A while ago, I blogged about two papers that I have co-authored and were accepted at the Web4All (W4A) conference, which was held in Seoul back in April. W4A is attended by a number of delegates from around the world including academics, policy makers, disability groups, technology advocates and representatives from large corporations such as Google and includes representatives from the W3C. The paper reported on a study that looked into the appropriateness and relevance of mobile web accessibility guidelines,- admittedly, an area that is hard to ‘excite’ people (unless like me, you have a ‘thing’ about standards and specifications).
For this reason, I was really surprised to find out that our paper was nominated for an award prior to the conference- I simply dismissed any possibility of winning and accepted the nomination as a success in its own right.
Until I saw this:
Raph and Chris who led this research both work at Ability Net and based this research study on their work and their experience with the application of Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP 1.0) for their mobile testing sessions. In more detail:
Our work is increasingly focused on mobile platforms. We carry out mobile testing sessions with users who have a range of different access needs and preferences. For the benefit of clients, findings from these sessions are mapped wherever possible to the industry standard guidelines. However, our experience shows that many issues reported by users cannot be easily mapped to guidelines, or do not appear to be covered by a guideline at all. This motivated us to conduct more detailed research and analysis into the matter, to ensure that guidelines really are there to benefit the users.
We hope this research will help bring about much needed enhancements and updates to the current mobile guidelines. The work also helps pave the way for others to conduct similar research into this fast-growing and important area of mobile web accessibility.We intend to continue this work and we will hopefully be at W4A next year in Florence.
The paper is available in the ACM Digital Library at the following URL: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=2596717