We are going on a scavenger hunt!
Have you ever been on a scavenger hunt?
It is an exciting and interactive recreational game in which participants work individually or in teams to find a list of specific items, solve riddles, or complete tasks within a designated area or timeframe. Typically organized for fun and adventure, scavenger hunts encourage participants to use their problem-solving skills, creativity, and teamwork to track down clues and complete challenges, often leading to a rewarding sense of accomplishment when the hunt is successfully completed. These events can be tailored for various occasions, from children's birthday parties to corporate team-building activities, making them a versatile and enjoyable pastime for people of all ages.
How about a digital one?
Sara, one of my fab website accessibility audit team has been on one recently. This one was on a portal that we audited recently.
The portal itself was quite a technical one. One of the tasks involved changing options in an admin section and hitting a button called Save Settings, to save the changes.
The difficulty was that, even though each page of the portal looked very similar, the Save Settings button was in a different place on some of the pages. Sometimes it would be in the top right corner, sometimes it would be in the bottom right corner and sometimes it would be in a seemingly random place.
Sara is neurodivergent. She has extreme ADHD and dyspraxia. Lack of consistency is something that she particularly struggles with and she said she felt like this part of the audit was like a scavenger hunt, trying to find the buttons to save the changes.
Going but not gone!
It didn’t help that this button was also faded out, which made it appear inactive.
There were other buttons on the website that were also faded out but these were actually inactive, until a certain option had been chosen. At this point, they would become active and clearly defined.
This Save Settings button, however, always looked inactive. Add this to the fact that it was often in a different position and you can begin to understand that something as seemingly innocuous as this can be problematic!
These two issues are, of course, easy to resolve and when they are done, they will give most visitors a greater feeling of confidence in using the portal. I say most visitors, rather than just neurodivergent people, as consistency is a tenant of good website design.
What other things on websites give you feelings of either reassurance or anxiety? I would love to hear your thoughts. Do let me know.
Caption: Hand-drawn map lying on grass next to a bow and arrow. The map shows a river, trees, mountains and a dotted line meandering across it, leading to a big red X.
Would you like to find out more?
If you would like to find out more about website accessibility, please follow these links:
Access by Design
Beautiful, WCAG Compliant, Accessible Website Design
Delivering an Outstanding Website Accessibility Audit
Award-winning Web Design, Chichester