[access-uk] Re: Web design

  • From: Léonie Watson <tink@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 14:13:30 +0100

Dave,

        The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) obliges organisations to
ensure their services, including websites, are accessible. In this case
though, the problem you've described seems to be more usability than
accessibility focused.

        The two/three click recommendation is often disputed. It depends
very much on the type of website and the volume of information available on
the site. That said, usability is all about making things more user
friendly, so the notion of being required to complete five searches before
opening a new incident, is a usability problem for a number of reasons.

        Firstly, the website fails to inform the user that this is the
expected process. The upshot is that the link appears broken and people get
confused. An initial short term step would be for the website to provide
more/better information about the process they've chosen to implement. Using
clear link text and supporting information for example.

        Secondly, the process itself is counter intuitive. There are many
reasons why forcing someone to make five searches before opening a new
incident is going to be troublesome. For example, a person may have
extensively searched the database previously, then only returned to the site
with the intention of opening a new incident.

        I'm presuming that the system is intended to prevent people from
opening a new incident, without bothering to look properly through the
database beforehand. A longer term solution that meets the needs of both
users and technical staff would be to remove the five searches requirement
and replace it with a more integrated solution.

        For example, when a new case is opened on XYZ, the database could
automatically be searched for that topic as the new incident form is
submitted. If any possible solutions are located within the database, these
could be presented to the user. The user then has the option of selecting a
possible solution or continuing to submit the new incident form.
Effectively, a search of the database is enforced, but it's done as part of
the submission process. The upshot is that the process should be a lot more
simple.

Léonie.


 
 
 
 



 
 
 
At 09:16 25/09/2008, you wrote:



>Hi All,
>
>My companies IT support department up to now only been available by 
>phone,  Now however, a fault can be logged online, and in a recent 
>email from them, they included the following:-
>
>"Did you know that you can log and track Incidents online using the 
>5858 Online application. Simply go to the IT matters homepage, and 
>click the red button at the top of the page (5858 Online). Once into 
>the application, you can either log a new Incident by selecting the 
>'Create a New Incident' option or enter and existing Incident number 
>into the field which says 'An Incident Number' within the 'Look up my 
>existing support requests section'"
>
>Well, I went to the web page, and initially the page contains a search 
>form field, whereby you can enter keywords relating to the issue, in 
>order to search a database for a solution.  This is fine and if you 
>haven't already done so or contacted someone else regarding the matter 
>then that's what you do.
>
>However, if you select the "Create a new incident" link, which one 
>would normally expect to open a form into which details of the issue 
>can be entered, No! it takes you to the search to database for a 
>solution screen again! on the premise you haven't already done this before.
>
>Now calling IT support is normally the last resort, and when you keep 
>being sent round in circles, one gets quite frustrated, and what's the 
>point of having a link called "create a new incident" when all it does 
>is return to the search database screen.
>
>I contacted IT support, and raised a fault, saying that their "create a 
>new incident" link was not working.  The answer, it has been set up so 
>that five searches of the database need to be performed, before it will 
>display the actual form to enter the issue details!  Now is it me???
>
>I thought good practice for web design was to enable the user to access 
>the required page within two clicks!
>All this does is frustrate the hell out of me and pick up the phone.
>Naturally it isn't the person on the other end of the phones fault, the 
>system is set up that way (you never can find out who actually did) but 
>they do work for that company so one tends to let some steam off!
>
>The same company sends out requests to complete surveys of their 
>services.  Only problem, the survey includes a statement and contains 
>check boxes such as you strongly agree, agree, etc, and what does JAWS 
>say? "Radio button not checked" that's all, really useful, yep, I have 
>also reported this too, aren't their laws in place to make these 
>companies make their web pages accessible?
>
>If you know of them please let me know, and please, no companies 
>touting for business.
>
>Cheers
>
>Regards
>
>Dave Ankers
>
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