• From: Léonie Watson <lw@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 10:45:50 +0100


    Thanks for posting this up, it's refreshing to see accessible design put
to the fore, but I do wish that they hadn't shot themselves, not to mention
the rest of the accessible design sector, in the foot.

    They claim that they are AAA compliant against the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which may be fair enough. But they also
claim they are Level AAA compliant against the Bobby Guidelines and this is
where I really take issue.

    Bobby is not a set of guidelines, it is a tool for measuring a site
against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. If a site believes itself
to be Level AAA against the WCAG, then Bobby can be used to confirm this, up
to a point at least. Bobby is not entirely renound for its accuracy.

    Because Bobby isn't always very accurate, YouSearched have given
themselves an unnesscesary problem. Bobby doesn't find the site Level AAA
compliant under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, it doesn't even
find it Level A compliant. This is because Bobby is failing, not because the
site is.

    Bobby says that the site fails to set the language type of the document,
which isn't the case. The language type is clearly set, but because of the
way the coding is arranged its quite likely that Bobby hasn't interpreted it
    Bobby also says that 15 images don't have alternate text. The images in
question have an empty alt text, but because the site uses apostrophes
rather than double quotes to enclose the alternate text, Bobby believes this
to be an error.

    The upshot is this. Because the press release claims Level AAA against
Bobby Guidelines, people will immediately go and check this, much as I did.
What they will see is that, according to Bobby, the site fails basic
accessibility and this is the impression they will carry away with them,
marring an otherwise great design.

    I'm going to contact YouSearch and pass on my thoughts too. This could
be a useful resource to add to my bookmarks.


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