[BCAB] Websites - particularly Tesco

Agent Orange agentorange at talktalk.net
Sun Feb 20 23:28:25 GMT 2011


Ocado also  got rid of tables in one of their recent rounds of
'improvements', but this certainly was not an improvement for screen reader
users for the very reason David gives.  What had been a very quick structure
to navigate around has become tedious and time consuming to use due to the
length and number of individual elements which have to be cursored through.

To their credit, they seem to have fixed the problem recently discussed
where the heading containing the name of a product had been appearing after
all the information about that product, so use of the H key to cycle through
a list of products makes matters bearable, albeit less desirable than if
they had retained the table structure.

The point which David raises about the distinction between accessibility and
usability is an interesting one.  I would only question whether a site which
is intrinsically difficult to use can really be called accessible given that
the essence of accessibility is to facilitate ease of use.  

Phil


-----Original Message-----
From: bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk]
On Behalf Of David Griffith
Sent: 20 February 2011 22:59
To: 'BCAB Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Websites - particularly Tesco

I think the argument about the Tesco site is getting a little confused.
I hate the changes Tesco have made to their site but I would never have
accused them of creating an inaccessible site.  What they have done is
create a far less screen reader friendly  site. I suspect that if you
laboriously cursor down through the site pages you will find all the
elements there .  More on this later.  
As far as guide is concerned, this is difficult, as I  understand it was
never  designed to be a complete screen reader replacement and its creators
do not claim it is a tool for navigating all modern web sites.   I do not
know enough about guide but I would have thought it would be difficult to
tell a corporation like Tesco that it site has to comply with the
limitations of Guide.

To return to the Tesco changes. As far as I can tell, from the emails they
sent to this list when the controversy over the  Tesco web site  erupted,
the RNIB has its fingerprints all over the changes Tesco made to their site.
This is not RNIB bashing but regretfully an unavoidable conclusion from the
emails they submitted. 
Critically one of the suggestions that the RNIB are said to have made to
Tesco was apparently to remove tables from its web pages. Someone from the
RNIB contacted this list to justify this advice on the basis that tables are
allegedly  difficult for people with screen magnifiers to use. This was
disputed on this list but nevertheless because Tesco apparently followed
this advice their site was transformed from neat tables, which could be
easily navigated into bloated lists of elements that took ages for a screen
reader to traverse.  These changes were technically accessible but overnight
people found the amount of time they were having to devote to their shopping
increased exponentially. 

So on the previous site if I wanted to  review a list of products it was
simple to use the table navigation features of Jaws to cursor down the
product column.  Now you have to press the H key to navigate all sorts of
headings, only some of which are actually products, to achieve the same
result.
Some elements easily available in the old table format are now a nightmare
to find. For example I would be able to remember  a previous order by the
amount I spent.   This would be quick and easy to find in the old table
format by simply navigating down the cost column of the table. On the new
site, in contrast I am reduced to searching for the £ sign as this
information is buried in an enormous list which takes a ridiculous amount of
time to wade through.

I think  that the RNIB advice on tables is fundamentally misguided and
unwise . It has helped create misery  for many screen reader users  trying
to use the Tesco Web site. Whatever the difficulties tables may or may not
present for people using magnification I think it is fundamentally wrong for
the RNIB to be advising corporations to make changes that are so detrimental
for screen reader users.  It cannot be right to recommend changes in the
interests of one groups of visually impaired people at the expense of
another.

I think the RNIB should  be much more transparent about the advice they are
giving corporations and justify this to their constituents, including those
on this list. .
Every week I use the excellent Sainsbury web site I thank god that the RNIB
has not been able to wreck this site with this misguided advice on tables.
Navigating the Sainsbury web site to complete a shop now  takes only a
quarter of the time I devote to the Tesco web site.
Regards

David Griffith
-----Original Message-----
From: bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk]
On Behalf Of ALAN THORPE
Sent: Sunday, 20 February 2011 16:52
To: BCAB Discussion List
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Websites - particularly Tesco

HELLO
you may have had an argument if guide never worked. but it was the best one
out of 5 different screen readers I tried.
this was before the changes to the Tesco site last summer.

MANY THANKS
ALAN THORPE
TEL 0114 220 7007  07961 406 739
EMAIL  info at eyecan.org.uk
WEB www.eyecan.org.uk

----- Original Message -----
From: "Iain Lackie" <ilackie at perth44.freeserve.co.uk>
To: "BCAB Discussion List" <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2011 6:38 AM
Subject: Re: [BCAB] Websites - particularly Tesco


> As I see it, Guide is designed to make the use of a computer as simple as 
> possible. In doing this, certain attributes of computer usage are made 
> inaccessible to which a full blown screenreading programme, even a free 
> one such as NVDA, would have access. This being the case, can the website 
> developer be blamed because their elements of their websiteare rendered 
> inaccessible due to the nature of what the Guide software does? Making a 
> computer simple to use will always have its price.
>
> Iain
>
> -----Original Message----- 
> From: Richard Godfrey-McKay
> Sent: Sunday, February 20, 2011 2:14 PM
> To: 'BCAB Discussion List'
> Subject: Re: [BCAB] Websites - particularly Tesco
>
>
> For me, the starting point is that, I understand, site owners have a legal
> duty to provide accessible sites;  presumably this is by ensuring that 
> they
> follow agreed guidelines.  I gather that many Jaws users use the existing
> site successfully, and that Guide users have had difficulties.
>
> The points for me are therefore:
>
> 1. does the existing site follow agreed guidelines?  If so,
>
> 2. Do the difficulties experienced by Guide users stem from an inherent
> problem with that product?  If so maybe it needs more development work to
> enable it to cope with a compliant site.  If the site is not compliant, 
> then
> Tesco need to fix it or risk facing the consequences.
>
> 3. I cannot see the necessity for the construction of a text only site 
> when
> mainstream sites should be accessible to most users.  However, if they do
> construct such an animal perhaps because they think that it may be easier
> for some customers to use, then it should, in my view contain all the
> content of the main site.
>
> Richard Godfrey-McKay
>
> Telephone: 01738-445 880
>
> Mobile: 07791 452 593
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk 
> [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk]
> On Behalf Of Egan, Bim
> Sent: 20 February 2011 07:20
> To: jeanette.crookes at btinternet.com; BCAB Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [BCAB] Websites - particularly Tesco
>
> As one of RNIB's web access team, I'd like to reinforce Jeanette's call 
> for
> views on text only versions please.
>
> Jeanette said that RNIB advocates as a general policy that sites should be
> made accessible rather than have a text only version. Just for
> clarification, it isn't an RNIB policy as such, nothing set in stone, but
> it's how we follow the principle of  access for all.  We never tell a site
> owner not to have a text only version, but we do say that a text only
> version isn't the only thing a site needs to do to be accessible, 
> especially
> if it's a cut down version.
>
> But are we right? That's the big question Jeanette has asked, and of
> course we're very interested in the answer.   Please do respond to
> Jeanette's question, even if it's only expressing a preference between
> having a simplified text only version or having access to the same
> information and features as everyone else.   For instance, what would
> you think about the idea of having a few selected text-only versions of
> the most popular   sites to help those new to computers and  those who
> have to work from the keyboard?
>
> To update you, Tesco, rnib and dolphin are all concerned about the 
> problems
> that Guide users are experiencing.  So far a great deal of research has 
> gone
> into finding out why. Now that that's been established, we'll be working
> together on how to resolve it.
>
> Bim
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk
> [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Jeanette Crookes
> Sent: 20 February 2011 06:46
> To: BCAB discussion list
> Subject: [BCAB] Websites - particularly Tesco
>
>
>
> Thank you to those who have already responded to my post.
>
> May I add a further thought, please?
> If RNIB ever decide to encourage firms like Tesco to provide simplified
> text-only sites, an important aim should be to reduce the number of
> necessary key strokes to a minimum.  This would greatly help those who 
> work
> entirely from the keyboard.
>
> Jeanette
>
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