Computing Project

  • Accessibility
  • Usability
  • Conformance
  • WCAG 2.1

Processing game, giving the player the ability to slow down time to overcome trigger happy enemies

Poster for my final computing project

Fit for Purpose

As expected, there are certain standards and general affordances one expects when visiting a website. A working navigation menu, legible text, and a consistency of content are usually a part of what makes a website both accessible and usable for the masses. Of course, this is just a small overview of the requirements and expectations that should be included and considered when maintaining a website. There is also the matter of agreed standards being required by law, which both developers and content holders are beholden to, in the pursuit to accommodate all users.

Laws such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are there to guide stakeholders in building and maintaining websites that are inclusive to everyone, regardless of a user's ability. With the aim that any website, particularly one targeted at the general public, should and continue to be, fit for purpose and adhere to national criterions and standards.

Testing

For my Computing Project, I was to evaluate whether websites run by members of parliament were in conformance with modern requirements, both for Accessibility and Usability. A particularly important issue given that everyone of voting age, regardless of disability or situation, should be able to access and make use of their representatives website to make informed decisions and opinions.

Due to time constraints the number of websites chosen was limited to 70 random ones, mainly due to the number of tests required which were sizeable in the end, and as the project advanced to consider the large demographic they're accommodating for. That number was seen as a good proportionate representation of current British MP's.

Must Do Better!

Although my Computing Project is now finalised and graded, my research has led to further on-going studies in collaboration with my supervisor, which will lead to a number of papers and journals being released to the community over the coming period.

With that said, I will say that some of the results were and still are quite humbling. Although my research found similar studies with comparable results, the fact that certain issues are still as prevalent is very disappointing, to say the least. Basic standards such as the inclusion of alt text for images and labels for form elements for instance, are still not being adhered to. That might not sound like much, but it makes a huge difference to a sizeable proportion of the public. I hope the takeaway from the study will be that they can, and should be doing better!

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