Most Moderate of News: Bloomberg & NY1

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 remaining 2 of the 3 examples of products with Moderate Accessibility: a Quick-UX Accessibility value between 0.4 (inclusive) and 0.6.

Moderate Accessibility

For this set of products, I chose ones that either encouraged or required reading as the primary function of the product. A category that begs for a clear attention to the Accessibility needs of their varied user bases.

Example: Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s web product is geared towards the presenting of top headlines and news within a variety of categories.

00_bloomberg_homepage

The Bloomberg product is the highest scoring product within the set of products of Moderate Accessibility…

01_bloomberg_results

… receiving an Accessibility variable value of 0.596.

Should Do

Text Equivalents

  • As is common to many products, here too, it is equally important to provide ALT text in association with the image it is describing.
  • Replace all “Decorative Images” containing empty ALT attributes (e.g. ALT=””) with CSS-based solutions. Images that exist to contribute content to the page should contain a descriptive, non-empty, ALT attribute.

Example: NY1

Like Bloomberg, the NY1 product exists to present and make news convenient for its visitors.

00_ny1_homepage

NY1 revealed the following results from FAE…

01_ny1_results

And, with Accessibility variable value of 0.58, also earned its place within the level of Moderate Accessibility.

Should Do

Styling

  • As is common to many products, here too, it is equally important to provide ALT text in association with the image it is describing.
  • NY1 would be well served to use neither the <b> nor <i> elements. They are an indication of font-type and provide no contextual meaning. In these cases, the use of stylized header tags (<H#>) or <strong> or <em> would be better suited.
  • Separating the presentation from the functional layers is also important, not just to the development process, but also to Accessibility. The use of <font>, <center>, and other inline styling, like…

02_ny1_inline_style

… should be moved to the product’s CSS.

Quick & Usable

Over the next few weeks I will continue 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

10 thoughts on “Most Moderate of News: Bloomberg & NY1

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  6. What about accessibility for people with hearing loss? There are videos, podcasts, webcasts that are not captioned and transcribed. There are 37 million of deaf and hard of hearing people in the USA only and they make more than half of 54 million of people with all disabilities in the USA.

    W3C also require text equivalents for all audio components of websites – not just images. Not everyone can hear or understand audio, just like not everyone can see images.

    Like

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