2006: My Web My Way: case study of how to ensure accessibility when you procure a website (PAS-78 launch)


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Presentation given by Jonathan Hassell (Accessibility Editor, Digital Curriculum for BBC New Media) at BSI PAS-78 launch event in 2006.

Covers: how to select agencies to ensure they deliver an accessible website; what to look and listen for in pitches and proposals; what to ask for; how to get value for money; what aspects of accessibility you should or should not need to pay more for; how Jonathan Hassell used these tips to commission AbilityNet to produce My Web My Way (www.bbc.co.uk/acccessibility) and win the 'Best Achievement in Accessibility BIMA 2006'

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2006: My Web My Way: case study of how to ensure accessibility when you procure a website (PAS-78 launch)

  1. 1. Case study: Commissioning the Website Dr Jonathan Hassell Accessibility Editor, BBC jam (Digital Curriculum) <ul><ul><li>presentation to How to Enhance your e-Business (PAS-78 launch) programme BSI 8/3/06 v0.03 </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. What I ’ll be talking about <ul><li>Selecting agencies </li></ul><ul><li>What to look and listen for </li></ul><ul><li>What to ask for </li></ul><ul><li>Getting value for money </li></ul><ul><li>Will you have to pay more for accessibility? </li></ul><ul><li>Questions… </li></ul>
  3. 3. The case study: My Web, My Way <ul><li>www.bbc.co.uk/accessibility </li></ul>
  4. 4. Selecting agencies <ul><li>Types of agency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Service: one agency handles all of site creation, including info design, site production, testing, maintenance/CPS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete: all except maintenance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D-I-Y: you ’ll need to pull together separate agencies to do each part… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How to find agencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Good route – find a few websites you like (that are similar to what you think you need), and contact the companies to ask who created them… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better route – same, but ask your target users (including disabled people) for sites they like… </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Selecting agencies – MWMW Case Study <ul><li>Types of agency - chose service/partnership </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>wanted to learn how to do AAA site </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>wanted user-testing included </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>wanted partnership for maintenance – long term view… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>How to find agencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Found a site that was similar to what we wanted… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>AbilityNet ’s My Computer, My Way </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asked AbilityNet to partner with us </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What to look and listen for (1) <ul><li>Do they understand your business? </li></ul><ul><li>Do they understand your users (incl. disabled people)? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will they help you define your requirements? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>these are those of your target users – incl. disabled users </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do they emphasise tick-boxing or user-testing/UCD? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do they encourage you to ask for feedback? ( “contact us”) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What to look and listen for (2) <ul><li>Do they ask about accessibility? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do they ask for your policy / can they help you create it? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have they experience of creating accessible sites? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do they have examples they have created? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do they have references from previous clients? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What best-practice do they uphold? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PAS-78, W3C guidelines, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of DD Code of Practice, ATs etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are they part of a best-practice body? (e.g. UPA, GAWD) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>currently no nationally-accepted accessibility accreditation for web developers… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>see Annex D of PAS-78 – e.g. EuroAccessibility Consortium, supportEAM </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More useful questions in Annex C of the PAS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How do they advise you to maintain the site? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CPS: Does it prevent you from making simple accessibility mistakes? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manual: Will they train your staff in accessible maintenance? </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. What to look and listen for – MWMW Case Study <ul><li>AbilityNet understood our target users well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>they were their users too… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>they helped us get to know them better: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>requirements from their users ’ feedback, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>user-testing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>They understood our business </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we had to be non-partisan amongst OSes, ATs etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They had the right experience: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>My Computer, My Way has AAA; simple, elegant interface </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What to ask for <ul><li>Accessibility policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What people should be able to do with the site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who the site is designed to be used by, and how… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Production for accessibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What technologies they will use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And why… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What standards they will uphold </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WAI v1, v2… - get them to explain the difference between A, AA, and AAA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Testing of resulting accessibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You want user-testing results, not just automated testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And sit in on the testing – it ’s the best way to understand </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advice on maintenance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keeping the site accessible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All of these in terms you can understand </li></ul>
  10. 10. What to ask for – Accessibility policy <ul><li>This is the specification for how your site supports disabled access </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of help in PAS-78 for writing this </li></ul><ul><li>Two versions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Detailed, technical, binding version for commissioning tender/contract </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy read version for publishing on the site itself </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explanation of target users to be consulted in production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explanation of core tasks of website </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explanation of how the site will allow target users to do those tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross-ref to W3C accessibility levels (A, AA, AAA…) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explanation of where site will not support users ’ needs and why </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is where reasonableness comes in… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact details, and feedback mechanisms </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. What to ask for – MWMW Case Study <ul><li>Accessibility policy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MWMW – full policy discussed, but very brief version published on site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For good example of published policy see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/jam/accessibility/policy.shtml </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Production for accessibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HTML, CSS 2.0 for best “liquid design” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Almost AAA (only deviations where bbc.co.uk standards required) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Testing of resulting accessibility </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two rounds of (iterative) user-testing of the site, during its production </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advice on maintenance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance done by AbilityNet staff, to ensure quality over time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All of these in terms you can understand </li></ul>
  12. 12. Getting value for money <ul><li>Don ’t throw money away </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use PAS-78 to introduce you to what you need (and don ’t need) to do; use agencies to take you on from there </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don ’t pay for anything which isn’t backed up by user-testing results: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>especially “DDA compliance” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don ’t pay for anything which doesn’t actively help your users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>know when what ’s suggested is much more than “reasonable” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Think early </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan for accessibility from the start (cf. lifts in tube stations) not as an expensive add-on </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Think long-term </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think about maintenance and future updates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don ’t just rely on the agency, get them to train your staff, as appropriate </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Getting value for money – MWMW Case Study <ul><li>Money spent on things which benefit the user </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User-testing rather than badges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. Use of icons for those with learning difficulties </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Considered accessibility from the start </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CSS 2.0 formatting allows easy liquid design </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Internal staff learning to do AAA, CSS 2.0 sites based on AbilityNet ’s work on MWMW </li></ul>
  14. 14. Will you have to pay more for accessibility? <ul><li>Yes… but… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know which things shouldn ’ t be more expensive… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cost of creation of an accessible HTML site should be only slightly more than for a non-accessible site </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… and what should be: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some more specialised accessibility features may cost money – e.g. self-speaking sites, subtitles on video </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You may be charged a premium for the agency ’s expertise (accessibility still not a universal skill of all agencies) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>User-testing costs money… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And simplicity/good design thinking required for accessibility can take more time </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Will you have to pay more for accessibility? – MWMW Case Study <ul><li>Accessible CSS 2.0 site was as cheap as less accessible table-based site </li></ul><ul><li>User testing is expensive… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but results from iterative testing ploughed back into site to improve it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Considered self-speaking site, video for v2 of site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>self-speaking useful because we cannot assume users will have screenreaders/TTS when they ’re using the site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>video would be useful for those with learning difficulties/literacy difficulties </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Top tips <ul><li>Don ’ t get blackmailed into knee-jerk accessibility, make it a company policy </li></ul><ul><li>Get the agency to help you get closer to your users </li></ul><ul><li>Get the agency to explain and justify everything they do for accessibility to you </li></ul><ul><ul><li>if they can ’t do that so you can understand it… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>they probably can ’t write an accessibility policy which your users will be able to understand </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>they probably can ’t design the simple, elegant sites which accessibility requires </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. e: jonathan@hassellinclusion.com t: @jonhassell w: www.hassellinclusion.com Contact me