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. 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 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 first 2 of 3 examples of products with Fair Accessibility, with a Quick-UX Accessibility value between 0.2 (inclusive) and 0.4.
CNET is a news technology product. In CNET’s own words…
“CNET shows you the exciting possibilities of how technology can enhance and enrich your life.”
FAE evaluated CNET, returning the following results…
…resulting in an Accessibility variable value of 0.376 and Fair Accessibility.
It is good news that it is much less a technology problem than it is an education and implementation problem to achieve Comprehensive Accessibility. However, there is still a good deal of room for improvement for the product that “shows you the exciting possibilities of how technology can enhance and enrich your life.” Some of the problems not yet explored within other products of this series are…
Navigation & Orientation
- Regardless of the page content, each page should have at least one <H1> element; and it should contain text.
- Very common to products at all levels of Accessibility is the misuse of font styles. 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 should be moved to the product’s CSS.
Example: Drudge Report
The Drudge Report is another news product. In this case, this product’s focus is in the aggregation of conservative news.
Drudge Report achieved the FAE results displayed below…
To conform to the more traditional standards of Accessibility, this product should start by focusing on HTML Standards.
- DOCTYPE should be specified at the top of every page to facilitate validation and rendering of the content within.
- The default language for the content of the webpage should be specified. In this example, English…
<HTML lang=”en-us” …. >
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]
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.
The Product Guy