2010: Use of user-research to inform accessibility strategy


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Presentation given by Jonathan Hassell (Head of Audience Experience & Usability for BBC Future Media & Technology) at eAccess-10.

Covers: why the BBC cares about accessibility; accessibility should be about ensuring disabled people get the same great user-experience of your products that the rest of your users do; how 'Talking Disability' research let the BBC know how it needed to improve iPlayer for disabled people; how Future Media's Disability Panel 2009 created the genesis of BBC's forthcoming ATK (Accessibility Toolkit)

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  • Thanks Nicola. This is the last presentation – so start thinking of questions for the end…
  • I ’ve been working in accessibility for years … And this is where we started …
  • I ’ve been working in accessibility for years … And this is where we started …
  • The web isn ’t so much about information any more. It ’s so much more than that …
  • You see what I ’m saying. There is no reason why we shouldn ’t do the same things in researching the needs of disabled people as we would non-disabled users .
  • CR - Usability testing is most straightforward method , perhaps best understood – how many here have seen usability testing on their site ? It ’s a core method used by BBC & other broadcasters we’ve worked with Can see the user, can record what's happening with PIP images –snippets from video are powerful Image Testing iPlayer when more content & functionality added led to important changes some subtle, some less so. Some on IA (grouping / categorising content ie navigation) and some others on the presentation level for a given page. All based on understanding people ’s natural behaviour when searching for & using TV & Radio Content I have image of testing with a blind user as well in a test lab
  • You see what I ’m saying. There is no reason why we shouldn ’t do the same things in researching the needs of disabled people as we would non-disabled users .
  • You see what I ’m saying. There is no reason why we shouldn ’t do the same things in researching the needs of disabled people as we would non-disabled users .
  • You see what I ’m saying. There is no reason why we shouldn ’t do the same things in researching the needs of disabled people as we would non-disabled users .
  • You see what I ’m saying. There is no reason why we shouldn ’t do the same things in researching the needs of disabled people as we would non-disabled users .
  • 2010: Use of user-research to inform accessibility strategy

    1. 1. Accessibility for audience-focused services at the BBC: Jonathan Hassell Head of Usability & Accessibility BBC Future Media & Technology 13 th July 2010 <ul><ul><li>use of user-research to inform accessibility strategy </li></ul></ul>
    2. 2. Why the BBC cares about accessibility… <ul><li>Public Service ‘putting audiences at the heart of all we do’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>all people pay their licence fee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>we need them all to gain value from it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enabling more people to use our products gives us better ROI and reach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Uphold brand reputation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>our audience expect this from us… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>net promoter ( ‘would you recommend us…’) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>winning awards… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reduce negative feedback </li></ul><ul><ul><li>when everyone funds you… everyone shares their view </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legislation and regulation in the background </li></ul>
    3. 3. BBC view: what accessibility used to be… <ul><li>all about guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>techies trying to code to them </li></ul><ul><li>then trying to test with screenreaders </li></ul><ul><li>maybe a bit of testing with real people… if you ’re lucky </li></ul>
    4. 4. BBC view: what accessibility really should be… <ul><li>all about disabled people </li></ul><ul><li>it ’s not about accessibility… or even usability… it’s about a great user experience for disabled people </li></ul><ul><li>whether they can get the right value out of what we create </li></ul><ul><li>exactly like we aim for, for every other audience </li></ul><ul><li>so that includes enjoyment and fun </li></ul>
    5. 5. Supporting this direction for accessibility <ul><li>accessibility has been heading towards “usability for people with disabilities” for years </li></ul><ul><ul><li>see PAS-78 Best Practice in Accessibility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>forthcoming British standards are taking it towards user-experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BS-8878 Accessibility Standards (in progress) </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. How we do accessibility at the BBC <ul><li>depends on the project… </li></ul><ul><li>all comes down to researching user needs of disabled and non-disabled people </li></ul><ul><li>we need to research those needs early, work out how homogeneous they are , and feed them into the production process… </li></ul><ul><li>and we need to test evolving products to see if they are meeting those needs… </li></ul>
    7. 7. High level research example: Talking Disability 2008 <ul><li>Objective: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ to gain a deep understanding of how audiences with disability are using different media, gauge their perceptions of the key media providers, and understand what role media plays in their everyday lives in 2008’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>commissioned by BBC and Channel4 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participants/methodology: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Desk research & analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>74 participants </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>workshops on HI, VI, Mobility/Manual dexterity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>in home depths on mental health, web 2.0 use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quantitative: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>500 person random sample </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Finding: You are a leader in online accessibility. The challenge is to keep that reputation as expectations rise. Sources: Phase 2 and 3 research My own opinion on the BBC they are probably the best sites, so simple. Male, Visual Impairment, London If you ’re on BBC One website and you want to find out what’s happening to the Newcastle game and stuff like that, it’s like 2-3 minutes, when I’m on ITV it’s like 6, 7 or 8 minutes, Male, Hearing Impairment, Newcastle It's a very good website, very, very accessible... I can't really fault their website. Female, Visual Impairment, London
    9. 9. Finding: iPlayer offers strong benefits to disabled audiences as it does to non-disabled audiences <ul><li>As with non-disabled audiences, it provides a useful catch up service </li></ul><ul><li>Range of content appreciated </li></ul><ul><li>It was best of breed in terms of accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>No need to download makes it much more usable </li></ul>Sources: Phase 2 research
    10. 10. Finding: Still, it remains one of the biggest areas for development in terms of access services… <ul><li>My Sky plus box is set to audio described, so any programme that has audio description, it will start audio describing it. I don ’t have that option with iPlayer, yet. They are saying they are working on it, but I don’t really believe them. </li></ul><ul><li>Female, Visual Impairment, London </li></ul>
    11. 11. Finding: iPlayer navigation accessibility could also be improved <ul><li>It won't tell me what ’s on the screen. The minute we go to where it's got the Flash buttons, it will just say some random numbers …So the only button that I can find here, is play. The only thing I can do here, on this BBC iPlayer, is play and stop, I can't rewind and I can't forward, because it won't, the buttons aren't labelled. </li></ul><ul><li>Female, Visual Impairment, London </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think that's obvious enough, that that's where subtitles might be? </li></ul><ul><li>Female: No, absolutely not. I think some people wouldn't have guessed it at all. </li></ul><ul><li>Hearing Impairment, Newcastle </li></ul>
    12. 12. How we used that research to make a a good product better – BBC iPlayer <ul><li>a website… </li></ul><ul><li>which enables people to be educated, informed, and entertained… </li></ul><ul><li>by BBC TV and radio programmes… </li></ul><ul><li>fixing those accessibility shortfalls… </li></ul>
    13. 13. Accessibility of the programmes <ul><li>Signing </li></ul><ul><li>March 2008: a directory of all BBC signed programmes, available on demand, for the first time… </li></ul>
    14. 14. Accessibility of the programmes <ul><li>Subtitles </li></ul><ul><li>Dec 2008: over 90% of BBC iPlayer programmes have subtitles… </li></ul>
    15. 15. Accessibility of the programmes <ul><li>Audio Description </li></ul><ul><li>August 2009: first VOD service in the world to include audio-described programmes </li></ul>
    16. 16. Accessibility of the interface <ul><li>accessibility of navigation </li></ul><ul><li>accessibility of the media player </li></ul>
    17. 17. Use of research to suggest answers to tricky questions… <ul><li>for example: if you were designing a way of navigating through a 30min - 4hour programme, just using two buttons , how would you do it…? </li></ul><ul><li>is there a best way…? for everyone…? for the programmes that they want to watch…? </li></ul>
    18. 18. Traditional User Research
    19. 19. The results… <ul><li>finding the right programmes to watch… when I want… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>categories really help people find what they want – find the last 7 days of signed or audio-described programmes easily </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>people can watch them when they want – on demand </li></ul></ul><ul><li>breaking out of limitations of set-top-boxes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>disabled people can use their existing ATs for watching TV as well… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>affordability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>access to Audio Description without needing to buy the right set-top-box </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>screenreaders are available free on PCs cf. very expensive to buy a set-top-box including speech </li></ul></ul><ul><li>better enables all people to be educated, informed, and entertained through an affordable, inclusive, mainstream product </li></ul><ul><li>won the Access-IT@Home award for best ICT based project, product or service that advances independent living for people with disabilities or elderly in Europe </li></ul>
    20. 20. Strategic research example: FM Disability Panel 2009 <ul><li>Objective: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ to discover how well we are catering for our disabled audiences across web, mobile, IPTV to inform strategy/prioritisation’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are doing well? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What could we do more of? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What should we stop doing? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Participants: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>28 disabled people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>16 to 60yrs old; 13 male, 15 female </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mild to severe vision, hearing, motor & cognitive impairments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Methodology: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diary study of media use & review of BBC sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus group discussion of diaries </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Findings summary <ul><li>What are we doing well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work well with assistive technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access services on some platforms, products & services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What could we do more of? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access services – not just on iPlayer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Platform consistency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessibility personalisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Better Information Architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile (in a year or so…) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What should we stop doing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Making assumptions about what disabled people want </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retrofitting accessibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Splitting accessibility & usability testing </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. Finding: the inclusive design model doesn ’ t handle diversity of needs well <ul><li>findings from the panel & BBC iPlayer disability focus group (2009) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vision impaired / dyslexic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ I like the black – it’s cool” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ I hate it – I find it really tiring” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ can it just talk or something?” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aging / learning difficulties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ it was just too overwhelming” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>so different user groups can have conflicting needs </li></ul><ul><li>inclusive design rarely considers disabled people ’s specific needs from a product… or compares them with non-disabled people’s needs </li></ul><ul><li>hence the request for personalisation </li></ul>
    23. 23. Finding: it also expects a lot from disabled people <ul><li>one site to work for all… </li></ul><ul><li>or an Assistive Technology to exist to make site accessible to you </li></ul><ul><ul><li>often they don ’t (e.g. text to sign language, text to ‘Easy Read’) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>and expects web users to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>be aware that an Assistive Technology exists for their need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(even with sites like BBC My Web My Way to point the way) most are not </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are able to afford that technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>most are C2DE so have difficulty affording expensive techs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are able to work out how to install it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>most are not technical </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are able to work out how to use it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>most are unconfident </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>are able to use it to access online content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>thus… most never get this far, even if the site is WCAG AAA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>our assumption that we can rely on disabled people always having the Assistive Technology they need to help them is often wrong </li></ul>
    24. 24. How we used that research to provide the genesis for a new product – BBC ATK <ul><li>a tool… </li></ul><ul><li>which enables users to get the internet the way they want… </li></ul><ul><li>wherever they want it… </li></ul>
    25. 25. BBC ATK at a glance <ul><li>a way of letting people know why they should want… </li></ul><ul><li>to use an engaging way of setting and storing their accessibility preferences… </li></ul><ul><li>and getting sites to respond to them </li></ul><ul><li>… which works consistently across BBC Online… </li></ul><ul><li>… and ideally cross-platform to mobile + IPTV </li></ul><ul><li>… and ideally across the rest of the web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… providing common tools for sites to respond to those preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… and a common model for existing tools to use to find a user ’s preferences </li></ul></ul><ul><li>opening up BBC content, and the rest of the web, to underserved audiences </li></ul>
    26. 26. Two clicks to preview a change…
    27. 27. Three more clicks to tweak and save your theme…
    28. 28. And the rest of BBC Online uses your preferences…
    29. 29. Contact Details <ul><li>iPlayer – www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility blogs – www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/accessibility/ </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>