57 Varieties: Relishing Accessibility

clip_image001In creating this series on Quick-UX and Accessibility, I studied over 50 products before carefully selecting the ones that made the articles’ final cut. While the products I chose were semi-random, at best, their resultant distribution…

clip_image003

…was most informative and encouraging regarding the strength of my rapid Accessibility assessment tool of choice, FAE:

clip_image005

Of the products discussed within the articles, I decided to plot some radar charts to see if there was any additional insight that could be gleaned via visual inspection. I hope you too find the patterns, visualized below, useful too.

Comprehensive Accessibility

clip_image007

FAE QUA value = 0.976

RoundHouse QUA value = 0.904

Nearly Comprehensive Accessibility

UseIt.com QUA value = 0.636

Eboy QUA value = 0.668

clip_image009

Moderate Accessibility

clip_image011

Borders QUA value = 0.428

Bloomberg QUA value = 0.596

NY1 QUA value = 0.580

Fair Accessibility

CNet QUA value = 0.376

Drudge Report QUA value = 0.240

NBC NY QUA value = 0.380

clip_image013

Poor Accessibility

clip_image015

GoodReads QUA value = 0.176

Barnes and Noble QUA value = 0.072

Furthermore, I am providing the access to the worksheet where I collected, collated, and crunched the raw numbers for all 57 products.

SPREADSHEET (Google Docs Version) (Excel Version with charts & highlights)

Quick-UX Accessibility is the measure of how many differently skilled/abled types of people (including individuals with disabilities) in varying locations (e.g. mobile web) can make use of a given product. With decreased Accessibility comes limited market opportunities, decreased Usability, and hindered inter-product Interoperability. As a result of the availability of a variety of very usable tools and due to the current state of web technology, addressing and improving Accessibility should no longer be an afterthought. And, through Quick-UX, addressing Accessibility, as well as the larger categories of Usability, Usefulness, and Desirability, can be done quite easily and quickly, providing…

  • a summarized view of a product’s overall User eXperience,
  • directional guidance for a product’s future development, and/or
  • metrics for comparison with other products.

Check out the Quick-UX Worksheet for the broader set of User Experience variables and heuristics.

QUICK-UX WORKSHEET

And until next week, when the exploration and discussion of products, user experience, modular innovation, startups, or perhaps something quite new, enjoy reviewing the products and ensuing discussions of this series, and see you then.

Comprehensive Accessibility

RoundHouse & FAE

Nearly Comprehensive Accessibility

UseIt & Eboy

Moderate Accessibility

Borders, Bloomberg & NY1

Fair Accessibility

CNET & Drudge Report & NBC NY

Poor Accessibility

GoodReads & Barnes and Noble

Enjoy & Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss out on future series, interviews, events and product insights from The Product Guy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

About these ads

Less than Grand GoodReads

clip_image001Accessibility is the measure of how many differently skilled/abled types of people (including individuals with disabilities) in varying locations (e.g. mobile web) can make use of a given product. There exist many, very thorough, guidelines for determining the degree to which a product adheres to accepted accessibility standards. However, many can be very complex and time-consuming, also requiring the study of a good deal of the underlying code — much of which goes against the goals of the ‘quick’ part of Quick-UX.

Quick-UX

Quick-UX provides for the rapid, simple and quantifiable assessment of a product’s User Experience (UX). In answering the question of Usability, "Should I use it?" the sub-category of Accessibility represents one of the more complex components.

Today, we will look at 2 examples of products with Poor Accessibility, with a Quick-UX Accessibility value below 0.2.

Poor Accessibility

Accessibility standards exist to provide people with disabilities a means of using products, from reading and interacting with those on the web, as well as many very positive benefits beyond this group of individuals. For these reasons, for this article, I made the ironic selection of the following 2 products, whose missions are to get and keep people reading and interacting online.

Example: GoodReads

GoodReads is a very cool product that brings all types of book fans together, sharing recommendations, tracking read and wanted books, and doing other fun book club-y things.

00_goodreads_homepage

GoodReads received the following results from FAE…

01_goodreads_results

…resulting in an Accessibility variable value of 0.176 and Poor Accessibility.

Should Do

Beyond making sure that all images have ALT text specified, this product would do well to address its use and identification of “decorative images.”

Text Equivalents

  • Images with empty ALT text are assumed to either be informational, whereby the ALT attribute should have been populated with contextually relevant information, or was left empty – a decorative image. Such decorative images should typically be removed and implemented via CSS.
  • In this product, the NULL specification for the ALT text is generally accepted – informing assistive tools to skip the images with alt=””.

02_goodreads_null

However, the implementation of tracking pixels throughout the product is inconsistent. Another example of a tracking pixel within this product provides attention getting ALT text on an image 1×1 pixel, that is also not intended for consumer consumption.

03_goodreads_quantcast

Example: Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble, famous brick-and-mortar bookstore chain, provides a web product that goes beyond just selling of books.

00_bn_homepage

The tattered results delivered by FAE for this product were…

01_bn_results

…resulting in an Accessibility variable value of 0.072 and Poor Accessibility.

Should Do

Throughout this series many examples of areas for improvement have been stated and explored for other products. And, for this product, these ‘should do’ items, for the most part, apply here, too. Most significant amongst these areas for improvement for Barnes and Noble are…

Text Equivalents

  • Always provide Alternate text for images.
  • Remove images with no Alternate text specified.
  • Make sure Area elements also have Alternate text specified.

HTML Standards

  • Include a valid DOCTYPE declaration at the top of each page to facilitate rendering and validation.
  • Make the pages’ character encoding clear. For example, by including…

02_bn_encoding

Quick & Usable

Over the next few weeks I will be exploring the ins-and-outs of a variety of products, and walking through real-world examples of the Quick-UX evaluation of Accessibility

Comprehensive Accessibility [RoundHouse & FAE]
Nearly Comprehensive Accessibility [UseIt & Eboy]
Moderate Accessibility [Borders, Bloomberg & NY1]
Fair Accessibility [CNET & Drudge Report & NBC NY]
Poor Accessibility [GoodReads & Barnes and Noble]

Quick-UX Accessibility Summary, Charts & Data

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the Usefulness and Credibility components of Quick-UX, the quick and easy method of generating quantifiable and comparable metrics representing the understanding of the overall User Experience of a product, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

From Intentionally Bad to MI’s Impact on Facebook

Every week I read thousands of blog posts. For your weekend enjoyment, here are some of those highlights.  What are you reading this weekend?

01_pricing

On Starting Up…

http://vandelaydesign.com/blog/business/pricing-objections/
Overcome pricing challenges.

 
 

On Design & Product Experience…

http://www.usabilitypost.com/2010/10/13/a-motive-for-bad-design-2/
The importance of designing badly.

02_bad_design
03_facebook_impact

On Modular Innovation…

http://www.readwriteweb.com/cloud/2010/10/weekly-poll-is-facebooks-api-a.php
The impact of Modular Innovation on Facebook’s pocketbook.

 

Have a great weekend!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

Getting Lean, Engaging Yipit & the Games are Afoot in November!

theproductgroup_logo_200909_thumb752
balsamiq_logo2_thumb263333
sunshine_suites_logo
RymaLogoHighRes257_thumb5222

A big thank you to everyone who made it to our latest roundtable meet-up of The Product Group, as well as to our sponsors, Balsamiq Studios, Sunshine Suites, and Ryma Technology Solutions.

IMG_0705 Over the course of the night a few of the highlights were…

 

Featured Product: Yipit
exploring the product, exploring the product, its challenges and successes, from growing organically to exploring alternate business models
(thanks to Yipit Product Person: Vin Vacanti)

Minimum Viable Product
from misconceptions to lean methodology
(thanks to Guest Expert: Joe Chin of SourcePad)

The Product Group meet-ups are an opportunity for Product People (managers, strategists, marketers, etc.) to come together to meet, interact, and network in a roundtable setting. It’s awesome to meet fellow Product People in a laid-back, conversational gathering.

IMG_0715 If you are a Product Person who would like to have your product or methodology featured at an upcoming meetup of The Product Group, contact me.

I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our next meetup …

  Thursday, November 4th @ 7PM
@ Pace (163 William Street, 2nd Floor, NYC)
RSVP Now!

And, stay tuned for more announcements about November’s Featured Product.

If you would like to attend our next meet-up, RSVP today or visit our group webpage at…

http://meetup.com/TheProductGroup

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

P.S. Interested in becoming a sponsor or host of The Product Group? contact me.

NBC NY Bringing Fair Accessibility

clip_image001Accessibility is the measure of how many differently skilled/abled types of people (including individuals with disabilities) in varying locations (e.g. mobile web) can make use of a given product. There exist many, very thorough, guidelines for determining the degree to which a product adheres to accepted accessibility standards. However, many can be very complex and time-consuming, also requiring the study of a good deal of the underlying code — much of which goes against the goals of the ‘quick’ part of Quick-UX.

Quick-UX

Quick-UX provides for the rapid, simple and quantifiable assessment of a product’s User Experience (UX). In answering the question of Usability, "Should I use it?" the sub-category of Accessibility represents one of the more complex components.

Today, we will look at the last of 3 examples of products with Fair Accessibility, with a Quick-UX Accessibility value between 0.2 (inclusive) and 0.4.

Fair Accessibility

Example: NBC New York

NBC New York’s online news product presents a visually pleasing and minimalistic user experience.

00_nbcny_homepage

FAE’s evaluation of this product resulted in …

01_nbcny_results

…with an Accessibility variable value of 0.38 and Fair Accessibility.

Should Do

While demonstrating strength in HTML Standards and Styling that went beyond the basic visual, there still remains room for improvement in the areas of …

Navigation & Orientation

  • Beyond the importance of always specifying at least one <H1> element, it is equally important that every one of these elements contains text (as well as the subsequent <H#> elements).
  • Button, Submit, and Reset form elements must have either a value or a title attribute set.

Text Equivalents

  • While a common problem in many products with a heavy dose of images, especially news content with a constant stream of news and images, it remains no less important that every image should always be associated with a descriptive ALT text attribute.
  • “Decorative Images” used to such effects as positioning, typically images with either a height or width less than 8 pixels, should either be rethought and redesigned or resolved using CSS techniques.

Quick & Usable

Over the next few weeks I will be exploring the ins-and-outs of a variety of products, and walking through real-world examples of the Quick-UX evaluation of Accessibility

Comprehensive Accessibility [RoundHouse & FAE]
Nearly Comprehensive Accessibility [UseIt & Eboy]
Moderate Accessibility [Borders, Bloomberg & NY1]
Fair Accessibility [CNET & Drudge Report & NBC NY]
Poor Accessibility [GoodReads & Barnes and Noble]

Quick-UX Accessibility Summary, Charts & Data

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the Usefulness and Credibility components of Quick-UX, the quick and easy method of generating quantifiable and comparable metrics representing the understanding of the overall User Experience of a product, as well as other insightful posts from The Product Guy.

Enjoy!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy