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An Accessibility and Usability Review of the NotifyMe Web Application

Lawrence Malakhoff

KEY WORDS: accessibility, usability, Web, screen-reader, Federal regulations, user-interface evaluation.

ABSTRACT

The Statistical Research Division's (SRD's) accessibility specialist evaluated the NotifyMe Web application for both accessibility and usability. This review was performed in March and April 2009 using the Job Access With Speech (JAWS) screen-reader, software used by people with disabilities. NotifyMe allows users to select manufacturing reports and be notified when they become available. For all users to have access to the NotifyMe application, the software must conform to Federal accessibility regulations. For the purpose of this report, an item was judged to be accessible (compliant with the regulations) if JAWS read its screen text aloud in a coherent order. The accessibility evaluation revealed several violations of the Federal regulations—for example, that the displayed text for the Accommodation button did not match the text vocalized by JAWS, and characters used in the “More” link were used as an arrow by vocalized as “greater than greater than.” The usability inspection found that navigation by JAWS was cumbersome for a sector with many sub-sectors. Further, text describing NotifyMe and information about receiving a confirmation e-mail was not written for the Web and wrapped across two lines. This report uses screen shots to illustrate how compliance with Federal regulations can be accomplished, and it includes recommendations to improve the accessibility and usability of the NotifyMe Web application. Identification of the full range of usability issues requires testing with actual participants in the Usability Laboratory.

CITATION: Malakhoff, Lawrence. (2009). An Accessibility and Usability Review of the NotifyMe Web Application. Statistical Research Division Study Series (Survey Methodology #2009-10). U.S. Census Bureau. Available online at <http://www.census.gov/srd/papers/pdf/ssm2009-10.pdf>.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division

Published online: June 8, 2009
Last revised: June 5, 2009


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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or chad.eric.russell@census.gov) |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010