Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What customers come to a website for

Dear administrators of a music special interest website,

Congratulations. You have LOTS of company. Website providers who create signup procedures with inaccessible CAPTCHA processes, processes that either have no audio option at all or have such garbled audio that even people who are wizards at interpreter testing mumble tests cannot decipher enough to type in numbers.

Oh, and the workaround of offering to enter someone's information and initial password is just SO acceptable, NOT.

1. It is totally unreasonable for a blind person to have to give someone else a password to set something up. HOWEVER, depending on how much time RantWoman wants to spend educating people at a particular site and how likely it is that lots of other blind people will also be wanting to use the same site, sometimes RantWoman MIGHT be willing to live with it as long as it is possible to sign in immediately and change the password to something not known by the person who set up the account.

Unfortunately, RantWoman is predisposed to suspect that a site that has an inaccessible Captcha probably has other accessibility issues but sometimes the only way to find out is to try it.

2. Sometimes it can be helpful to tell the people who administer
websites, "Look I would love to refer my blind friends not to mention sighted friends and family to this site but I cannot do it until you fix." Or as with a publicly-funded site also gracing RantWoman's inbox, it is something that LOTS of blind people are going to want
to use anyway and even sterner measures might be appropriate!

3. Not all CAPTCHA's are created equal. The audio for some is just
terrible and totally useless. Last night RantWoman hit one that had lovely
clear audio on the captcha when she finally got to a Windows machine
after hitting some weird Android / talkback problem trying to enter
data  upstream from the CAPTCHA.

Lots of websites are developed by putting together pieces of pre-written software. If someone asked today  RantWoman would say "well the CAPTCHA on one site is terrible but the audio reCAPTCHA is lovely. At least that tells people who develop websites  who write code where to look to find pieces of code that works.

Here RantWoman must not deprive readers of additional comment:
Another reader says she most strongly favors not verification with clear audio but verification that makes users answer a simple question such as 1 + 1 = ?  Apparently robots cannot yet cope with this verification on the fly.

Here RantWoman draws the line: RantWoman is providing free consulting, unsolicited but necessary for RantWoman and friends to use a given site. Developers who want to adopt the suggestion above get to look up some options their own dang selves. RantWoman for herself is going to explain why the reCAPTCHA is adequate in one case.

The site where RantWoman most recently dealt with ReCAPTCHA was interested in ensuring that RantWoman is not a robot. but no money was going to change hands. RantWoman was signing up for an activity for an organization she has been an officer of, an organization where RantWoman's views are well-known and not dissimilar from the views expoused on the website. The organization does do fundraising and there are options to contribute all over the site, but those use different paths to collect and record the data. In this case, although RantWoman does recognize a SMALL risk from having open clear audio in the reCAPTCHA step, RantWoman is HAPPY to live with it in the name of ease of signup.

Oh, and by the way, writing all these comments is WORK. RantWomanspends a certain amount of time reconciling herself to the reality that accessibility does not spontaneously emerge fully functional from software and website releases. RantWoman ALWAYS advocating hiring blind people for some of the many things blind people are good at so that they can be available when testing of a new software is needed. But RantWoman thinks that when customers have to discover accessibility lapses, the problems should be fixed as quickly as possible AND the customer who had to take the time to present the accessibility problems should be reward with a cookie, credit toward whatever the site is selling, or other fungible tokens of appreciation! After allRantWoman and other such afflicted customers want to spend less time on software issues and more time on whatever we came to the website for!

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