Accessibility still lagging on major websites

December 5, 2006

Nomensa, in my opinion the best usability/accessibility consultancy in the UK (and thoroughly nice guys), have completed a study of major websites worldwide to look at how many of them meet the most basic of the WCAG guidelines.

This article on the BBC states that only three websites of 100 tested made the minimum grade.

The report, commissioned by the United Nations, can be requested here.

Some of the findings include:

  • 93% of sites tested did not provide adequate text descriptions for graphical content, causing problems for visually impaired people;
  • 78% used foreground and background colour combinations with poor contrast, making it difficult for people with mild visual conditions such as colour blindness to read information;
  • 98% did not follow industry web standards for the programming code, providing poor foundations for web accessibility;
  • 89% failed to use the correct technique for conveying document structure through the use of headings, making page navigation awkward for many visually impaired people;
  • 87% caused pop-up windows to appear without warning the user, causing disorientation problems for people using screen magnification software;
  • 97% used link text that did not clearly indicate the destination of the link, causing confusion for people with learning difficulties;
  • 92% did not provide a keyboard shortcut allowing people to bypass large blocks of content, causing difficulty and frustration for people with physical impairments.

Disappointing that so few have made the grade, you’d hope that more major websites would make the grade now, I mean the web has been around for a long time now! Come on website owners, let’s make the web a more inclusive place to browse!

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