Category Archives: AgiLe

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?”

“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?”
“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?”
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.

Accessibility Poker – Walking away from the deal

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

Unexpected start

“Hi George, you can call me Polly.”
“Hi Polly.”
“Thanks for joining in remotely. I have meetings set up for the whole day. The first is at 9 o’clock.”

“Excuse me, but my next appointment is at 9.”
“But how can we solve my problems, George?”
“Norman told me that you have great leadership skills. And I help leaders.”

Unexpected business

“And Norman told me that you could help me. Let’s see what we can do before 9.

My company makes haptic gloves for virtual reality. Are you familiar with these terms?”
“So, your company makes gloves which enables me to move and feel objects in an imaginary world. Am I right?”
“You described it well.”

So, I have to help you with the gloves.”
“It’s something different.”

“For the fashion industry we made a low end or cheap version of the glove. You can only feel with the finger point of your index finger. You do feel the fabric like wool or silk.

One day a researcher asked whether we could make software to emulate braille. We said: “Sure. You can even develop it yourself. You can download the Software Development Kit from our website.””

“So, I have to help you with the software?”
“It’s something different.”

“The researcher made software and put it online. Then sales went out of the roof?”
“So, I have to help you with the product management?”
“It’s something different.”

Unexpected hurdle

“My marketing team looked at the numbers on a daily basis and noticed something strange. A lot of people did not order.”
“Is this not a common behaviour?”
“That was my first thought.

Then they showed me the patterns before the braille software was released. The percentage of people walking away from the deal was 70% instead of 20%.”
“That is a lot of money, Polly”

“It was worse. Customer service asked permission from a caller to share the call with colleagues. The same day I set up a short meeting for the whole web team. Then I played the recording of the talk.

A blind man really wanted to buy a glove, but he had to recognise pictures. This was needed to make sure that he was a human being. He could not see the pictures and the screen reader could not find any description of the pictures.

I asked the team not to help me. I asked them not to help the company, but to help this blind man.”

Unexpected work

“The web team did some research and found the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines provided tips to make a web site accessible for blind people.

With this information they solved the problem within a day.”

“Polly, you acted great,”
“George, I have a great team.

At the moment the backlog is overflowing with accessibility tickets. The Product Owner does not know how to prioritise the tickets.”

“Polly, if I understand the problem, your web team has more than enough work to do, but it does not know where to start.”

“Yes. You described it well.”

Unexpected effort

“Polly, you wanted to help the blind man. Let’s go back to the pictures problem. How much time or effort would a blind person need to recognise the pictures?”
“I cannot estimate this. It could be hours, weeks, or even ages.”

“How much time or effort would a blind person need to recognise the pictures at the moment?”
“It could be 5 minutes, but it might be still too long.”

“Does your team use any ways to estimate their work?
“They use Planning Poker.”

“Okay. What would you estimate the effort of a normal person to recognise the pictures?”
“That would be 5.”

“Okay. What would you estimate the effort of the blind man to recognise the pictures?”
“It is an 8.”

What number would you give to the situation of the pictures without the alternative texts?
“I would give it infinity.”

Unexpected technique

“Wait. You mean that the web team has to use Planning Poker cards to estimate the effort of a blind person to complete a step?

This can be quite fast. The web team members can show their numbers at the same time. Differences can be discussed in minutes. The number for accessibility should be agreed upon without lengthy meetings.

The tickets with the highest numbers will be put on the top of the backlog. I really like Accessibility Poker.”

“Polly, those are your words. You figured out the solution yourself.”

“You mean, that this is something new?”
“That’s right. I only asked questions.

It’s 9. Sorry, I have to go. Goodbye Polly”
“Goodbye George.

“Wait George. Too late. I know that you hung up and you cannot hear me.
Thank you, George.”

An expected end

“Hi Polly.”
“Hi John. Hi everyone.”

“I expected George. Is he preparing a workshop or brainstorm session?”
“It’s something different.”

To be continued.