denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote in [site community profile] dw_accessibility2013-01-15 10:39 pm

Inaccessible websites?

I'm doing a talk on web accessibility at LinuxConf Australia and would like to give specific examples!

So, gimme your best examples of websites with specific accessibility problems that drive you nuts. Use of tabular data where it doesn't make any sense, sites with horrible contrast or that won't let you change font sizes, restaurant websites that are entirely flash-based, etc, etc.

Also, if anybody knows of good illustrative videos of a) people listening to a screenreader and b) people dictating to their computer, point me at 'em?
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[personal profile] lightgetsin 2013-01-16 03:54 am (UTC)(link)
Google with Instant turned on. Can't reliably type into the search field, can't read what I've written if I actually do, half the time it starts searching when I'm not done typing, or it just fails to run the search at all no matter what I do.
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[personal profile] qem_chibati 2013-01-16 04:08 am (UTC)(link)
There was an example that came up on [community profile] accessibility_fail the other week with wikipedia -

Basically, you can't rate a wikipedia article unless you select the stars with your mouse. If you are trying to access it using VoiceOver (as your using a screenreader) it does not work, if you are trying to select it using tabs etc as you don't have a mouse, it does not work.

I think Dragon Dictation has some videos, but I'm not able to go through and find one in regards to b)
jeshyr: Blessed are the broken. Harry Potter. (Default)

[personal profile] jeshyr 2013-01-16 04:35 am (UTC)(link)
Ohh, Tumblr! There is a bizarre "fashion" I've only seen on Tumblr to make websites that have a sidebar that ends up ON TOP of the main text when I expand the web page in Safari with command-+.

The only example I can find right now is a NSFW blog although this particular page is PG rated -

So initially when I press command-+ a bunch of times I see this:

The actual content image is way over to the right - the "You have heart" image on the left is the top of the sidebar. But when I scroll horizontally to see the content I get this:
There's no way to get the stupid sidebar out of the way except by manipulating the CSS with bookmarklets, etc. Luckily I am techy enough to do this, but it shouldn't be needed!!!

I've pretty sure that I've never seen this sidebar-on-top behaviour outside of tumblr. I suspect that one of the very early Tumblr layouts had this coded in and everybody since then has copied it or something - it's probably a good example of how a "small" accessibility mistake can snowball if it ends up in a much-copied layout!
jeshyr: Blessed are the broken. Harry Potter. (Default)

[personal profile] jeshyr 2013-01-16 04:37 am (UTC)(link)
The other annoyance is the stupid meta header that prevents zooming which Apple has implemented - it's really common on mobile sites. Luckily I can load those pages up in Firefox and view them anyway because Firefox still lets them zoom, at least so far. *touch wood*
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[personal profile] not_a_sniglet 2013-01-16 07:27 am (UTC)(link)

I'm not sure WHY it's inaccessible. I think it may be flash, though not something my screen reader's recognizing as flash, and everything is in mouse-able dropdown menus. Tabbing will get you the first item in a menu, but not the rest. I've tweeted at them and tried to explain this several times, but nobody's ever replied, and it's extra sad because the site used to be entirely accessable till they went and had a redesign.
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[personal profile] shanaqui 2013-01-16 11:30 am (UTC)(link)
The colour scheme on is horrific -- links like "edit" and "delete" are often in tiny tiny pale grey text. Serif fonts. Some images aren't given proper alt-text. And when people ask for changes to be made, they mutter about brand identity or never answer at all.
forthwritten: stained glass spiral (Default)

[personal profile] forthwritten 2013-01-16 11:42 am (UTC)(link) - one of my friends and I mock this site on a regular basis. Highlights include their contact page and what happens when you ctrl +

(Anonymous) 2013-01-16 01:08 pm (UTC)(link)

Once, my mouse broke, and I realized the nightmare of navigating this site on a keyboard. Half the time I don't even know where the focus flies off to when tab-scrolling, and the other half of the time, I kept wondering why the arrow keys never scroll.

But the most cumbersome part is, every time I want to read the next article, I had to backspace (go back previous page) then retab all the way from the beginning again to reach the next article.

After a week, I gave up and bought a mouse.
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[personal profile] carene_waterman 2013-01-16 03:41 pm (UTC)(link) is a good example of something that I see on a lot of sites, often on new, cutting edge redesigns.

Horizontal menus that don't wrap and therefore don't scale. On the CBC site, with my font minimum set to 13px, the listen link is half under the search box. If I up the font size a little more, the watch link goes bye-bye too.

I gave them feedback on this, I do it all the time on sites that introduce menus that only work if you leave the tiny 10px font alone. I have a little boilerplate bit of text about aging populations and accessibility for everyone of all ability levels. Don't know if it's doing any good, but I keep doing it.

The other main problem area for me is shopping sites that display a grid of items. They often use fixed height elements for the image and the text, so the text just overflows out of visibility range at anything big enough to read.
prototypical: (applause)

[personal profile] prototypical 2013-01-16 05:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Too many sites these days have icons without descriptive text when you hover over the icon -- Tumblr, I'm looking at you because you're the one I spend the most time at.
Edited 2013-01-16 17:23 (UTC)
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[personal profile] deborah 2013-01-16 07:35 pm (UTC)(link)
I have videos of me controlling software with Dragon; I will send them to you. There are great videos of people using JAWS; I will send you my favorite link from my accessibility presentation.

I hate anything that automatically captures the cursor, unless there is seriously only one thing you can do on that page. For an example, -- incredibly useful site which I use all the time (interlibrary loan for the win), but every single page reload captures the cursor and I have to free it in order to do anything the a keyboard/voice.

luckily restaurant websites that are entirely flash-based are less common, although they and children's author websites are still astonishingly frequently flash only.

Anything that overrides basic keystroke commands without giving you a way to turn them off. I tried using remember the milk -- -- and it was completely impossible, because every single normal keystroke is overridden, and you can't turn them off without turning off JavaScript, which completely breaks the site. I especially get angry at any site which thinks it is clever by overridding keystrokes which are common browser shorthand on common browsers. The demo version of jira doesn't exhibit the behavior where typing "/" automatically takes you to the search box, thus overriding the "/" synonym for ctrl-F in Firefox, which makes me think that they finally fixed it, boo yeah. (We are using an older version at work.)

Any site which is completely broken with JavaScript turned off, not just RTM as above, but how about the entire gawker family of pages. I know it it the latest surveys are saying that most screen reader users browse with JavaScript turned on, but there is more to accessibility than just screen reader users, and for reasons as above (mostly having to do with turning off ways so-called clever designers overrode the keyboard or captured my cursor) I need to turn off JavaScript *frequently*. The fact that I have to turn it on again to visit io9 or jezebel or lifehacker is why I mostly Boycott those sites.

Sites which make information available only via title element, obviously, but also sites which make that same information available only via title or alt. Xkcd comes to mind -- jokes which are only funny if you have access to that. The alt is at least theoretically available to non-mouse users, Say, if they are me, and technically savvy enough to make it really easy to turn off images in their browsers, so that the can read the alternative text. But I'm assuming that most keyboard/voice-only users don't necessarily have that ability; it's non-trivial in most browsers.
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[personal profile] marahmarie 2013-01-18 05:46 am (UTC)(link)
For privacy reasons not giving the specific example I have in mind but it's a Silverlight based website that is a nightmare now that it's no longer coded in plain old HTML. This website was bad anyway because before Silverlight it was coded in tables so it was clunky and hard to navigate, but now the Silverlight seems to have disabled a lot of the keyboard-based navigation of the site altogether.

Also on my list of Websites That Should Not Exist In Their Current Form: any site done in Flash, any site with a splash or landing page of any sort (outside of purely navigational index pages, which I think can actually be useful as primary landing pages if done right), any website that makes you log in on a secondary page (one or more clicks away) from the home page, any site that autoloads previous and newly arriving comments FB and/or Disqus style (for me the scripts never load right or at all no matter how good my computer, browser, or connection is), any site behind frames, any site that doesn't function or look right without gobs of JS, any site that starts you off with teeny-tiny or too-large text even if the font is adjustable, any site that disables view source, any site that remotely loads the content you're viewing and/or uses a script to deliver it so that the content cannot be viewed in source at all, and uh, I'm running out of stuff on my short list, but I'll add on later if I think of more.

Anything that's bad for accessibility is bad for the public (and therefore bad for websites' bottom lines and popularity) overall. If you think about just my basic examples above, all of them annoy and inconvenience not just users with accessibility issues but many others as well.
Edited 2013-01-18 05:48 (UTC)
jeshyr: Blessed are the broken. Harry Potter. (Default)

[personal profile] jeshyr 2013-01-29 01:58 am (UTC)(link)
I know this is a bit late, but headers that won't scroll off the screen.

Here's an article from

That huge brown header at the top stays there ALL the time, and as you can see once I have increased the text size to something that's readable for me it takes up enough of the screen to be really annoying and also useless because the text all runs into other bits of text.

I'd like to be able to tell the stupid thing to just scroll normally like everything else on the page - if I want to go back and find it I can always scroll up again!

[personal profile] jazzyjj 2014-07-02 02:13 am (UTC)(link)
This is just an addendum to my previous post. The website for the taxicab service I mentioned is . I couldn't get it to work well with VoiceOver or Chromevox either. But their site seems to have been overhauled. I just went there with VoiceOver, and the process for ordering a cab online seems to be a lot more accessible although there do seem to be some minor issues with it. I uninstalled Chromevox awhile ago because it kept crashing, but perhaps it has since been updated. The other 2 websites mentioned in my last post required logging in and are no longer available. The other point I wanted to make was that I don't much care for web-based email, at least most web-based mail sites. The reason for this is that they tend to be so incredibly cluttered, and they refresh a lot which is kind of a "no-no" for screen readers. For example, I use AT&T and their site does have a link which will turn off automatic page refreshing for screen readers. I have in fact tried this and while it works okay, it is by no means what I'd consider a viable solution.
Edited 2016-01-15 03:22 (UTC)