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Accessibility and Usability Forum

    
Complaining about accessibility
When is it acceptable to complain about the accessibility of a site?
bhonda

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 88 posted 9:13 am on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey y'all.

I've just ventured onto a website for a local facility, looking for information. I got onto the site, and tried to use their menu to get to another page.

Nothing happened.

Clicked another item in the menu, thinking that link may be dead.

Nothing happened.

I was using FireFox, and I've got the little Javascript error debugger extension thing, and I noticed that each time I clicked a link, a javascript error was fired.

Decided to try it in IE, where it worked perfectly.

After I found what I was looking for, I had gotten so annoyed with the rubbishness of the website, in particular the usability, I decided to let them know. I'm guessing they didn't make this site themselves, since the facility isn't anything to do with IT at all - so probably bought it in from a company. Now that annoys me, giving us proper developers a bad name!

Anyho, I emailed them this huge email, explaining what I had done, why it was rubbish, even got 'discrimination' in there somewhere. It wasn't intended to be me having a go at them - I couldn't really care less what their site was like cos it's very unlikely I'll ever use that site again, but I just got the feeling they were not aware of the problems.

So, the point of this rant - was my email useful to them, by pointing out the errors of their site or will it come across as some techie ranting and raving about a site that didn't work in their geeky browser?

Has anyone here ever had things pointed out to them about websites they have made from complete strangers? Have you ever emailed anyone else out of the blue?

B

 

sonjay

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 88 posted 11:17 am on Jul 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

The tone of your e-mail most likely affected how much attention they pay to it -- if it sounded like a ranting techie, they probably wrote you off as a ranting techie, but a diplomatically worded e-mail is more likely to be taken seriously.

I've been on both the receiving end and giving end of that sort of complaint.

I complained many times to the online banking site that I used for a while because it insisted that I use IE/Win. The site worked just fine in Moz and FF on my Mac, so long as I set the user-agent to lie and say I was using IE/Win, but if I forgot to change the user-agent setting the site wouldn't even let me in. I never got a single response. I finally closed that account and moved to another bank, and told them why I was closing it, but they didn't seem at all interested.

I had a freelancer contact me looking for work, and in his e-mail he pointed out a structural error I had in one my pages. I had to tell him I had no work for him, but that I appreciated the heads-up on the error.

jessejump

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 88 posted 3:42 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>>>> but I just got the feeling they were not aware of the problems.

Why not tell them about the problem, not calling their site rubbish and then tossing out that loaded word discrimination?
Why not just inform them and try to help them? Or not.
Why take so seriously?

bhonda

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 88 posted 4:01 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why take so seriously?

This is my profession.

If you're a builder, and you see a badly built wall, you'll be annoyed that someone of your ilk was doing shoddy work, letting the side down, as it were.

I see a badly made professional website, and it riles me. Letting the side down for us hard-working developers!

Of course, the other side of the argument is that sites like these make well-made sites look amazing, in comparison! But there's a difference between one site being better than another, and a site that is very poorly made - obviously I want to be better than the competition, but not at the expense of the reputation of our profession. (Sorry for rant - had all this drilled into me during my 'Professional Issues' lectures at uni!)

B

jessejump

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 88 posted 6:48 pm on Jul 14, 2006 (gmt 0)


I repeat my first post.

>>>>>Why not tell them about the problem, not calling their site _rubbish_ and then tossing out that loaded word discrimination?

>>>>>> was my email useful to them, by pointing out the errors of their site or will it come across as some techie ranting and raving

No.

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