Well-Rounded 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 2 examples of products with Comprehensive Accessibility, with Quick-UX Accessibility values above 0.8.

Comprehensive Accessibility

Example: RoundHouse

RoundHouse is a product focused on providing system administration support to other businesses. And it’s clear that their support goes beyond the server…

00_roundhouse

RoundHouse received the following results from FAE…

01_roundhouse-results

…resulting in an Accessibility variable value of 0.904, Comprehensive Accessibility.

Should Do

02_roundhouse-h1h3 The two products highlighted within this article for Comprehensive Accessibility have both done a great job with their Accessibility implementations. But, even within the RoundHouse product there is room for improvement.

Navigation & Orientation

  • When using <H#> tags on a page, they should go in-order, and not skip heading delineations for visually stylistic convenience.

    This was found to occur on numerous pages. In each of these cases, the content of the page goes from H1 directly to a series of H3’s – when a styled H2 would have been better, and clearer.

  • Be sure to always indicate the default language for the content of the webpage. For example,

<HTML lang=”en-us” …. >

Text Equivalents

  • Always specify informative ALT text for your images.

Styling

  • The <b> element is an indication of font-type, as opposed contextual meaning. Use <H#> tags or <strong> or <em> to better convey the underlying meaning of the content.

Example: Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE)

00_fae_homepage

It’s always fun to point out how the tool, itself responsible for the quick evaluation of all the products within the Quick-UX discussion of Accessibility, should be improved to also achieve a higher value.

01_fae_results

…resulting in an Accessibility variable value of 0.976, Comprehensive Accessibility.

Should Do

The portion of the product that could be improved, while minor, as it achieved the highest score, that would have the greatest impact upon the score’s improvement, would be to focus on HTML Standards.

HTML Standards

  • Specify every page’s content type. While typically implemented, there is a noticeable occasional absence of…

<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8"/>

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

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About Jeremy Horn

Jeremy Horn is an award-winning, product management veteran with 2 decades of experience leading and managing product teams. Jeremy has held various executive and advisory roles, from founder of several start-ups to driving diverse organizations in online services, consumer products, and wearables. As founder of The Product Group, he has created the largest product management meetup in the world and hosts the annual awarding of The Best Product Person. Accelerating the next evolution of product management, Jeremy acted as creator and instructor of the 10-week product management course at General Assembly and The New School, and mentoring at Women 2.0 and Lean Startup Machine (where is he also a judge). To see where Jeremy is now check him out at (1) http://linkedin.com/in/TheProductGuy and (2) http://TheProductGuy.com