FIND AN ACCESSIBILITY BUG
Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities. – definition from Wikipedia
There are various kinds of disabilities and points to test web accessibility in. I found a website with a variety of articles on web accessibility called WebAIM. Introduction to web accessibility listed 4 major categories of disability types (taken from WebAIM):
- Visual (blindness, color-blindess, low vision)
- Hearing (deafness, hard-of-hearing)
- Motor (inability to use mouse, slow response time, limited fine motor control)
- Cognitive (learning disabilities, distractibility, inability to remember or focus)
Keyboard accessibility can be considered as a low-hanging fruit because definitely not all websites are keyboard-friendly. Thus, it did not take me much time to check a few websites and learn that:
- My company’s product is not keyboard accessible (this turned out to be a never-defined requirement which may never become defined)
- Yahoo’s Home site does not create a hover effect when you tab on article’s Comments. It does tab nicely and gives impression of working on all other icons (like Love):
These issues are rather minor, but I would expect Yahoo (being such a giant website) to make Tab accessibility rather more user-friendly and create hover effects on all items.
On Twitter I noticed Visual accessibility‘s bugs. It intrigued me and I checked out Spectrum Chrome extension. This rather simple tool allows you to see instantly how people with different types of vision deficiency see the website.
I thought of games including many colors and checked Bricks Breaking. With normal vision it looks like this:
A person with achromatopsia could hardly play this:
For Hearing Disabilities screen reader tools can be used. One example could be NV Access free tool. I really wanted to try it out, but it supports only Windows OS.
Challenge like this raises accessibility awareness. It is very important to build your product smart and accessible to all kinds of people. Living with a disability already makes life more difficult, so let’s try to work on making the Web a friendly place to everyone.