Category Archives: Accessibility

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.

Accessibility Poker – We Checked Our Design

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

The story so far

By assigning Accesibility Points to tickets with obstacles for blind people, it is easier to prioritise work. A user story cannot contain actions with more than 5 Acccessibility Points, so that the users can use the web site in an accessible way.

The progress so far

“Hi George.”
“Hi Polly. How are things going?”
“The sales are going up again. The web team decided to test for accessibility in earlier phase. The code is analysed, before it will be used. This was automated and it saves us a lot of time.”

“That sounds great, Polly. You are doing good stuff.”
“My team is doing good stuff, George.
There is something different.”

The numbers so far

“The percentage of people leaving the web site from the home page is still higher than the same percentage before blind people visited our web site. We checked our design and we assume that people have a bad experience.”

“Where did you get these numbers from?”
“We use analytics on our web site. These numbers are very useful for our marketing team. This way we can tell which products are interesting for our visitors.”

“You collect a lot of data. Did you ask for permission?”
“Yes, we use a cookie banner.In order to save time and energy,  we bought one.”
“Did you test this cookie banner on accessibility?”

“This is really something new. Do you have any articles or blog posts to share?”
“I put a link to a blog post about cookie banners in the chat.”

“Let me open that one.
The title does not sound right.
How did we miss this, George?”
“Research is an underrated skill in testing, Polly.

Your company is using software from suppliers for your web site. Your automatic checks will not uncover all the accessibility pro­blems in their code.”

“We should do more research.”
“How do you feel about it?”
“I feel bad.”

“What did you do a few minutes ago?”
“I was gathering information, so we could decide about the next steps. Information like articles and blog posts would be really useful.”
“How would you describe this in 1 word?”
“Research.”

“In our first call you told me, that your team had found the WCAG guidelines. These are very useful for accessibility of your web site.”
“How would you dall that?”
“Research.”
“How do you feel now?”
“Much better.”

“George, I have a question for you.
If this call was turned into a blog post and you would read it, how would you call it?”
“Research.
You beat me in my own game.”

“George, what could go wrong, if we do not pay attention to the suppliers?”

The pain so far

“Polly, do you know someone with a diet?”
“I have a friend who has a gluten free diet.”
“What would you do while cooking for this friend?”
“I definitely would check the ingredients for the meal. I would also use clean cooking utentils. Before cooking I would clean the kitchen table. Just to be sure.”

“If you would have too little time to make a dish, would you use a precooked dish from the shop?”
“No, of course not. I would carefully read which ingredients were used for this dish. Gluten should not be included. In case of doubt I would check a website containing a list of gluten free products.”

“What would happen with your friend, if you would use ingredients with gluten?”
“My friend would have at least 1 bad day. Wait.
In our case the shop is my supplier and I have to check its’ products.

But what would happen, if a web site is not accessible, George?”
“After an action with 13 or more Accessibility Points, a blind user would have too little energy. This could lead to headache, frustation or anger.”

The dependencies so far

“This does not feel right to me.
Let me share my screen, George.
This is the web site of my company. It looks fine to me.”

“Polly, there is a text balloon in the lower right corner. This would probably open a chat window with one of your sales people.”
“You described it well.”
“It looks a bit different. There might be a chance, that you bought this software from a supplier.”

“So this chat window might have not been checked on accessibility?”
“This is quite possible.

I also notice a strange button at the bottom of the page. The shape is different from the other buttons.”
“Let me click on that one, George. That is strange: some dialog pops up.
I close this dialog.

Wait. Let me scroll down. There are similar buttons over here.
Do you see this picture over here? It is on a button.
Does it have an alternative text? I wonder.

This is strange. Let me look at another page.
This text over here. Is this picture or a normal text?
And over here … I see another thing.
It is ..”

The exploration so far

“Polly, you are too fast for an old man like me.”
“O, I did not intend to bother you. I stop sharing my screen.”
“Thank you, Polly.”

“You look bad, George. Do you feel right?”
“I have to go, Polly. I will be fine. Bye.”
“Wait. Where are you going?”

The worries so far

“Hi Polly.”
“Hi John.”
“Polly, you look concerned.
Do you think that we can keep the visitors on our web site?”
“It is possible. George gave me some good clues.
There is something different.”

To be continued.

Accessibility Poker – Nothing is fixed

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

The story so far

In the previous episode Polly asked George for help with tickets from blind persons. The solution was Accessibility Poker using Planning Poker cards.

The steps so far

“Hi George.”
“Hi Polly, how are things going?”

“In the meeting right after our last call, my team started to use Accessibility Poker. They added Accessibility Points to the accessibility tickets. Then tickets with the highest number of Accessibility Points were put on the top of the backlog.

During the  a table was made to assign the same number of Accessibility Points to tickets with similar problems for blind persons.

Also,  the team decided, that the new user stories could not have actions with more than 8 Accessibility Points.

A few months ago, most customers were fashion companies. At the moment a lot of households are buying the gloves. This means that more blind people are buying our product. It really helps them.”

“Polly, you did a great job.”
“My team is great.”

“So, this problem is solved?”
“There is something else.”

The results so far

“What bothers you, Polly?”
“The sales went up. We had to adjust the ordering process to ship the haptic gloves abroad. At the moment there are two actions with 8 Accessibility Points: select shipping and verifying that the user is a human being.”

“So, you solved the picture recognition problem for the blind people?”
“Yes. The financial team really needs this verification.”

In our last call I told you that 70 percent  of the orders were stopped at the last moment. This used to be 20 percent. After fixing the picture problem it dropped to 50 percent.

What did we miss?”

The results so strange

“Polly, I like to tell you a story. First I need some information from you. What is your hobby?”
“My husband and I like to run.”

“Let me think.

Imagine that the two of you are on holidays. You had a busy day. There is still enough energy left over for one and a half hour run.

There is a sign to a waterfall. 3 quarters of an hour to run to this place, take a short break, and run back. It is a nice way to end a tiresome day.”

The signs are easy to follow. they point to a small town. After a few crossings, you notice that there are no signs any more. Several times you ask directions and finally the two of you leave the town.

Luckily the signs to the waterfall are shown again. Then the sign points to a new town. You have run 1 hour. What do you do, Polly?”

“At that moment we have already run for 1 hour. We would walk back. This way I hope that we have enough energy to get back.”

“What is the difference between the first and second town?”
“Both towns seem to cost the same energy to run through, but the second one is just too much.”

The numbers so strange

“Polly,  the described towns are the page to select the shipping and the page to verify that you are a human being. Both pages have 8 Accessibility Points. According to your entry criteria this should not be a problem?”

“You mean that the verification page cost too much energy, but this is not supported by the numbers. Then the percentage of missed sales would be like 70 percent instead of 50 percent.

I talked about it with the team. And we could not figure out what happened.”

The numbers so moving

“That is a good observation. Let me continue with the story.
Would you try to run again to the waterfall the next day?”

“Yes, of course we could try it again?”
“This time it takes 3 quarters of an hour to run to the second town.
Are you entering this town?”
“No, this takes still too much time.”

“After 3 attempts, it took you 20 minutes to reach the second town.
Are you entering the town?
“I think so.

Wait. You are telling me, that blind people are memorising the shipping page until they have enough energy left over to fill in the verification page.

This means that the Accessibility Points of a page is not always 8.
It is not fixed.

Blind people do several attempts to buy our product. They really want to buy it. We don’t lose all customers after the first failed attempt.

The Accessibility Points mentioned in the tickets are actually Accessibility Points for the first attempt. It looks like we need to write down accessibility points for all attempts.

That is even more difficult to estimate. This is more administration than I wished for.”

The focus so moving

“Polly, what is the minimal administration for Accessibility Points?”
“I would say: one field”.

“If there is only one field for Accessibility Points, what else could be changed?”
“There is at most one action with 8 Accessibility Points in a user story. And now I can explain it!”

“It is 9 o’clock. I have to go, Polly.”
“Before you leave, thanks George.”
“You are welcome, Polly.”

“Goodbye George.”
“Goodbye Polly.”

The focus so difficult

“Hi, Polly, how was your call with George?”
“It was refreshing, John.”

“Did we use Accessibility Poker in the wrong way?”
“It is something different.”

To be continued.