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Re: Testing web page accessibility by phone

From: phoenixl <phoenixl@sonic.net>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 08:18:36 -0700
Message-Id: <200205311518.g4VFIauB013914@newbolt.sonic.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org


A blind woman sent me this message and said I could post it to this mailing
list.  She has some interesting comments on the "time" issue.



    Hi Scott

    My name is _______________, and I am a blind computer user who has
    been on the Net since about 1993. I got to be part of that study the
    Nielsen-Norman Group did last year, and I was tremendously impressed
    by the thoroughness of their methods. I have also beta tested a few
    web sites and products, and am currently alpha testing an accessible
    online poker game. I think the best approach is to have the tester
    in voice contact with the company developer or researcher. The
    biggest hrudle in testing accessibility is to convey to the product
    or  software devloper the level of accessibility and usability
    experienced by the disabled user. A user with limited mobility would
    not be expected to spend twenty minutes locating and acitvating the
    necessary switch/button.etc., but frequently blind users are
    expected to hunt and search and go through extremely lengthy and
    frustrating processes in order to have equal access, and this is
    what is called "accessibility". Only by having the researcher
    experience the same length of time and frustrations the blind user
    experiences will the researcher comprehend all the possible
    shortcomings of the product. I have pointed this out a couple of
    times to other companies I have worked with, and they are always
    surprised when I point out that just because it takes a sighted user
    five seconds or less to visually see and click on an accessible
    button on a web page,  for example, does not mean that a blind user
    with a screen reader can locate and confirm this is the appropriate
    button in less than five minutes.

    In closing, the researcher needs to go through the precise
    experience the user has, and voice contact is the only method I can
    think of for this. I suppose a close second would be to give the
    user access to a web site where the researcher can track the user's
    process online through the server but this does not seem to offer
    the same level of feedback as live voice contact would.

    Hope this helps.
Received on Friday, 31 May 2002 11:19:21 UTC

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