We knew from the start of this project that there would be some anomalies in our results given the subjective nature of our testing (individuals using different types of assistive equipment with differing degrees of success).
As such, Stephen Dunn, chief technical strategist from Guardian Unlimited, was right to point out that our volunteers had missed the invisible links on Guardian.co.uk, which allow screen reader users to skip lengthy navigation bars. This was likely the fault of our equipment and cannot be attributed to the Guardian site.
Similarly the failure of Express.co.uk‘s Have Your Say area with our user may have been heightened by our users’ unfamiliarity with using such comment areas.
Yet this reiterates the issue touched on in yesterday’s blog post about Independent.co.uk: our blind and visually impaired testers struggled with this section of the site because it was unclear what they were supposed to do from the outset.
This was not an accessibility problem caused by bad links or poorly written code that disadvantages screen reader users, but rather an issue that could affect all visitors to the site. To get the necessary instructions on how to Have Your Say users have to drill into the site before being directed to a registration page.
Combining a quick registration process with a comment form would be a welcome move towards accessibility for all – and would easily boost MyExpress’ subscription numbers.