Going Beyond Compliance: Survey report
Sites rate differently depending on user impairment
Testers with different impairments rated sites differently. This finding was also reflected in the 2005 survey.
The following quotes from two testers relate to the same site:
- Deaf tester – “It’s a wonderful site. It was easy to follow and refer to. It would be nice of course to add a clip of New Zealand Sign Language and the site will be over excellent. I enjoyed looking at this site. Pat on the back for those people who made this site happen.”
- Blind tester – “No headings. A lack of alt tags. No accessibility page and major lack of useful accessibility keys. It may win prizes for looking pretty, but I'd give it the wooden spoon!!”
This snapshot shows that accessibility needs to take a broad approach if everyone’s abilities are to be considered. Making a site accessible to people with one type of impairment will not necessarily mean that the site will be accessible to people with a different type of impairment.
Sites that are fastest for some impairment types are slowest for others
The ten sites that had the lowest average task completion time and ten sites with the highest average task completion time were identified for each impairment type (these are listed in Appendix 4).
For almost all the sites that were the fastest for one or more impairment types, those same sites were the slowest for one or more impairment types. A variance between impairment types was expected, but not the apparent level of difference in fastest and slowest.
Issue-focused sites scored well
A number of sites which had low task completion times, and therefore high satisfaction ratings, were issue-focused rather than focused on a particular organisation.
Some of these were sites located within a bigger website structure, for example the Employment Relations Service (www.ers.govt.nz) which is part of the Department of Labour (www.dol.govt.nz). Other examples of issue-focused sites are: Reduce Your Rubbish, 4 Million Careful Owners, Beehive, and The Social Report.
In general, these sites were simpler in construction and easier to navigate because the sites are smaller. Similarly, there are fewer ‘wrong paths’ that could be selected, so a user is more likely to take the right path to find information they want.
Some tester quotes illustrate this point:
- “Its a nice website. Simple to use and have a clear understanding of using the website.”
- “Site map - very clear! All government websites should have this version of site map.”
- “Generally an easy site to get around. Good use of headings and easy to understand links.”