User testing observations with disabled mobile users

Below are a handful of observations from user testing on mobile websites and applications I’ve seen recently. All users had some form of disability including people with limited mobility, sight impairments, cognitive impairments  dyslexia or hearing loss. Testing was carried out using Android or iOS with blind users accessing using the TalkBack or VoiceOver screen readers respectively. For obvious reasons I can’t share with you any details about the products.

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AccessU – Mobile Accessibility Workshop

Last week I was fortunate enough to be invited to do a Mobile Accessibility full day workshop in Austin Texas. AccessU, run by Knowbility, is one of the best conferences I’ve had the pleasure at being at in a long time. Focused on learning classes are very hands on and practical with a range of students from all sectors.

I presented on Mobile Accessibility covering:

  • Disability in the mobile context
  • Pulling together a mobile accessibility strategy
  • Responsive web design
  • iOS app development
  • Android app development
  • Testing and QA

Big thanks to my hosts Sharron Rush, Jayne Schurick, Kimberly Leno, Mike Rush and Molly Holzschlag.

WebAIM Low Vision and Motor Disability Surveys

Some new surveys of how people with disabilities use the web have just been launched by WebAim:

In the spirit of our popular screen reader user surveys, WebAIM has
launched two new surveys a Survey of Users with Low Vision and a Survey of Users with Motor Disabilities. We invite all individuals with these disabilities to complete these brief surveys.

The aggregate results of these surveys will be released publicly and will be used to inform design and development choices for those creating accessible web content. The surveys will remain open through March 15th.

You can also read up on their latest finding in their Screen Reader Survey 2012.
Thank you WebAim

Facelift

I’m making some well overdue changes to the blog so please excuse any oddities while this is happening (contrast, visible focus are all in flux for example). One thing I’m particularly interested in is what any screen reader users out there think of the use of multiple H1′s in line with the HTML5 heading outline algorithm  It’s something I plan to change but I’d love to know what people think.

The theme is the default WordPress Twenty Twelve theme but I’m also looking at Elimin.

Mobile Accessibility Survey

If you have a disability, are a mobile user and have 5 minutes to spare please take a moment to fill out this online survey on mobile accessibility hosted on the The Paciello Group (TPG) site.

The data gathered will be a useful insight into mobile usage and help us  inform mobile accessibility strategy and development.

Obviously the more people filling it in the better to please pass this on to any other mailing lists, blogs or lists you might feel appropriate.

Big thank you to TPG and Kevin Chao for kick starting this.

Update February 1st, 2013

The preliminary results are in and available on the TPG website. It looks like more analysis is to come but I’d say there are few surprises.