Understanding Web Accessibility and Its Drivers

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W4A 2012 Presentation

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  • Today, I will be presenting a work that we have done together with Simon Harper, Giorgio Brajnik and Markel Vigo. We all have been working on web accessibility for a long time but we all think we do not have a good understanding of web accessibility therefore this affects the development of the field.
  • Today, I will be running my talk in the reverse order, I will actually start with some questions raised by this work. I would like to first ask your opinion on these questions and I will present you the findings of our study.
  • Although there has been a lot of work on providing accessibility on the web, we are not really sure if people see it as a research field. Therefore, it is important to have a good understanding of web accessibility.
  • We have conducted a survey using SurveryGizmo. We actually had more than 1000 peopl access the survey, however at the end we had 300 full answersthat we could analyse.
  • Definitions disseminated by either standardisation or regulatory bodies account for the broader level of acceptance. Most respondents are led by the social aspect of accessibility. Forcing people to adopt accessibility practices does not engage people on accessibility. More empirical research is needed on demonstrating how accessibility benefits all. The different understandings of web accessibility can generate tension. For a higher level consensus to define web accessibility -- a definition has to be realistic, concise, be proactive and refer to different contexts and user groups.
  • D1 and D3 are specifically focus on people with disabilities; D2, D4 and D5 focuses on all users; D5 has strong technical background; D3 and D4 explicitly refers to efficiency, satisfaction and effectiveness which are three major usability metrics.
  • Be inclusive is the main motivation followed by Designing better products, which is not suprising; Design for mobile web, forced to do it and increase in revenue is very low; Optimise for search engine was not chosen by anybody; Being inclusive and be ethical accounts more than %55; We have to be more proactive in publicising these business cases, or benefits.
  • Score is a weighted calculation. Items ranked first are valued higher than the following ranks, the score is the sum of all weighted rank counts. D1 is the winner D1 and D2 are preferred regardless of age. D1 and D2 are preferred regardless of country. D1 is preferred across work sectors and regardless of profession. D1 is preferred by those with a scientific/technical background. D1 preferred by those motivated by legislation and inclusion, D2 by those motivated by ethics and research challenges.
  • Understanding Web Accessibility and Its Drivers

    1. 1. Understanding Web Accessibility and Its Drivers Yeliz Yesilada, Giorgio Brajnik, Markel Vigo and Simon Harper
    2. 2. How do YOU perceive web accessibility?1. What is the main motivation for embracing accessibility?2. Is web accessibility specific to disabled people?3. How can we demonstrate the other benefits of web accessibility?4. Can we consider "providing access" as the baseline for web accessibility?5. What needs to be done to turn web accessibility from an afterthought to something that is done proactively? 2/23
    3. 3. Why does this matter?• Guide and help in better teaching web accessibility;• Better communicate the meaning of the concept;• Advance web accessibility as a research field by providing a shared understanding;• Improve penetration of web accessibility into commercial and industrial settings. 3/23
    4. 4. How did we investigate this? 4/23
    5. 5. What did we find?• Definitions by standardisation/regulatory bodies have higher acceptance.• People are led by the social aspect of accessibility.• Forcing people does not engage on accessibility.• Empirical research is needed on demonstrating how accessibility benefits all.• Different understandings of web accessibility can generate tension.• A definition has to be realistic, concise, be proactive and refer to different contexts and user groups. 5/23
    6. 6. The survey: Demographics (Part 1) 6/23
    7. 7. The survey: Questionnaire (Part 2)D1 Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web. More specifically, Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the web [W3C WAI].D2 Technology is accessible if it can be used as effectively by people with disabilities as by those without [SECTION 508].D3 The extent to which a product website can be used by specified users with specified disabilities to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use [ISO].D4 A website is accessible if it is effective, efficient and satisfactory for more people in more situations [Thatcher et al, Constructing Accessible Websites].D5 The removal of all technical barriers to effective interaction. 7/23
    8. 8. The survey: Questionnaire (Part 2) 8/23
    9. 9. The survey: Statements (Part 3) 9/23
    10. 10. GenderFemale%40 Male %60 10/23
    11. 11. Age 18-24 (%3) 55+ (%18) 25-32 (%32)35-54 (%48) 11/23
    12. 12. Country160 %49140120 %32100 80 60 40 %8 %5 %6 20 0 USA Canada Europe Australia Others 12/23
    13. 13. Work Others Non-Governmental Organisation (%11) Industry (%40)GovernmentalOrganisation (%13) Academia (%33) 13/23
    14. 14. Education140120 %38100 80 %21 60 %18 40 20 %5 %4 0 Computer Social Other Psychology Design Science Sciences Science and 14/23 Engineering
    15. 15. Role Others ResearchersPolicy Makers (%1) (%26)Student (%3) Practitioners (%27) Consultants (%27) Manager (%10) 15/23
    16. 16. Specialisation100 %31 90 80 %23 70 60 50 40 %11 %9 30 %7 20 %4 %3 10 0 HCI UX Web Design Science Software Business Computer 16/23 Accessibility Engineering
    17. 17. Interest/Motivation 17/23
    18. 18. Interest/Motivation• Specialisation – “Designing better products” is the principle reason why engineers embrace accessibility. – Very few designers are forced to do web accessibility.• Education – Business people did not specify increasing revenue as their main motivation.• Role – Majority of consultants, practitioners, managers, researchers agree on social reasons (ethical and inclusion) – Researchers are the least interested in ethical reasons.• Work – Complying with law is quite low in industry and governmental organisations. 18/23
    19. 19. Definitions Ranking (Total score)1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 19/23
    20. 20. Revisiting….What did we find?• Definitions by standardisation/regulatory bodies have higher acceptance.• People are led by the social aspect of accessibility.• Forcing people does not engage on accessibility.• Empirical research is needed on demonstrating how accessibility benefits all.• Different understandings of web accessibility can generate tension.• A definition has to be realistic, concise, be proactive and refer to different contexts and user groups. 20/23
    21. 21. Future Research• Investigate statements and their relationships with definitions and motivations. – Relationship between accessibility and usability; – Accessibility for all vs. for disabled people; – Web accessibility vs. user experience; – Inclusion vs exclusion, etc.• How do people who are not in the field perceive web accessibility? 21/23
    22. 22. Joint W4A-WWW2012 Panel on “Exploring Perceptions of Accessibility”• Wednesday, April 18th 2012 -- 16:00-17:30• #w4apanel12 #w4a12• Panelists: – Ricardo Baeza-Yates (VP of Research for EMEA & LatAm Yahoo! Research); – Chieko Asakawa (IBM Fellow, IBM Research, Tokyo); – Ed Chi (Research Scientist, Google+, Google); – Bebo White (Departmental Associate – Emeritus, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory); – Mike Paciello (Founder & Principal, TPG); and – Georges Gouriten (Télécom ParisTech). 22/23
    23. 23. Questions!• Email: yyeliz@metu.edu.tr• Home Page: www.metu.edu.tr/~yyeliz 23/23

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