a good means of growing the database
        • Colleges and Universities can often be a good source of dyslexic participants
    • 8. Findings from testing with disabled users
      • Unusable accessibility
        • Over elaborate, unnecessary or detailed alt text
        • Access keys conflicting with assistive or other software
        • Accessibility statement not focused on disabled users
      • Issues not fully identified by WCAG
        • Inconsistency in terminology used
        • Relating to visual position of screen
        • Pop up window size and placement
        • Recursive links
      • Usability & accessibility in conflict?
        • Initial field focus on forms
        • Auto-tabbing multiple fields
        • Auto-triggering dropdowns
    • 9. Findings from testing with disabled users (2) Blind user: The home page is good but there are not enough images on the page for me. Blind user: We always miss TV programmes through not being able to read the paper so TV online is perfect for us. Dyslexic user: I just copy and past everything into Word. That makes it a lot easier to read.
    • 10. Usability and accessibility
      • Usability and accessibility are not 2 separate disciplines. Often it is thought
        • Accessibility is for disabled people. Its about meeting the WCAG technical guidelines, staying legal
        • Usability is for non disabled people, and is improving conversion rates, findability etc
      • Disabled users still encounter usability issues but also a layer of accessibility on top
    • 11. Alternative text
      • Over elaborate alternative text
      • Unnecessary alternative text
      • Inappropriate alternative text
      • Pages without any descriptive alternative text
    • 12. Technical accessibility statement
      • ‘ Technical’ information that does not benefit the user
    • 13. Inconsistency in terms used
      • Log in – Sign In
      • Contact us – Talk to Us – Get in touch
    • 14. Visual relationships
      • Directions meaningless in linearised or non visual context
    • 15. Restricting window sizes
      • Screen magnification users find it difficult to distinguish the edge of windows
    • 16. Recursive Links Clicking on ‘Teacher Training’ link takes us to this page If selected again it just refreshes the page
    • 17. Auto tabbing Sort code Sort code 56 42 56 42
    • 18. Customisations
      • Customisations are commonly used across the web
      • Many disabled users do not use these:-
        • Lack of awareness
        • Too much effort
        • Not suited to their particular circumstances
        • Users often do not like to use customisation (e.g. in the workplace) as they feel it draws attention to their disability.
    • 19. Other Observations
      • Some blind users like graphics
      • External customisations seem still to be more popular than site or browser based customisations
        • Coloured screen filters
        • Coloured lenses
        • Adjusting monitor settings
      • Many users unaware of assistive technology
      • Users ‘struggle through’
    • 20. Conclusions
      • WCAG is still the reference for web accessibility
      • It cannot cover all circumstances
      • Do include disabled users in the testing of your site
      • Ensure you test with relevant disability groups
      • Never fail to be surprised by what you learn
    • 21. Thank You
      • User Vision
      • 55 North Castle Street
      • Edinburgh
      • EH2 3QA
      • Tel: 0131 225 0859
      • Email: [email_address]
      • Web: