22
Sep 08

Scripting Enabled — in brief

The Scripting Enabled event happened on Friday and Saturday.  They were a brilliant two days. Big congratulations to Christian Heilmann and everyone who helped him pull it together.

Whilst I am still trying to process what happened, I can safely say that there is a great account on Henny Swan’s blog.  And of course lots about the two days on the Scripting Enabled site itself, complete with presentations and a wiki.

All well worth reading.  Get involved! More from me once the processing has happened.


22
Jul 08

Scripting Enabled event: tickets available!

Tickets are now available for the Scripting Enabled event being organised by Christian Heilmann.

The event will be held over two days on 19th and 20th of September in London.

The 19th will be a day ‘dedicated to getting real information about accessibility barriers of online systems and techniques to work around them.’

The 20th will be a ‘development event where we will try to build solutions and alternative interfaces into existing systems that work around the issues we learned about on the first day.’

I should say that I think this event will be really interesting.  I’m going to both days and hope that one or two people I know with learning disabilities will come with me on the second day and will really enjoy it too.

Go to the Scripting Enabled site to find out more and book your tickets!


07
Jul 08

‘That’s much better than before’ — testing the Easy YouTube Player

I’ve been user testing the Easy YouTube Player on a one-to-one basis with some people with learning disabilities who are supported by United Response.

The feedback has been really good with comments like ‘oh that’s much better than before’ and ‘when is youtube going to look like this?’

Every person who tested this player thought it was much better and easier to use than the standard YouTube player.

Here are the headlines from user testing sessions so far. There’s much more detail but I’ll cut to the chase

Things people liked

  • The control buttons. They were the right size and were easy to understand
  • Being able to change the video size
  • The volume indicator
  • The search facility
  • Being able to put the address in the address bar and see the video they wanted, even if they needed help to do it

Things people wanted to be different

  • Less information on the player (too many words)
  • Things to be organised a bit differently
  • The address facility to be at the bottom of the player, not at the top. (The screen was the main concern.)

Things people would like but are not there

  • A state change to show that you are about to select a button or a video size
  • Visual clues for the different video size options
  • Pictures for the search results (Or if not then, for it to be clearer that you can select these options)
  • A timecode to tell you how long the video is
  • Something to tell you how many videos you will get from the search facility

Other

It was interesting to see how many people did not know you could be on more than website at the same time. (The copy and paste element of finding a video and then pasting it into the address bar caused problems for some. Although, others picked this up quickly!) Every tester used IE.

This is a player and not a re-working of the YouTube site. I found that for some people, the most meaningful way of using the player would be if it was a viewing option once you had selected the video you wanted to see on YouTube itself.

The use of pictures on the site is good in terms of being a visual prompt for people when selecting what it is they want to see. There are other issues with the site but this function is considered by the people I worked with to be good.

Visual

So, I had a little play taking the current Easy YouTube player to see how it might look (not function!) in response to this user testing.

The image below shows how it might look (updated with timecode):

screenshot of easy youtube reworked

I appreciate that this might not be possible in terms of what is technically possible but I hope this is interesting? If it could be progressed to include thumbnails of the videos, it would most likely need to change shape slightly as the thumbnails would need to be big enough to be meaningful.

There are some more people I would like to test with, who I haven’t got hold of yet, so it’s possible that other things are thrown up. It’s an ongoing conversation, of course.

The best finding so far is that making this player accessible in these ways helps people to feel included. Just having more control has made so much difference to the people I have been working with. And I hope therefore that many more people will benefit from it.