The WebAIM Million — Homepage Accessibility Report
A new report about homepage accessibility is now available at WebAIM’s blog. There’re a bunch of interesting things in it, I recommend reading it.
This report takes into account 1 million top sites (what that means exactly is explained in the report), more specifically their home pages. Having said that, there’s only so much one can get from it, but it’s a nice overview of where we likely are in 2022 with accessibility.
I won’t go into much detail here — please go and read the report for that — , but there are a couple of things that I was surprised about, namely:
- There seems to be very little improvement over last couple of years.
- The majority of sites fail — 96.8 % of the sites had some problem with WCAG 2.
- Obviously only WCAG 2 does not mean the site is not accessible, there’s more to it. But on the other hand, the most common problems were things like missing alt texts, missing form control labels, empty links and buttons, and low contract. These problems are actually a real obstacle to people who rely on some assistive technology.
- All these problems from the previous bullet point are actually sort of low-hanging fruit in accessibility. They are often easily checked using tools. Yet even the biggest sites, that likely have more resources, don’t fix these problems.
- Home page complexity measured by the number of elements has increased. That can potentionally lead to even more accesibility problems in the future, especially when it doesn’t seem that the world is paying that much attention to it even now.
From my personal experience being a software tester, accessibility is an unknown topic at many workplaces. There are exceptions, but few and far between. So it seems this report is more or less in line with my personal experience.
Perhaps it’s still about just spreading the word because I don’t exactly think that building some reasonable accessibility takes any more time than not building it. Especially when we’re talking about such things as mising alt texts or those other problems mentioned in this report. It simply takes no additional time during the development but it’d probably solve the biggest obstacles.