People For Research more than doubles accessibility testing following successful campaign
This month, Bristol-based user-experience and user-recruitment experts People For Research‘s latest campaign to ‘Make The Web Accessible’ came to an end on a high.
The campaign, which set out to raise awareness about digital accessibility and the obstacles and challenges faced by disabled people when using technology and the internet, not only achieved this goal but more than doubled the number of disabled people recruited for accessibility testing in the process.
“Researchers and designers have a lot to learn by including [disabled people] in their research criteria”
Paul Gooding, People for Research’s CEO and Founder, says: “I’m really pleased to say that our accessibility campaign has been hugely successful this year. We have more than doubled the number of participants used in usability projects, and a much larger amount signed up to our database to take part in projects, both related to accessibility and non-accessibility.
“I believe it’s a vital element within user research to include this group of users. Researchers and designers have a lot to learn by including them in their research criteria.”
Some of the statistics when it comes to disability and basic accessibility make People For Research’s campaign ever more significant. The fact that one in five of working age are affected by disability in the UK, where technology is evolving fast, means digital inclusion is now more relevant than ever.
Code like you give a damn: check out some of the things People For Research’s
participants think will make the web more accessible
One of the company’s visually impaired participants has stated that an estimated mere 30-40% of all websites are accessible for people who use assistive technology.
And it’s often really simple things like CAPTCHA codes without text to speech options – a method often used to stop bots accessing and spamming sites – that prevent disabled people from accessing websites.
“We will continue to actively encourage people to get involved in accessibility studies”
This is just one example of a problem that accessibility testing can easily help identify and fix. Sometimes, user experience or usability testing will even help the designers figure out unexpected problems when they initially have no idea that they can affect a particular type of disability.
Supported by professionals and organisations across the South West and beyond, the campaign has gained real traction over the last 9 months. Others involved have included the User Experience Professionals Association, WECIL – the West of England Centre for Inclusive Living, the West of England MS Therapy Centre and many more.
“We have formed several new partnerships with both charities and organisations involved in supporting and promoting accessibility, Paul adds.
“Although our campaign will take a lower profile over the next year, it won’t stop here. We will continue to actively encourage people to get involved in accessibility studies.”