Accessible - just because you say it is doesn’t make it so

Been checking out portal “best practice” recently and had a look at Directgov, the UK government portal. The site has a very large, clear well placed Accessibility link at the top right of the page (page top is preferred to page bottom - where it is often relegated) so they must be onto it right?

First glaring observation is the colour scheme. Red and orange backgrounds and red links - really tough to read regardless of how good your eyesight is.

Hyperlink fashion - is black without underline the new blue with underline? (red underline or red without underline??) Bad luck for colour blind users who could use the underline as a cue to presence of a hyperlink.

You can go to the Accessibility page and then click on the link to read about “Information on how we tried to make this site accessible and easy to use for everyone”. Where’s the link? You’ll figure it out real quick because you’re a smart sophisticated user of the web (that’s how come you’re here) - but the audiences of a public service website aren’t all like that. So now you’re there you can read all about how much effort they made to make the site accessible (people with disabilities really love to read this stuff - not!).

The clincher - the image of a presumably disabled user has no alt text. Presence of alt text is a WAI Priority 1 checkpoint.

This on the page that states “The site’s layout takes into account users who are blind or visually impaired. It is fully compatible with popular screen reading software.”

One Response to “Accessible - just because you say it is doesn’t make it so”

  1. Robyn Says:

    Shows how important for all of us to walk the talk!

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