Re: [Fwd: [Fwd: New Report Quantifies Web Usability for People with


Here's the full press release.



Press Release

SOURCE: Nielsen Norman Group

New Report Quantifies Web Usability for People with Disabilities
Nielsen Norman Group to Release Findings From Usability Study With
People With Low Vision, No Vision or Motor Impairments

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 17, 2001--There is a movement to
make the Web open to everyone, including people with disabilities. But
making a website technically accessible does not necessarily make it
easy to use. In the first major study to observe Web usage by people
with disabilities, usability expert Jakob Nielsen of Nielsen Norman
Group (NNG) found that web usability was three to six times better for
non-disabled people than for people with low vision, no vision or motor
impairment. In a report entitled ``Beyond ALT Text: Making the Web Easy
to Use for Users with Disabilities,'' co-authors Nielsen and NNG
director of research Kara Pernice Coyne present their findings and 75
design guidelines to improve web usability for people with disabilities.
The 178-page report will be released Oct. 21 at the User Experience 2001
conference in Washington D.C. and available to download for $125 at  Coyne, who led the study,
will present a seminar on the topic at User Experience 2001.

``People with disabilities embrace the Internet for the opportunities it
provides them to do things they couldn't do before, like read the daily
newspaper,'' said Jakob Nielsen, principal of Nielsen Norman Group,
``Still, the Web is far from fulfilling its potential to serve users
with disabilities. Inaccessible and unusable sites abound, even sites
that are theoretically accessible have low usability for people with

To measure the magnitude of usability problems for people with
disabilities, Nielsen Norman Group conducted a study in the United
States and Japan. The 104 users who participated in the study included
users with low vision, no vision, or motor impairment and a control
group of people without disabilities. Assistive technologies such as
screen readers, Braille devices and screen magnifiers were used.

In part of the study, American users with and without disabilities were
asked to perform the same four tasks:

     1)  Information retrieval: Find the average temperature in Dallas,
         TX in January;
     2)  Buy an item: Janet Jackson's CD "All for You" from Target's website;
     3.) Information retrieval: Find a bus departing O'Hare airport
         to a specific address in Chicago using the Transit Chicago website;
     4)  Compare and contrast: Find the best mutual fund satisfying certain
         criteria on Schwab's website.

Following are the results:

      * Task completion rate:
          Screen reader users were able to complete the tasks given to them 12.5% of the time;
          screen magnifier users 21.4% of the time;
	  control group 78% of the time.

      * Time on a task (min:sec):
          Screen reader users spent 16:34 on task;
          screen magnifier users spent 15:26 on task;
          control group 7:14 on task.

      * Errors (average across all tasks):
          Screen reader users 2.0;
	  screen magnifier users 4.5;
	  control group .06.

      * Subjective rating (1-7 scale with 7 indicating the most positive):
          Screen reader users 2.5;
	  screen magnifier users 2.9 on task;
          control group 4.6.
Nielsen Norman Group ( is a user-experience think
tank that advises companies about how succeed through human-centered
design of products and services.  Nielsen Norman Group principals Jakob
Nielsen, Don Norman and Bruce ``Tog'' Tognazzini are each world-renowned
experts in usability and human use of technology.  Besides authoring
books and evangelizing about user experience, they and the other
user-experience specialists in Nielsen Norman Group offer high-level
strategic consultation on usability of websites, consumer products,
software designs and anything else that needs to be easy-to-use. Press
contact: Darcy Provo, Antenna Group darcy antennapr com; 415/977-1920.

Contact:  Antenna Group (for Nielsen Norman Group) Darcy Provo,

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