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SiteMorse 'report' (?)

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Reply with quote http://www.sitemorse.com/news.html?id=1248983818

Quote:
LONDON, 07.07.05 [SiteMorse Technologies Limited] It seems that every company in the field of website delivery is promising compliance with the standards and specific services to ensure that legal and moral requirements are met - SiteMorse once again tested the ‘leaders’ of the field to find large gaps in what these companies claim to be their expertise and in their own capability to deliver – the question to ask is:

‘If the experts cannot get their own house in order, then how can companies be expected to meet such highly published requirements?’

The SiteMorse survey provides a six-monthly review on the websites of companies that are focused on accessibility. Once again we saw poor performance from a number of the service providers. Following on from the previous report, RedAnt again came top with Fhios bottom, every page on the fhios’s site failed accessibility A and AA tests, the Disability Rights Commission Site had even more images without alt tags, failing both A / AA again (even after their own damning report at the end of last year). The RNIB showed improvement since last time. A copy of the full report is available at no charge – please email acc3@sitemorse.com.

No one at SiteMorse is saying that automated tests are the Holy Grail, simply if you cannot pass the automated tests and, for instance, have basic descriptions missing on images, how can you hope to achieve compliance?

A spokesperson for SiteMorse comments further on an article by SciVisum which appeared on BBC News Online and in The Register; the article slammed top sites for a lack of standards compliance, yet their own site fails the tests miserably.
“The Disability Rights Commission have once again failed to meet even the most basic requirements. All of this continues to occur after an attack on SiteMorse around 12 months ago, when we produced the first report. The DRC’s chairman, Bert Massie, then claimed that ‘The ink was hardly dry’. He was referring to the launch of the DRC’s new site. Since then, SiteMorse’s tests continue to show that basics such as alt text for images (text describing what the picture is) have been continually left out.’ No one from the DRC's Media was available for comment.
SiteMorse reveals that a number of providers, or experts in the field, fail both the mandatory accessibility standards of A and AA.:
www.webcredible.co.uk - who say they are ‘The web usability, credibility and accessibility specialists.’
www.usability.uk.com - who believe that they are ‘The leading UK Usability and Accessibility Company’;
www.scivisum.co.uk - who says that they perform ‘In-depth Accessibility Testing’, and who featured in the BBC News Online article about accessibility and the problems with the open source Firefox browser for the disabled;
www.bunnyfoot.com - claims to be ‘Driving interactive behaviour through usability and accessibility’;
www.fhios.com - is perhaps more modest, ‘The fhios User Research service, offering includes Accessibility Audits’.

SiteMorse’s spokesperson said that he wonders whether SciVisum shouldn’t get its own act in order before “pointing the finger at others.’ Meanwhile in the article, Deri Jones, chief executive of SciVisum claims that web developers will gain more than friends among the alternative browser community by using W3C compliant coding. He also says that such a browser would be easier to use, but adds that developers have begun to “to misuse the original standards created for the web to create websites that look great to you and I, but are confusing to a disabled person using a screen reader which needs to make sense of the content.’

With reference to this, SiteMorse’s spokesman comments: “In looking at his own site, there are errors on virtually every page (specifically HTML problems that were the focus of their own article) .The article then talks about accessibility; a testing service offered by his company, only to find that SciVisum’s own site once again fails with many examples of A (Priority 1) failures, and every page fails the requirements of AA (Priority 2).’

Following requests we added a number of other sites to the report, including GAWDS ‘Guild of Accessible Web Designers’, which had one of the best ever results for a first time site test.

“All of this poses some real questions for those looking to embrace the entire web community: who really does understand accessibility? If so many of them and the bodies in place looking to promote it fail even basic testing, then how can we expect to see websites’ quality improve and therefore make them accessible for everyone?’

SiteMorse offers some basic pointers for those looking to deliver well performing, functioning and compliant websites:

• Ensure that content editors understand the reasons why sites need to be accessible;
• Do not allow CMS systems to accept images unless provided with alternative text;
• Build in basic page reviews;
• Remember that automated tools assist, but they are not the complete answer;
• You must ensure you have pre-release quality assurance procedures in place that test all web templates in both live and off line environment.
• And when contracting for services state specific standards to be achieved (not specifically product based Bobby / SiteMorse) WAI - WCAG P1, etc.;

SiteMorse also stresses that if a site scores 100% in its automated tests, then this indicates that it has not failed the automated tests, however manual testing is also needed to achieve compliance. It seems that each organisation highlighted here by SiteMorse has some work to do, and that the general feeling is that companies should practice what they preach.

Stuff I do
******************************
Design: http://www.stuffandnonsense.co.uk
My book: http://www.transcendingcss.com/


Last edited by Malarkey on 09 Jul 2005 11:07 am; edited 1 time in total
Reply with quote This was talked about in another thread:

http://www.accessifyforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=3261
Reply with quote
SiteMorse wrote:
Following requests we added a number of other sites to the report, including GAWDS ‘Guild of Accessible Web Designers’, which had one of the best ever results for a first time site test.


This press release has been edited. The initial report slated GAWDS, along with the others, for failing their basic accessibility tests. Until it was pointed out their test was in error. Ne'er seen someone pedalling backwards so furiously.

I've commented on it on my blog:
http://www.isolani.co.uk/blog/access/SiteMorseFailsDueDiligence
Reply with quote Images without alt tags? Surely not? What a horrendous error Wink

I shall say no more lest I end up in libel court.

Accessibility != Bobby
Reply with quote
vigo wrote:
Images without alt tags? Surely not? What a horrendous error Wink

I shall say no more lest I end up in libel court.
Wer'e with you brother Wink

Mike Abbott
Accessible to everyone
Reply with quote *koff* Wink

The Watchmaker Project - my personal blog
29digital Design Studio - freelance web design/development
Reply with quote
Buddy Bradley wrote:
*koff* Wink


Good article!
Reply with quote
Buddy Bradley wrote:
*koff* Wink
when throwing bricks make sure you are not living in a glasshouse
Reply with quote
Buddy Bradley wrote:
*koff* Wink


That made me laugh, truly brilliant article Very Happy
Reply with quote
monkeygod wrote:
when throwing bricks make sure you are not living in a glasshouse

Is that aimed at me or SiteMorse? Confused

The Watchmaker Project - my personal blog
29digital Design Studio - freelance web design/development
Reply with quote Guys,
In regards to the 17 points which I am sure are there and not debating (although if you'd like to pass them on in e-mail it would help in fixing them and making sure the same mistakes aren't made again); how do the other people in the test sample rate against the same testing?

I mean if we have 17 bugs, and number two in the list have 18 and the others have more that would still place us top of the sample set. Also SM aren't just testing accessibility. I know that number two (a design house in near worcester I believe), in the list beat us on accessibility, but they had invalid HTML which caused their downfall.
Reply with quote I think the point Buddy was trying to make Richard was SiteMorse were being harsh in their report slating companies but praising yours - yet your own site isn't perfect either. Yes of course it had the least number of errors but the whole SiteMorse article missed the point, no one is perfect but at least they're trying and doing great work in the field. I don't think Buddy was trying to single you or your company out, he was merely proving the point that the SiteMorse article itself and method of testing is riddled with inconsistencies.

Actually come to think of it, it's a laugh they slate Bunnyfoot, a company we've worked with and without a shadow of a doubt are superior to SiteMorse and probably most others on that list. That's my take on it anyhow!

I reckon many companies probably don't give their own site enough attention as it's considered low priority with the incoming work top priority. For example in my work we audit all sites before they are allowed to go live, I think to a high standard. Anyway, our own site has it's own issues but we just don't have the time to fix it!
Reply with quote
Daz wrote:
Yes of course it had the least number of errors but the whole SiteMorse article missed the point, no one is perfect but at least they're trying and doing great work in the field.


Too right. How can a company (who actually do have issues with their own website) go around saying "look how badly these organisations' websites have done when they should know better"?! In my eyes, many of these sites are the cream of the crop - compare them to other, very large, high-profile websites.

Daz wrote:
I reckon many companies probably don't give their own site enough attention as it's considered low priority with the incoming work top priority. For example in my work we audit all sites before they are allowed to go live, I think to a high standard. Anyway, our own site has it's own issues but we just don't have the time to fix it!


Tell me about it! Cobbers children and shoes and all...
Reply with quote
Buddy Bradley wrote:
monkeygod wrote:
when throwing bricks make sure you are not living in a glasshouse

Is that aimed at me or SiteMorse? Confused


i'm not aiming at anyone just showing how ridiculous some fingerpointing can be ( i think it affects sitemorse a lot more than you though as you don't make such silly claims )
Reply with quote
Richard Conyard wrote:
I mean if we have 17 bugs, and number two in the list have 18 and the others have more that would still place us top of the sample set.

Who is on the list (plus website URL)?

Quote:
Also SM aren't just testing accessibility. I know that number two (a design house in near worcester I believe), in the list beat us on accessibility, but they had invalid HTML which caused their downfall.

Invalid HTML is a priority 2 issue. Checkpoint 3.2, and potentially Checkpoint 11.1.

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