November 3rd, 2008
I do need to get out more, I know that. But I was surfing the web last night, looking for information about local fireworks and as I did so was struggling to find information on our council website - poor design, poor navigation just poor everything. That led me to think - its time to introduce TASBO’s. Technology Anti Social Behaviour Orders ! We could “award” them, not just because technology is poor, or because a website is inaccessible, but reserve them for people who seem to deliberately and consistently ignore the basic principles of design for all.
There are so many of them - and not just web and software developers - manufacturers of mobile phones, digital TV desktop sets, MP3 players - so often you look at a new product and wonder - how could you not think about disabled users, or at least make as cursory nod in their direction ?
I sued to think it was just lack of awareness, I once was asked to look at a kiosk designed for wheelchair users, it was smooth and sleek, the sort of kiosk you would want to take home to meet your Mum, and enjoy showing off to your friends, beautifully designed to accomodate wheelchairs, a sleek silver trackball and button navigated the web browser. Which was great unless you coldn’t manipulate a trackball, when I discussed this the company turned into Homer Simpson “Doh!!!”
But thats not a good enough explanation for why new hardware and software are so poor - I see reps from these companies at exhibitions meetings and conferences - but they are willing to sacrifice access, for speed or other functionality.
To each of them a TASBO - maybe one day a hall of infamy ? who knows ?