Prosumers and Accessibility
How to ensure
a productive interaction
Yod Samuel Martín García
Beatriz San Miguel González
Juan Carlos Yelmo García
DIT-UPM Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
User-Generated Content today
• Youtube, MySpace, Wikipedia, Facebook,
Blogger, Orkut, Ebay, Hi5, Photobucket,
Vkontakte, Imageshack, Wordpress, Flickr,
Friendster, Skyrock, Adultfriendfinder,
Odnoklassniki.ru, Craigslist, Dailymotion,
Taobao, Livejournal, Fotolog, Mixi, Nicovideo,
56.com, Veoh, Perfspot, DeviantArt, Youku,
Metroflog, Wretch.cc, …
• 40 sites in the top 100 have UGC (User
Generated Content) at their core
• What about its accessibility?
UGC and accessibility
• Regarding accessibility, UGC creators lack:
• Then… how can we ensure a productive interaction?
– Short answer: follow xxAG
– Long answer:
• Techniques, policies and strategies
• What is being done out there?
(also known as secondary research on best practices)
Components of web accessibility
• On one hand, content producers create contents
using authoring tools and evaluation tools.
• On the other hand, content consumers, in turn,
consume those contents through user agents
and assistive technologies.
• Different guidelines apply to the different
elements involved (ATAG to the authoring and
evaluation tools, WCAG to the contents and
UAAG to the user agents and assistive
[This slide is based on material from WAI]
Components of web accessibility
• In an UGC-scenario, this changes, since
the content producers and the content
consumers merge into the new role of the
prosumer. In this scenario, we find many
prosumers that both produce and
consume the contents.
Techniques for the accessibility of
Constrain what the prosumers may
• When producing contents, prosumers employ
authoring tools that are embedded in the server,
in a Content Management System (CMS).
• Contents can only be uploaded through the tools
the CMS provides. The CMS bars users from
directly uploading the content.
• Crucial influence of authoring tools
• Final code is generated by the CMS:
– Rich-text editors (WYSIWYM preferred)
– Proprietary markups
• Hinder accessibility-hazardous techniques
Provide accessible standard
• The CMS may provide a set of standard objects to be
reused within the content.
• These standard objects may have been in turn created
by the community.
• The standard objects get known by the creators through
• Standard objects are reused by creators:
• They may provide accessible contents, structure, style
• Mechanisms to publicize the accessibility of a template
may have a positive effect
Provide the prosumers with
prompts and suggestions
• The CMS may provide information to the
• Prompts and suggestions provided during
the authoring process
• Suggested code to be embedded at third-
Let users (sometimes) control the
• The creator may have also used an
external editor to create the contents.
• This editor may have been indeed
provided by the community.
• Use when suitable:
– Let creators do what the CMS cannot do by
• Ad-hoc, specialized external editors
• When some element in the creation chain
(content, authoring tool, creator) is broken,
a diversion must be used.
• Reason out textual alternatives from
• Offer open-loop alternatives
Add accessibility through
• Other community members may moderate
the content and decorate them with
• Suggested by WCAG 2.0 as an alternative
to partial conformity
• Not cost-prohibitive when leveraging on
– Most inner sphere of the community
• The community may separately create the
accessibility characteristics of a content
and upload them on a different server.
• Then, the content consumer may access a
mashup of both the original content and
the accessibility characteristics.
• Communal resource creation
• Accessible solutions may come up from
• The community may create repair tools
that transform the content before having it
served to the consumer.
• (user-generated) server-side reparation
• (user-generated) repairing clients
Help and training
• The CMS may include help and training information,
which may have been provided by the community.
• Not only the content producer may obtain that help and
training, but he or she may also interact with the
community in the process of defining the training
• Reputable actors tend to be mimicked
• Best practices and tricks quickly spread
• Contributions to traditional help mechanisms
Conclusion: the role of the
community for accessible UGC
• Templates (structure, content, style & behaviour)
• Widgets & services
• Editors & authoring tools
• Moderation & mash-ups: textual alternatives and
other accessibility improvements
• Accessibility-repairing tools
• Help and training
• Best practices and experience