Accessibility Poker – Watch your step

This is a friendly reminder, that all stories with George are fiction.

The story so far

By assigning Accessibility Points to tickets with obstacles for blind people, it is easier to prioritise work. A user story cannot contain more than 1 action with more than 5 Accessibility Points. This way users can use the web site in an accessible way.

Supplier chain

“Hi George.”
“Hi Polly.”

“That is strange. You did not wave back, George.”
“I blocked your camera. The last time I got too many impressions, when you browsed a web site.”
“If I promise not to share my screen, are you willing to look at me?”
“That is fine.”

“Hi Polly.”
“Hi George, It is nice, if people wave back.”

“Polly, how are things going?”
“Since our last call my team made a list of all the suppliers of components for our web site. There were a lot. I never thought that there would be that many. Any way, we focused on accessibility testing on these components.

Most of them were accessible or they could be made accessible in an easy way. But we had some troubles with the cookie banner.”
“How did you solve this, Polly?”

“We called the customer service for help. It was the first time that they heard of this problem. The customer service agent requested us to tell about the problems. We had about 12 problems.”

Supplier strain

“The same day an account manager called me for some clarification. So I showed some bug reports. He was genuinely shocked and wanted to help us.”
“This sound good to me.”

“Then the talk changed. He noticed the Accessibility Points of the bug reports.
So I told him that these points represented the amount of energy used by disabled people. Furthermore actions with more than 3 Accessibility Points should be avoided. Then he started to talk about velocity.”

“Is this supplier agile?”
“Maybe. So I told him that it would be great, if his company would deliver the solutions within a few weeks. According to him velocity was not about the speed of solving the tickets, but about the velocity of the user.”

“Was he expecting that the user would solve his problems?”
“I was having the same thoughts and asked him for a specific example.”
“He talked about the state of the toggle button, which could not be detected by a screen reader. If this was possible, then the number of Accessibility Points would drop to 1. This way a blind user would go faster. The velocity would be higher.”

“I told him that I could follow his explanation, but it was confusing to use the word velocity for a user.”

Supplier drain

“The first demo went right. It was simple to navigate with a screen reader while the screen was turned off. The account manager started again over velocity, which lead to a lot of confusion.
Soon another demo was announced. This time a blind person would use the improved cookie banner.

This demo was cancelled at the last minute. The programmers still needed to do some tweaking. In the meantime we already used a cookie banner from another provider. After a few weeks of promises and delayed demos we definitely switched from supplier.”

Supplier vain

“It looks like everything is solved, Polly.
What kind of help do you need from me?”

“The cookie banner problem is solved. There is something different.
People in my company started to use velocity with relation to Accessibility Points.
I did a bit of research. There is something wrong with the word velocity. I even found this tweet of Ron Jeffries about velocity. I put it in the chat.”

“Polly, can you tell me more about the first demo?”
“The screens were quite compact. It only contained a short understandable explanation and a single question. The tester in our team could easily navigate these screens using the screen reader.”

“Polly, I have another story to explain this to you.”
“I am all ears, George.”

“During one of our calls you told me that your husband and you share running as a hobby.
Now imagine that you are trained well enough to run a whole marathon. Then there is an announcement in the newspaper that there is a marathon in your neighbourhood. You both buy tickets.

On the day of the race both of you want to use the car, but it does not start. So, you put on your running gear and walk to the bus stop nearby. You missed the bus by minutes. This is no problem, because a train will be leaving soon. So, you run to the railway station.

Again you have bad luck and miss the train. So, you decide to run to the start of the marathon. After one and half hour of running you arrive.”

Supplier stain

“George, I would not run the marathon.”
“You have trained well and you have bought tickets.”
“It is just too long.”
“You made it to the start of the run.”

“Yes, I made it. The velocity was good. The number of steps to the start and the number of steps of the marathon are too many. It will cost me too much energy.”

“How would you summarize it?”
“Watch your step.”
“This can still be confusing with velocity, Polly”
“Maybe I should say: watch the total number of steps.”

“Let me do a search on Twitter, Polly.
In the chat I put a link to a tweet of Ron Jeffries that story points should be added.”

“George, I do not understand, what you mean with the running story.”
“You told me about the small screens in the first demo. What do you think what happened with the biggest screen?”
“It had about 30 toggle buttons. I would expect a lot of small screens. I would stop after 20 screens. This is really unpleasant.

Wait. You compare a screen with a step.
This could be a good explanation for the delayed cookie banner demos. Even a person without sight problems would leave the website in frustration.
Thank you for the insight.”

“Polly, it’s 9. I have to go to the next meeting.
Goodbye Polly.”
“Goodbye George.”

Supplier pain

“Hi Polly.”
“Hi John,”
“Did you discover what might have gone wrong with the cookie banner supplier? Did he use the wrong tools?”
“It was something different.”

To be continued.