Accessibility Evaluation

Project:                               Evaluating Accessibility

URL of site Evaluated:   http://www.climate.gov.ki/

Intended Audience:        Anyone especially from outside the                                                               country of Kiribati seeking information                                                       on climate change and it’s impact on                                                              Kiribati.

Set of Tools Used for the Evaluation

To do the evaluation, after reading up on the many accessibility evaluation tools, I decided to use WAVE, a site/tool that runs the evaluation process for you and spits out results that include the breakdown of the code errors, missing links, contrast errors, and other issues found on the site. All you have to do is plug in the url of the site you want to evaluate in the query box and it will do the rest for you. The image below has more details about WAVE:

WAVE Accessibility Eval tool
WAVE Accessibility Eval tool

 

Background

I used a combination of manual evaluation and the use of one evaluation tool, WAVE. The usage of these 2 methodologies satisfies the Web Content Accessibilities Guidlines(WCAG) that requires, at a minimum, using a manual and evaluation tool when conducting website accessibility.

Evaluation of Accessibility

The site Climate.gov.ki is an official governmental site of the islands of Kiribati. This issue is one that the inhabitants of its islands are grabbling with as we speak, from tidal waves eating away their lands, depletion of their drinking water supplies as a result of fresh water subsiding into rising sea water levels under water aquifers, and many other effects of climate change.

And so, the site is a resource depot for the outside world. It documents their struggles, efforts to combat their situations, links to similar topics, and everything having to do with climate change.

The goal for this project is to evaluate accessibility, specifically web accessibility for the site Climate.gov.ki. Web accessibility “refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality”, as defined by Wikipedia. Below is a homepage screenshot of Climate.gov.ki site

Climate.gov.ki homepage
Climate.gov.ki homepage

 

WAVE is free, with simple terms for usage, and has proven to be a reliable tool as evidenced by the millions of web pages it helped evaluate. You can check it here http://WAVE.webaim.org/.

My Accessibility Eval Results

kirigov_acceval
Summary of issues

After running the evaluation tool on the site, as indicated in the above image, there are quite a few issues, ranging from code, contrast, styles, missing “alt” elements, and a few others. Below is the summary of evaluation the WAVE tool came up with:

  • 6 Errors
  • 16 Alerts
  • 14 Features
  • 28 Structural Elements
  • 4 HTML5 and ARIA
  • 3 Contrast Errors

To help better illustrate this, take a look at the screenshots above and below:

Contrast Errors

Before running the evaluation tool, I could even tell color scheming is not strong. And as the test results show below, just on the home page itself , there are 2 contrast issues. Browsing throughout the pages, there are other contrast issues, as the pages are mostly white backgrounds with black text, and no consistent color palette is being used effectively on the content.

kirigov_contrasteval
Issues details

Below is the closer image of the errors/issues.

accessibility-eval

 

Mobile Usability Test

Project:  Mobile Usability Test

URL of tested site:  www.ACG.com

Inmobile_phone_bw this usability test, I chose to test ACG.com mobile version, a website for the company American Capitol Group based out of Bellevue(it’s my wife’s work). Up until now, I’ve never seen their site’s mobile version, and thankfully, it happened to be a good choice to test.

I asked 3 family members to be in my test, answering a set of 6 questions regarding the mobile site’s usability. The site proves to provide quite consistent results from my testing subjects. They all seem to come to the same consensus, that the mobile site needs a total makeover.

The home page does not quite open up to the full width of the mobile browser, instead it’s only half the screen size (see below).

ACG.com mobile site.
ACG.com mobile site.

Attached here is my questions and answers I gathered after I conducted my test with 3 family members.

 

Usability Test

computer-frustration-cartoon

In this usability test, I asked coworkers a series of questions I prepared and recorded their answers based on their experiences on my chosen website. The main goal of the test here is the effectiveness of the website, in conveying it’s intended purpose to it’s targeted audience.

In choosing my site, I picked one that my coworkers aren’t familiar with, so as to try and capture their first impressions and rather unbiased answers to my questions. I figure, the site I picked is a tourism company’s site in Kiribati(see map here), a country that’s one of the least known, and least traveled-to destinations in the world, and so chances are they have never heard of or come across the site.

In summary, their answers were all consistent in that while the site is simple and clean, it lacks modern web elements that modern websites have. Things like applications, image sliders, videos, big bold colors and backgrounds would really make the experience more engaging and pleasurable. Especially for a site that is trying to sell it’s product(tourism in this case) to the outside world. Interestingly, they all agree that those things would have helped make them return to the site. Now, would they return to the site in the future? I didn’t ask them that question, but their answers can be good indications they may not!

copy-of-kiribatiholidays_site
KiribatiHolidays.com vs. Bahamas.com

 

Here below is my set of questions with the answers from the test I conducted:

  • 1.What do you think the purpose of this site is? (i.e.                 selling, informing, entertainment, etc)

 

User 1. Advertising to the public.

User 2. Selling and advertising to the general public tourism                 in Kiribati.

User 3. Informing and selling tourism.

  • 2. Who do you think this site is for(audience)?

User 1. Probably people outside of the country.

User 2. Anyone interested in going to remote places.

User 3. Hard to tell by the lack of description on home page.

  •       3. Is the site adequate for its supposed purpose?

User 1. The site could make more use of interactive web                        technology. So no!

User 2. Not really, it’s pretty bland!

User 3. The site looks dated, and needs eye-catching content,                pics, videos, etc.

  

  •         4. Is there a coherent use of a color scheme?

  User 1. Somewhat, mostly the orange and maybe blue                           colors.

  User 2. Yeah, simple orange, and prevalent off-white                               background.

  User 3. Site could use more of the orange, in text headings.

        

    

  •        5. How did you find the layout of the site?

User 1. While content is tidy, it’s rather not modern enough                  like today’s sites.

User 2. Limited content, makes it look uninteresting.

User 3. Easy to follow layout, looks like it’s made for mobile                 or smaller screens.

  

  •      What would you change to make you return to this site in         the future?

User 1. More use of interactive content, like image slider,                      videos, etc.

User 2. Make the text bigger so I can read it easily.

User 3. Enlarge the pages so big, colorful pictures from the                    country can help sell tourism to the outside world.

  

1st Project: Analyzing a Site(of choice) for Userbility

  • Website URL: https://seattle.craigslist.org/skc/
  • What is your first impression of the site?

First impression is how minimal and simple the interface is, and got a feeling the site does not embrace creative, interactive UI design.

What working?

What works is the very simplistic UI for any user, that only serves the one purpose the site is created for, and that is to offer users a vast online database of classified ads on just about anything.

What is not working?

The site is dated, and looks backwards compared to other e-commerce sites out there, like eBay, Amazon, and OfferUp. The UI maybe is too simple and plain, with monotone content that it looks uninspiring and boring.

Improvement suggestions:

The UI needs a little updating. A little interactive elements like pictures popping up when hovering over texts/ads, more modern template for UI.

  • What is this site about?

The site is an online database of indexed classified ads, that covers jobs, goods, services, and even forums.

What works?

With ads being listed in either one or two words, it is pretty easy to look up an item. Simplistic UI caters for all types of users, from the tech-savvy to the novice.

What is not working?

The main page lacks visual content, to help with fast navigation. Also a tagline would help too solidify the brand or purpose of the site.

Improvement suggestions:

Besides the fact that everyone know what Craigslist.org is, for someone who does not know, there is no visible tagline to go along with the brand name. Something catchy, and straight-forward to compliment the Craigslist.org brand would help.

  • What benefits do you think you will receive from this site?

Benefits are fast access to ads, simple display of content, vast database of stuff, and it’s free.

What works

Ads are well organized by categories, by area, prize, and can even be filtered down to specific details. Sheer size of content, and for free is what makes this site work.

What does not work

All ads are not reliable and sometimes unverifiable, and some are too sketchy to pursue.

Improvement suggestions:

A tighter oversight and vetting mechanism to administer the site. Some kind of assurance for users so they know the ads are posted honestly, and by someone who’s deemed reliable, honest, and safe enough to deal with.

  • Where are the links (primary navigation) to the main sections of the site?

There is no traditional navigation menu, instead clicking on categorized content serve as navigation to a specific ad. Main sections can be ad categories like Jobs or Housing, or they could also be location like county or city.

What works:

Clear, simple and uncluttered content makes it easy to navigate. The search box is visible enough on the upper left of main page.

What does not work:

Text size can be an issue, as some are too small and tight and can be hard to read and select.

Improvement suggestions

Maybe use of hover effects over menus like increase in text/button size, or change in bold color.

  • How can you search this site?

Searching the site is done by 2 ways. One, entering text in the search box, two, by simply navigating through the categorized content by clicking on the content which serve as internal links.

What works:

The many filters available when searching makes it really user friendly. Search by location is key, as distance matters when considering people have to meet somewhere, or travel in order to make the transaction.

Improvement suggestions:

An interactive map showing rough travel distance, or location of where the ad is posted from. Also, pictures can be used alongside categories, for visual cue. This will help to grab the user’s attention faster, to the and makes it faster to search for an item.

  • Where are the links to the most popular content?

This is non-existent, with all categorized content being given equal importance as evidenced by the monotone text through out the front page.

What works:

With all content being treated equal, the user is not distracted from what it is they come to search for.

What does not work:

Lack of current popular trends that are happening maybe pertaining to area of interest, or in the category of the ads. Or just a simple most popular content links, maybe internal or external.

Improvement suggestions:

Additions for popular links or trending jobs links, or an upcoming huge garage sale.

Diagram showing comparison between Craigslist, and Amazon, eBay, and OfferUp.

Craigslist.org UI comparison to Amazon, eBay, and OfferUp
Craigslist.org UI comparison to Amazon, eBay, and OfferUp