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Watch the GoDaddy Pro Accessible Website Panel Discussion
Understanding the importance of websites being accessible, just recently at the GoDaddy Pro EMEA meetup, we hosted a discussion panel and workshop on the importance of creating accessible websites, and what inclusive coding means. You might want to check it out here and perhaps join our events.
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another GoDaddy Pro EMEA meetup. To learn more about GoDaddy Pro, you can visit the link that is in chat. And GoDaddy Pro challenges with designers and developers to do their work more efficiently and help them provide a better experience and better results. So if you want to have better results with your client and for your work, check out this for GoDaddy Pro.
Couple of housekeeping guidance before we start with the meet up, today is 20th of June in 2022. It’s a very warm day as I’ve heard from the participants in congress that we will have today here. So we’re looking forward to summer and summer festivities. Please feel free to introduce yourself or ask questions in the chat. We will be more than happy to address all of them. This session will be recorded and the recording will be available in 48 hours at the same link you joined today or at our GoDaddy Pro YouTube channel. The link is already in the chat so if you’d like to subscribe, visit us, please do so. Also, you should get a survey email, please be kind to answer a couple of questions for us. And we will be more than happy to hear if we’re doing good, or if we need to improve something.
So I talk too much, but very soon we will actually get to the topic. The headline of today’s event is called accessible website architecture and user experience. So when we speak about website design, primarily we talk about aesthetics, color sheets, images, layout, text, fonts, and many other things. But there is so much to that moving on behind the scenes that determine whether the design is user-friendly, inclusive, and accessible. Many people and many actual influencers nowadays talk about accessibility in WordPress. So today we decided to experience what accessibility in websites is. And while website content architecture improves such consistent navigation and clear site maps and features really can improve the browsing experience, especially for those relying on assistive technologies. So without further ado, I would like to present our today’s panelists.
First of all, I will present Lazar Bulatovic. Hello, Lazar, how are you today?
I’m doing well. I’m doing very well and I’m looking forward to this event. Hope you’re doing. Thank you very much for joining us today. You will bring a lot of interesting information together with Anne.
And when I spoke to Anne and I said, actually, how I should represent you when it comes to accessibility, since you also have your own business as well, she said that she’s a mean dragon running after the entire world about making their side successful. And how do we imagine you actually? Well, unfortunately, I make myself into the least popular person in the room very often, although it’s not with bad intent, but to me, everything is about the being conscious of accessibility. I sometimes say I’m like a virus, I infect people. So I know a lot of really talented plugin designers and I will ask them,” Can you show me your plugin?”” Yes.” And then can you show me how to navigate your plugin with a keyboard. And some say,” Oh yeah, I can do that. I made it possible to navigate by keyboard.” And some are completely stunned and taken aback and,” Oh, it’s not possible.”
And that is about the softest way I can introduce them into making their product accessible because then I start explaining to them where they can find how to fix that. And the same with caller contrast, or I will ask a designer, can you make your screen into black and white colors, grayscale colors? And suddenly they see, they gave function to color, which is really hard to see. And if they have a Mac, because I have a Mac myself, I show them how they can use a screen meter, which is also very infectious. Yeah, I take time for that. I tell people you can come and talk to me for 20 minutes and I will show you that, and this is planting the accessibility virus, but this is a good virus. Because people cannot unsee or unknow what they just experienced. And this is basically what I do. I’m an accessibility advocate. Very good. And I try to make people experience what it is like.
And I’m so glad that today we have Lazar because he’s going to show us and make us experience what he experiences when people make inaccessible sites or texts, for example. Thank you very much. And this was a great introduction. And Andrea, could you please also tell us, how are you today? You and Lazar actually know each other for some time, right? Yeah, we do.
Actually, Lazar is probably the first person to introduce me to the road of visual impaired people and how their day to day life, how they use technologies, what they have access to, what they don’t, and what are their main issues. And basically some of my own misjudgments, he also influenced to change to the better, because it’s not that common that your experiences that… I mean, what I wanted to say is that education makes you, or that visual impaired people not communicative that they are. Basically there are lots of negative emotions about them. And when you meet a person like Lazar, how can you believe that’s the case? He’s so kind, so helpful to work with and he helped us a lot.
Now it’s time for my introduction, actually, my name is Andrea. I’m in business doing websites and video games since 2014, I have a small studio for game development. I’m developing an audio game called, Lazar also helped with the development of that game, with his advice and feedback. Also, I’m working on websites from day to day, that’s what I do for a living. I work as a WordPress expert at GoDaddy and internal, I’m testing out every technology that they’re… And trying to find ways to improve for the users, which is also called website accessibility.
Thank you Andrea, very much. I see you’re struggling with your camera, we’re only see half of your head at the moment. I don’t know if you can… It’s not about the length of your arms, I think you need to slide up and down that the phone a little bit. Just put it up, up, yeah. That’s okay as well. Okay. That would be awesome. So if we started, I mean, we already have started the introduction part. Thank you, Andrea, for starting this round. Lazar, could you tell us what you do? Well, I am the first and only a world blind public speaking, and a presentational skills coach.
So I help professionals and founders, entrepreneurs get better when presenting and basically improve their presentation skills. So they win more clients or advance in their career. And if you want to learn more about my work, just check out my LinkedIn profile. That’s awesome. I already shared in the chat, the link to globalspeak.net, the website of yours. So if people would like to check it out. Also, I’ve put in the chat Andrea’s Thunderstrike games link to their startup gaming company.
And Anne, what do you do? I’ve been creating websites since 1990, but since two years after I saw a tweet about accessibility that made me cry, I actually blogged about that. I dove deep into accessibility, and right now I am mainly consulting about accessibility awareness. So that’s what I do. I know about development, I know about web design, I know about copywriting; so I’m probably lucky in that way, because normally you specialize in one thing, but I’m broader than this. And I call myself an accessibility and possibility advocate because I don’t believe in, I cannot. You can, or you don’t. That’s what I believe in. And the guidance I give to my customers is based on that. And the spear point is to say small changes happen through kindness, big changes happen through greed and capitalism. And itis my main goal to get the world, to tell the WordPress community and the e-commerce systems and anybody who provides the world with ways to publish websites and web shops. I want the users to get pushy towards these providers and say,” Listen, I like your webshop system, but it is very inaccessible, and this is costing me turnover. And actually a lot of turnover you can see on my website, how much it is.” And I think that when these software makers realize that the customers don’t want to use their stuff anymore because their code base is inaccessible, they will change because it’s going to hurt their wallet.
And this is how I try to bring about change also within the WordPress ecosystem and the WordPress community. So that’s what I do. That’s amazing. There’s a lot to listen from all our panelists, because I think you… First of all, you live in different world work hards, and then you have different careers. But to start with questions, I will urge everyone, please put your questions in the chat. And while we answer our questions that we have prepared for you today, we will also address yours.
So let’s start with Andrea, perhaps. What are your thoughts and personal experience when it comes to websites or games being accessible? You just mentioned that you create games, could you tell us more about your experience with accessibility, with games and perhaps WordPress websites? I think that my main motivation to go deeper into this topic came once at game development.
So case, I met a guy who tested out a game which used to be a field project to get into a master’s degree for the guy which I was working with, who is doing sound design. And that guy who tested out our game told us,” Hey guys, what, this project it might be interesting to visually impaired people.” And at that point, we were totally oblivious to what thatdoes that mean, how that talks like, we had no knowledge about what’s the market for this basically niche of programming and game development. And once we did our research, we found out that the games that are available there are… In general, there is very little games that are available that can be played.
Of course, Lazar did some examples of the games we didn’t even know existed because they’re not marketed enough towards people who can see. And there are also some issues with the graphics design of those games, obviously the games are made for visually impaired people. However, I think that there is a big gap between technologies that are dedicated to visually impaired people and technologies that try to be accessible to visually impaired people but mainly they’re out for people who can see properly. The gap is that we are unable to find the middle ground in most cases; we are unable to find the middle ground between accessible game and well designed game.
And that also applies to websites as well, because when you have, for instance, a game that is developed for visually impaired people, this game does not have a user experience that would drive people who can see to play it, to try it. We found it hard with some games we tried. And on the other hand, you have games and mainly I’m talking about website here because in the game development, I can basically talk all day long what’s wrong with marketing strategy, with investing in visuals, how much that affects visually impaired people in terms of games they can play.
There are some movements in a positive direction here, but everything when it comes to a website, it’s a bit faster because obviously the impact is much higher in that regard. However, I feel that we are all missing that middle ground that we should say,” Hey, this is good, this is not good.” With, basically, I’m not trying to promote it. I’m just giving an example, we are tr trying to preserve as much as the experience you’re getting as a player, but also to allow visually impaired people to play the game equally with equal experience as somebody who can see. And to basically not deliver an experience that is affected by the fact it’s only an adaptation, but instead that we can have an experience that is equal to both visually impaired people and people who play games on a regular basis. Thank you very much. Lazar, how about you? If we talk about the accessibility, what would be your thoughts and personal experience when it comes to websites or games being accessible? Well, I always put the equation sign between accessibility and simplicity.
And honestly, I really believe that websites that are accessible are also very simple for use. When it comes to website accessibility, I can say that the entire industry goes to the right direction. And that with the development of screen reading software and other products for the blind and visually impaired persons, so related to assistive technologies, I would say that most websites and most things that we need on websites are accessible.
But there are certain, very specific things that are simply impossible to click or to use when you have your skin active, or simply said, if you are blind. For example, I recently came across a mobile bank where I wanted to open my account in, and then I was able to fill in everything, like the email address, my first name, my last name, every single information could be filled without special accessibility, let’s say adjustments. But I couldn’t click, I couldn’t check the check box, which said,” I accept your turns and conditions.” And basically, no matter that I was able to simply complete the form, I was not able to proceed because I could not accept their conditions. I mean, I want to accept them, but that was not possible for me. So the check box didn’t work.
Some other things that I would like to show you today, if you give me the opportunity are the datepickers. So the entire website of airplane companies are accessible, for example; that the website is totally fine, but when you click on book your ticket, and then when you choose your outbound and inbound flights and whatever you choose, and then you just need to click and pick the date when you’re going to travel, that’s not possible. So you just cannot click, you just can’t choose the date.
And those minor issues that most websites have basically destroy my experience with using them. And it’s a pity, the developers are doing so good, so well to adjust the website, the screen reader part is also fine, they do everything they can, but there are some things that simply can’t be done. And then I have to ask the help of the sighted person to click like terms and conditions, or to pick a date for me, the entire experience is just ruined. And I can’t call that website accessible. That’s very straight to the point observation.
And I assume you spend a lot of time on the internet, right? Oh, definitely. I’m using screen readers since 2004, and I’m definitely seeing changes in technology. I’ve seen how it was before, how it’s going now. And I’m constantly following the latest accessibility trends and screening trends, because I simply have to stay in the loop if I want to be able to take part in the society with IT technology, because we are all required to use computers.
And if I want to use computers, I have to simply be updated when it comes to accessibility. So I definitely know a lot of that. Wow. Is that hard for you? I mean, to find the relevant information or perhaps going to No, it’s actually not because the blind community has specialized mailinglist and forums where they update us everything. So I’m just subscribed to some mailing lists, and every day I receive updates and just follow the trends, and that’s all.But once you start doing this, it becomes your daily routine. So nothing special about that. I think whatever you’resaying, it’s just the music to And’s ears. And are we going to stress some of these forums already, right? Yeah. We understand that the environment is different and that people don’t knowabout this so much, but they just want to stress out that when you are visually impaired and when you are blind, the things are as it is. And we don’t pay so much attention to,” Yeah, no, I have to download the latest version and install it and see how it works with this and that.” No, they just do that and go on.
Before we move to Anne, Yelena, asked a question. She said,” Hey, do you screenreaders in English or Serbian when browsing websites? How about mobile applications? And do you have some thoughts or insights about screen reader, availability in languages other than English?” Yelena, thank you very much for this. It’s agreat question.
Well, let’s go question by question, I think. All right. So the first one is, do you use screen readers in English or Serbian when browsing websites? Personally, so basically you have to distinguish the one thing isscreen reader and another thing is a synthesizer. And so basically screen reader is just a program that is independent from the synthesizer. Synthesizer is the voice that you are using. So actually, what you want to ask is if I’m using Serbian or English voice. So all the time I’m using English voices, because they are much more responsible and they simply sound better, et cetera, et cetera. But I can also use Serbian synthesizers, but in most casesI do use only English.
And I even read Serbian literature and Serbian texts with English synthesizers, because I simplygot used to that. I’ve been doing this for about 20 years, I told you. So yeah, that would be the answer.So basically, yes, I use only English voices because it’s just easier for me to navigate. I even read SerbianCyrillic with American accent because… Oh, you need to show us this.
Oh, man. Oh yeah, I have to, I can do that. Because the NVDA, the screen you I’m using is a free and open source. So the blind community just created the dictionary for Serbian Cyrillic and combined it into this synthesizer I’m using. We need to invite the team to these meetups because we cannot do anything without them anymore. So also, the second question is how about in mobile apps? What do you use for mobile apps? For mobile apps, basically you can use either iPhone or Android device, whatever you choose.
In Android devices, you can choose which screener you want to have on your disposal. Google has its own screen reader called TalkBack and if you are using, let’s say stock Android, like Android One, everything is totally accessible. So you can read messages, you can simply do your phone calls, everything else. And the major applications, both for iOS, Android, and windows are pretty much accessible. So I’m totally fine using LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Viber, Messenger,and everything else, but there are certain apps that are totally inaccessible.
For example, when I was trying to open the bank account and the bank I was talking about just a few minutes earlier, so a few minutes ago, I had to enter the code, which was provided to me via SMS. And so I was able to read the message. I was able to read and remember the code, but I could not click on the field in the app where I was expected to write that code. So we can say that this app was not totally accessible.
So basically the leading apps are pretty cool, they also have some updates where they don’t care about accessibility, but they usually fix it quite quickly. But some others are totally unaccessible, whereas some others are partly accessible,so it depends. And also there are both for all operating systems and for all devices. There are apps strictly created for visually impaired persons, for example, GPS apps for visual impaired like mobility apps, messaging apps for the visually impaired, and stuff like that.
So Be My Eyes is the app designed specially for the blind community, TapTapSee and something else. But basically yes, there is the entire market of the app related to users who can’t see. Amazing.
The last question from Yelena is, do you have some thoughts or insights about screen readers, availability in language is other than English?
Yes.So again, it’s not about screen readers, it’s about voices and synthesizers. I will tell you about English, so everything is totally available.There are a lot of companies and there is a huge market for this; the USA, they just know how to sell everything and anything. But in Serbian, we can definitely talk about this for years and years, because in Serbian, we still don’t have the synthesizer, the voice that would basically satisfy my needs and the synthesizer for which can say,” Yes, this is totally acceptable. And yes, I will be using this every day just like I’m using this synthesizer both for phone and computer.”
So we don’t have that still, but we definitely have progress. And the most popular Serbian synthesizer is AnReader made by AlfaNumfrom Novi Sad. I used this synthesizer while I had to study and read literature, et cetera, etcetera. But nowadays I’m using just a simple eSpeak when I need Serbian texts, but usually English.
Awesome. Anne, I know that you’re very responsible when it comes to accessibility. And I’m sure that the examples that Lazar has given us today actually just reiterate the fight that you’re fighting these days to promote accessibility. So I just wanted to ask you, you have your own experience of accessibility and the importance of websites being accessible, but now having Lazar actually stating the exact examples, how do you feel about it and what do you do to prevent those things happening?
It only confirms the stuff that I am seeing to people. And I’m actually going to ask you for a download of this recording. And I want to have this piece to show it because one of the biggest mistakes people make in web development in general is they will not have it tested by people who have disabilities; whether it is visual impairment, whether they are deaf, whether they are colorblind, whether they have cognitive disabilities, like I do, it’s not getting tested. And then people will say,” Oh, but it’s so expensive,” which is, in my opinion, bullshit, because no, you can’t, or no, you don’t, again is my war cry. And if people think it’s too expensive to have an individual site tested by a test panel, then let’s join forces and make sure that we make this affordable, that we start up something where people get paid to test. And if a thousand people are there to pay someone to test not so expensive, then when it’s just one company paying to test.
And also what Lazar says about he’s trying to open the bank account. So he wants to bring his money to the bank.” Hey bank, I want to give my money. You can draw interest from me, although there’s not much interest nowadays, as I heard.But I’m bringing you my money.” And now this bank doesn’t get his money, and banks don’t realize, and anyone’s selling stuff or flight companies or travel agencies, they don’t realize how much business they walk out on simply by something as silly as a check box that was not possible to check. And this check box is not possible to check, could have been checked by my 10 year old nephew when I say,” Use the keyboard to sign up on this website.” No one needs to be a superhero to do keyboard testing.
And this is also one of the things, maybe you can tell, I’m getting very passionate about it because it is so frustrating. And on the other hand, it just confirms we have to be a bigger positive force to push this. And one of the questions I have for Lazar is, how do you maintain your patients when this happens? Do you have route,” Okay, now I’m going to ask someone,” or are you sending an email to the bank saying,” Hey, what would you do?”If I were in your shoes, I’d be mad.
It depends. I am mad sometimes. It depends how much I need the service at the moment. For example, I walked away from this bank because of their inaccessibility. When it comes to dates, when I have moved to flying, et cetera, if I don’t find a better option or price or whatever it is, I just ask someone to pick a date for me, or I ask a friend to just give me the link with the booking information so I can just enter my credit card information and make the payment. Yes, sometimes I’m definitely off because you can’t do something which is very important to you. And basically those are some tiny things; the entire website is accessible, but this one button is simply unclickable. It’s tiny, but it’s a wall at the same time.
And that makes me a bit frustrated. And it depends, sometimes I almost never suggest developers change something because I simply don’t have time to do this, I’m not in accessibility that much. So I just use it for my own purposes. Who knows, maybe I will switch to this advocacy field, who knows? But anyway, usually no, I usually try to solve this either with some help of my friends or whatever it is, whoever it is, but definitely I’m just trying to solve this in a good one. In case, I find a better solution, which is accessible, I just walk away and just apply that.
This is awesome. I think we are already at the point of show where Lazar, maybe you can demo certain stuff about us. Lazar? Yes.
Do you want me to do it now?
Oh, let’s start.
Yes, there are a couple of websites that you want to showcase just like the… And just for the record, before Lazar shares any of these websites, we all present here do not hold anything against developers, designers, or the brand websites being showcased. Our pure intention is to spread the importance of website accessibility knowledge and practical points to consider among professionals when creating online experience for wide masses. So we’re not going to showcase any… We don’t have any bad or negative thoughts about it, but we just need an example,the best one to show how this can be overwritten.
And how Lazar and the people who have different types of of visual impairment, not necessarily as his own, how their experience online could be improved. So here is Lazar, Lazar would you like to share this screen here?
Yes, I will share the screen. My idea was to show you a few websites. Some of them will be totally inaccessible, some of them will be partly accessible and some of them will be fully accessible. So let me share and the demo will take no more than let’s say seven minutes. So let me share my screening now. So again, share screen. I will say entire screen and share system audio. So you can hear my screen here. Do you see the tab? Yes. Yes.All right.
So let me now show you the most accessible website I ever found. And it is basically intended for blind users. It’s called Blind Help Project. Yeah. So it says Blind Help project envisioning the brighter tomorrow through the lens of technology. And now I’ll press enter to open the website. Yeah.
I’ll just show you how the screen works. I will go by down arrow so I will read aligned by line. So the first thing I hear is last updated. On Saturday, March 3rd, 2018. Can you hear me? Yes. Okay. So I’m scrolling further. And now my screener is reading. S common sentences also is only visionary is not only the also language vocabulary. Okay. Now I can choose if I want to read word by word and I’llpress a right arrow to move forward,word by word. Okay. Now let’s try to go backward, control plus, left arrow because this is a keyword command. Now let’s see, I want to open the combo box and see if there is a combo box. I’ll press Cfor combo. Oh, no next combo box. So there is no way. Now I’ll move on, I want to see if see if there is an edit field, and I’ll press E to see whether the screen reader, whether the cursor will force will force me to get there. Oh yes, there is a search edit. So the edit where I can search the website. And no next edit it field on this page.
Okay. Well, let’s say if there are some edits fieldon the previous page, I’ll press the left arrow to go back.Oh yeah, there is search and there is enter your keyboard. So there is second edit field here. I’ll press,let’s press E again. And there is no next, but let’s press shift plus E. And then I just cut back to the first edit field. So there are two edit fields on this page. Okay. Now let’s see, I want to have all of the links at the press of my arrow keys. I’ll press in search plus F7, which is the screen reader command for lifting up all active links on this page. Okay. So elements lists, skip to main area, lets splash down arrow. Skip search area. Decrease text size. Restore, default, whatever.
Okay. Let’s try to move letter by letter. Let’s say if it says with, let’s say D. Yeah, DTS52, must be a picture. Yeah,so that’s basically going letter by letter, let’s press S. Solid files. Skip to main area. Skip the search area.So everything which starts with S is now pronounced search. So I showed you how to go heading by heading,combo box by combo box, edit by edit field. You can go button by button if you just press B. Search button, next button. donate to BHB via. And no next button at all. All right.
I hope you realized how blind people are using these things. Now let me show you the other site, which is not that accessible.And this is the website called HR world. So I entered the Google. I searched for this phrase and then I’ll press enter. Okay. This site has been blocked because of location. Yeah, on a mission to create better from the world. You see, and it reads without my control, December 30, 2020. I don’t anything. I didn’t press anything.Did you get it? So I don’t have any control over. Okay, let’s stop it.
Oh, what’s triggering this. Do you know? I don’t know. I just don’t know that it’s totally inaccessible. Okay. So that’s simply not the thing that we should go. Okay. Now let me show you the other Serbia website, where I wanted to book a flight and I couldn’t pick my date. Serbia. Official book flights, online save, yes. Okay, let’s close this. Okay, book a flight. So it doesn’t give me any information now. So which means that I’ll have to see with my arrows what’s going on, on the screen.
Yeah. So basically it asks me to tell them where I’m flyingforth. So let’s say that I’m flying from Belgrade. Oh, okay. So now I have the open where I want to travel, let’s… Paris. Oh, there is no Paris. The US,. Yeah, US. Yeah but it doesn’tread. , that’s fine. Okay. Wonderful. Okay.
Brand is, and now press that, but nothing happens. Oh,here it is. Departure dates, not possible. Return date. I can’t use even NVDA’s object navigation, which is basically the thing which is used when something is not accessible. You just can’t click this. But you can click on your passengers But you can choose a number of passengers and whatever you want. Just date is impossible to be picked up.And honestly, I would never book the flight with this company because I simply can’t choose when I want to go and when I want to get back. So that is something that I wanted to share. I think that would be so far for me; if you need some further clarifications or you have questions, just do let me know, I will now stop sharing my screen so we can go on.
Thank you very much. Anne, what are your thoughts?
I find this very interesting to see because the first website you showed Lazar is indeed wonderful in accessibility for people using screen readers, but it is not for people with low vision.So this website is only partially accessible and this is one… I love that you took this site as an example, because this is my biggest pet peeve. It has to be inclusive for everyone. And what the positive things about this is that this website could actually pretty easily be made accessible to people with low vision, because it can have- You can increase text size.
No.When people have low vision, for example, the contrast has to be strong. And if someone uses keyboard navigation and jumps from link to link, he has to be able to see which link he just landed on. This is one of the things that makes accessibility complex and very interesting at the same time. And it’s just lovely to see how for you, this website is operable in a breeze. And I think this also touches on what Andrea was talking about before in the game, like how to find the middle way between the best experience for everyone. I can’t wait to speak to you more or less about this because this is one of the best examples you could have given. And the travel website, yeah, I totally get it. And something that is not been made visible to you by your screen reading technology was that it actually also had a very ugly cookie banner popup that as far as I can tell was not even announced. So you were not asked for permission for them to set.
Oh, no. So this website is just in need of a lot of improvement. And I think if someone tells them that they miss about 25% turnover on an annual basis, maybe they will change things. Well, who knows?What I wanted to say is that some websites are actually partially accessible, but in my opinion, people are simply not aware of this that much. And they don’t apply this accessibility policies. Some other websites, for example, the United Nations website, I don’t know if this is the right approach,but they have totally different website for, let’s say, for visually impaired persons. So if you want to use their website, you can use the standard version or you can press, I don’t know what the command is that.
But definitely they- Lazar, how do you know that?
When you are blind and you come onto that website for the first time in your life, you remember when that happened to you came on the website of the United Nations for the… How was it communicated to you that there is a duplicate website made accessible?
Okay. So basically as I showed you, as soon as I opened the website and which is totally unknown to me. So when I opened the website for the first time, I always press control plus home to move to the top of the website. And then I scroll down narrow. And then the screener reader just when I was scrolling, one of the rows was press X, Y, Z for accessible mode.
Okay. Yeah, I get it.Well, lots of interesting information. Anne, is there any tool like where developers and designers can write the scanning of their website to understand whether it’s suitable or how a person who’sdeveloping the website can actually understand whether the website is accessible or not. There are several tools, actually, depending on theon the platform that you are using. And then there isautomated tools, automated testing, but there is also a human testing, which is necessary. One of the tools I personally love to use for a first impression, because it is accessible to anybody or everybody has access to it, let me say, because when I say it’s accessible, I mean,anybody can use it. Anybody has access, if you are in Chrome, for example, you can use the inspector. And with the inspector, you can actually go to the lighthouse and then have it test for accessibility. But I have to give a big warning about this.
This is the first tip I give to people who have never been in touch with this part of web development. You can make a website that is completely inaccessible to a lot of people get a hundred percent,” Yay, great score,” in the lighthouse accessibility check. So what I would like to do is to, when you publish the video, I will give you a list of tools that people can use to check if a website is accessible and for which group. And the first thing people can do is test if they can navigate the website by keyboard. The second thing people can do is use the Google inspector. The third key thing they can do is go really deep into this inspector and tell it to show what a site looks like when someone is colorblind or when someone has other impairments.
The list is so long that you have actually just asked me one of the most impossible questions for a short meetup. So this is why I promise to give you this very extensive list. And maybe we could do another meet up with specialists where we demo our tools, because it is important that people don’t get scared of this. It can be so overwhelming because you have to test for so many things. A website consists of so many disciplines; it’s content, it’s design, it’s code,it’s audio, it’s video, it is so much.
And if someone thinks he has to be chocolate by doing everything by himself, he’s going to run off screaming. Andrea, how about you? Andrea? What do you think about… Now I mean, talking to Lazar, you must have already known about this issues with Lazar was listing just now in front of us. Actually, what do you do in order to improve the games or websites that you work on when it comes to accessibility? Or do you have a suggestion to give to our listeners and viewers?
Yeah, I think that the biggest suggestion I can give and that compliments what Andrea said, it’s not only important that you test out with tools that test out with your users. Obviously the users will give you the best feedback possible. However,the problem is that in some cases up, especially when you’re starting a business that you don’t know whether its profitable or not, web accessibility usually comes on sub orlast place. And then people cut the costs by using tools that are very accessible.
One of the tools that many of the clients I worked with use is called Wave. Yeah. There are other tools also, however, I think that most people told me,” Hey, I use this Wave too for accessibility.” And the biggest mistake I noticed when people test out websites using this tool is that they only test out the home page, and then they think they found all accessibility issues with their website. Basically, you would need to test each of the pages that you’re accessing. And it’s not enough just to test because there are some cases in which two enable to give you results that are available because there is a technology that prevents it.
So I actually tracked Air Serbia website by accident with the Wave2. And I found out that it shows only like five warnings, because the first thing that holds up when Air Serbia website shows up is the cloud for DDoS protection. And for somebody who is just talking at numbers, they would they would say, the website is accessible. Website is not accessible, you only had like two rows of text to see on it.That’s a very… I mean, when you look at it from a perspective, I didn’t know about this. And I thought someone else is like taking care of that. And I wasn’t the one that… Say Anne.
Yeah. I’m bubbling.I’m always very,”Eeerh.” But I think the most important thing that we can do in general, instead of going straight into the tech of things is to put people in their users’ shoes. There is something that I call the IKEA experience. Have all of you ever been to IKEA? Yeah. Did you go to Ikea tooLazar? I’m not sure, but I know what they’re talking about.
Okay. So for the viewers, the IKEA experience is they are very smart in that way that they will force you through their entire shop. Even if you need one cup, they’re going to force you to walk through the entire shop. And then finally you discovered,” Oh, that’s in the basement.” And then you’re in the basement and you think,” Oh no, I was supposed to get a table.”And then you go upstairs again, and if you are, for some reason, not able to read maps or read the signs, you cannot find the shortcuts and you are put through going through that store all the way again.
I mean, it’s not like we have time for stuff like that. And this is the example that I give for people who create websites with mega menus without a skip link. So I know there is a lot of screen reading technology and of course, people using screen readers know their way around it. But when I think of people who start using screen readers for the first time, and this group is always there, it’s present too. They want to go somewhere and then they have to tap through that insanely large menu all over again. This is a nightmare. This is the IKEA experience gone wrong. And by talking to your target audience like… This is why I am so happy to speak to you Lazar, by really what is your experience so I can translate it into something that we all understand.
I think this is where the mission is because the tools you can find them anywhere. Anybody can use Google, anybody can find the educational places where you can learn how to make a site accessible, but how to convince yourself or your customer,how to do it. Another thing is like, would you go into a supermarket where every product in the shelfis wrapped in white paper without a label and it only says the prices, would you buy something? I sure wouldn’t. But this is the experience of someone who is blind in a store that has been developed wrong.
That’s very accurate and straight to the point observation, Anne. I will try to wrap up our today’s session because we are already at the top of the hour. So first of all, thank you, everyone, even people who joined us today to be our guests today as well. So thank you very much for this problem of. Thank you very much for giving your visuals very people. I wasn’t, for instance, where I thought my presumption is wrong as usual, my husband would say. So the thing is, I thought that someone else actually is checking that,, for instance, when-
Can I say something?
Lazar, can you mute yourself? Lazar is something. So it would be really nice if you can share this video among your colleagues because I think that even couple of minutes of what we discussed of what parts and websites were inaccessible, maybe you can check all the websites that you’ve been doing and then see, and at least advise the owners of the website, what they can do. And just the small things like a pop up blocker, or perhaps the state picker being accessible to somebody will change lives for thousands of people.
Thank you all for joining us today. It was really. Thank you for having me.
No Lazar, we need to repeat this again and then perhaps give some accolades if some websites improve and if they’re very accessible as well. So we can also work on that. Also, please note that a number of links when I post this recording on YouTube, there will be tons of links that I will include that will go ahead in the body of the video, which is great. So it will be really nice if you need to add more things to what we already said today, or if you remember anything else, it will be really good.
So the wrap up one sentence from each of you, how do you think accessibility will change and what each of us can do in order to help that? Andre? Now, Andrea goes. Andrea, would you like to say, what you will, for instance,do in order to help the accessibility problem being solved? Well, on my end, I’m always trying to educate people on how to properly use accessibility, not to go crazy with animations, with features that might not prove to be useful, over loading their websites with content.
And in general, I think the main thing that will change in the future is, I’m actually confident that situations like with Blind HelpProject, that you have a partially accessible website that has some visual downsides for people who can see will be thing of the past. And I think the main thing that needs to drive the success of implementation of absolute accessibility in the future is having standards that are not that rigid in terms of accessibility, in regards to technical application, but more in using friendly and whata real human would see.
Artificial intelligence is improving, and I think it’ll be motor for helping out in that. However, whilst the technology is not yet developed, we obviously need to divide on the human testes and that’s basically a must. What will be the main key takeaway from you and what you will do in order to- Well, while we’ll see, the only thing I could use so faris just trying to send emails to developer and providethe suggestions for improvements. This is the only thing I think I was able to do. And also I could talk more about the accessibility issues.
So yeah, that would be on my end. I was just checking the number of attendees; I don’t know why we didn’t have so many people here, I was hoping for more. But in no matter, I hope that the video will be seen by many more people. But what I just want to stress out is that the accessibility, whatever we speak and maybe people speak about accessibility, maybe the accessibility is on the top when it comes to website development, et cetera. but I am honestly not sure that startups and companies are taking this seriously yet. And there is so, so many things to do about it. We have a lot of work to do if we really think to put the accessibility from words into practice. Correct. Anne?
Well, this is where my dragon heart comes and I come with my sword because as harsh as it sounds, money talks, money talk. So for example, I’m not going to say who is, but I have recently began working with a social media management tool who is willing to make thebackend inclusive, that’s way more than just accessible as a checkbox, say, oh yeah, keyboard, oh yeah, screen reader, oh yeah contrast. Because an inclusive site and an inclusive software is great for everyone. This is this middle road that Andrea is talking about, which is incredibly difficult in games,but in sites it’s not that difficult. And where I say money talks is I explain to these people that they can actually have many, many, many more customers.
And then they ask me,” Give me the numbers.” And I have some funky numbers because I have an article, which is great also for people who say,” Oh yeah, accessible is the latest modern thing.” I have an article on my website about Tesco that decided to create an accessible webshop for the visually impaired 20 years ago. They invested 35,000 pounds and they got an additional annual revenue of 13 million pounds. And this is what I mean when I say money talks. So suddenly when you tell that to people, it’s very interesting to invest in this.
And in 2020, the world let 13 trillion guys, let it sink in, 13 trillion. That is, I think, larger than the Chinese economy. We left $ 13 trillion of disposable income lying around due to the fact that the world was not made accessible. We all want to participatein the online society, in the online community, not just the blind, also the deaf, also the cognitive impaired like I am. We want to spend our money, we want to book to travels, we want to buy shoes. Heyman, we need pants and shirts. We buy stuff online. And if you are not willing to invest in that, so one check box stops the customer from investing his money in your stuff.
Most people have to agree that’s really stupid. And this is how you convince the company to invest and make it important because as soon as they think it’s a priority, they will invest. That is true.
Thank you very much for joining us today. We received a number of DMs and emails for people who couldn’tmake it tonight, but who are already seeking for recording. So I’m sure that we will be able to spread now that we have a recording and that we have key takeaways each of us, what we will do, especially for instance… And I didn’t say what I will do, I’ll try to talk and create sessions and content more about accessibilityand pinpoint and put some focus on and shed some light actually on burning things for people who are trying to find their right way around in 2022, especially if they’re visually impaired. Thank you, Anne, Lazar, and Andrea and I don’t think this is the last time we meet in this setup. I hope not Yes, of course. I hope we will be able actually to meet the- Metoo. I think we have a really wide topic that we only took away to bite off. We just scratch the surface. Yeah, that’s the surface. Exactly.And thanks to Miguel and Sarah and all the people. And Yelena thank you very much. Yelena asked really straight to the point questions.
So it will be really nice to replay our catch. Thank you very much, everyone. Once again, I hope you enjoy it. And I hope that we, and together with our guests today, try to broad help and actually working in the favor of accessibility and inclusion for everyone. Thank you very much for everything you’ve done for us. And I see you in our next meet up. Yes, please. Have a nice time. Bye.