Accessibility as a key part of usability
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Accessibility as a key part of Usability. Andrew Arch Vision Australia Foundation. Web Accessibility. “The power of the web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

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Accessibility as a key part of Usability

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Accessibility as a key part of usability

Accessibility as a key part ofUsability

Andrew Arch

Vision Australia Foundation


Web accessibility

Web Accessibility

  • “The power of the web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”

    • Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

  • “Accessible design is good design.”

    • Steve Ballmer, President of Microsoft


Who benefits by accessible design

Who Benefits By Accessible Design

  • People with disabilities

  • People with poor communications infrastructure

  • Older people and new users

  • People with old equipment

  • People with “non-standard” equipment or restricted access environments

  • People with temporary impairments or who are coping with environmental distractions


Disability in australia

ABS (1998):

3.6m people had a disability

50% of people aged 65 and over, living in private dwellings, had a disability

Ageing population ‘greying baby boomers’Reference: agelight.com

Major types of disability:

Vision

Hearing

Physical

Cognitive

Literacy

Disability in Australia


Common accessibility issues

Common Accessibility Issues

  • Image-based navigation with no text alternatives and problematic download times

  • Use of PDF with no alternative access

  • No allowance for custom browser settings

  • Inappropriate use of font and other presentation elements – no structure


Accessibility issues cont

Accessibility Issues …cont

  • Tables often used inappropriately to force layout and present text

  • Problems with construction of forms (code, labels and layout)

  • Use of plugins and scripts that exclude some people with disabilities or inconvenience many other users who don’t have the plugin or have scripting disabled

  • Multimedia relying on audio, video, mouse interaction


Accessibility issues cont1

Accessibility Issues …cont

  • Unnecessary and inadequately-maintained text-only versions

    • Often badly coded and designed - the same site as before, minus images

    • Often out of date - blind users avoid them

  • Poorly structured and inadequate code

    • Browsers compensate, assistive technology not so forgiving

  • Problems with overall usability and navigation

    • Inconsistent approaches

    • Poor architecture


Accessibility issues cont2

Accessibility Issues …cont

  • HTML writing software often doesn’t encourage compliance to guidelines and standards

    • Authoring tools New more compliant versions with some testing built-in or available as add-ons

    • Content management system / authoring tool: selection and workarounds http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/impl/software5.html

    • Authoring Tool Reviewshttp://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/reviews/

  • Still requires thought and extra work to conform


Common usability issues

Common Usability Issues

  • Alternatives to visual and audio content

  • Reliance on colour

  • Inadequate use of styles sheets and inappropriate markup

  • Reliance on scripting and mouse use

  • Opening new windows

  • Clear navigation and presentation


Assessing accessibility

Assessing Accessibility

  • An accessible website has gone through this process:

    • Concept design that considers all users

    • Skilled and intelligent use of WCAG 1.0 guidelines

    • Skilled and intelligent use of testing tools

    • Testing with disabled users and accessibility experts


Concept and design review

Concept and Design Review

  • Critical consideration of end-to-end process

  • Identify:

    • Objective

    • Options for implementation

  • Assess strategies that could be used

    • Consider requirements on the user


Manual checking

Manual Checking

  • Requires knowledge and understanding

  • Involves:

    • Reviewing content

    • Reviewing code

    • User testing


Usability testing by assistive technology users

Usability Testing by Assistive Technology Users

  • Complements technical accessibility testing, but does not replace it.

  • Purpose is to appreciate usability issues for users of assistive technology.

  • User testing CANNOT determine if a site or online object works with all assistive technology.

  • User testers need to be skilled, but not expert with their technology.


Technical accessibility checking

Technical Accessibility Checking

  • Automated Tools

    • All do a partial job

    • All have flaws or weaknesses

    • Interpretation needed (manual checking and rectification)

  • Many “pseudo tools” are available by using the options included as standard within your computer


Thankyou

Thankyou

  • Andrew Arch

  • Vision Australia Foundation(IT-Test Consortium)454 Glenferrie Road, Kooyong 3144Ph 03 9864 9222

  • Email: [email protected]


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