Accessibility Audit for a Travel Company
Analysing the customer journeys
A large travel company contacted us because they wanted an accessibility audit of some of the different customer journeys through their website. They were keen to ensure that disabled people were able to use the website effectively and most importantly, book tickets for their journeys.
We have a fab team of testers!
Our team of testers have different disabilities. Mede is blind and uses a screen-reader (software which ‘reads’ out loud the content of the website and a standard computer keyboard. Iona has no visual impairment but is unable to use either a keyboard or a mouse, using dictation software instead. Sara has extreme ADHD and dyspraxia and struggles with website with popups and do not have contrast options.
Our testers share their screens with us and we record their comments. The videos of these live audits certainly offer some fascinating insights for our clients, highlighting a range of issues with a differing range of severity.
Challenges with making a simple booking!
The booking facility on the website used a date-picker. It was a clear table of dates for the month, laid out in a box, the leaving date was in a box on the left and the return date was in a box on the right. Visually, it was very easy to use. Unfortunately it was the complete opposite for both Mede and Iona. The date picker forced them to go through each date in turn. Once they had selected their correct date, they page reloaded, and they were forced to go through all the page navigation before being able to choose their return date. Again, they had to go through each date in turn, which was a very cumbersome process. Replacing a date picker with a simple box that allowed visitors to enter their date directly would have made the process far simpler!
When it came to the point at which you wished to make the booking itself, Mede discovered that it was not possible to do this with a screen-reader and Iona found it impossible to do without using her mouse, This was after going through the entire laborious process of making the booking first. A simple Book Now button, correctly marked up, which have solved the issue for both of them!
Accessibility information hidden away
The existing website accessibility statement was hidden away and very difficult to find, which undermines the point of having one in the first place! The statement itself claimed the website met accessibility standards, which is clearly did not and left them open to litigation. Not being able to make a booking on a website because of your disability is a clear breach of the equality act.
The company in question actually had a section containing advice for disabled customers which was actually quite helpful and also included a dedicated phone number. Unfortunately, the page itself was again hidden away and very difficult to find, whereas the booking facility was on the home page, which Mede, Iona or Sara would naturally use, just like anyone else would.
There were many other issues our audit highlighted and have made some suggestions that should be implemented immediately as a quick fix, just to inform disabled visitors as to the other alternatives available. We have written a new accessibility statement that co ers this and we have requested that this is also made more prominent.
A positive response!
The great news is that the Travel Company are very keen to look at making the websites changes we suggested so that disabled visitors will be able to book for themselves in future, using the same website.
If you would be interested in an audit for your own website, why not give us a call on 01243 766399, follow this link to send us an email or follow this link to book yourself in for a consultation.
A website accessibility audit is an excellent long-term investment in your business!