Prejudices, memories, expectations and confidence influence experienced accessibility on the Web

Amaia Aizpurua Aguirrezabal, Myriam Arrue, Markel Vigo

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    Evidence suggests that compliance with accessibility standards does not always guarantee a satisfying user experience on the Web. The literature indicates that addressing the expectations users have about online content and functionalities is crucial to bridge this gap. We examine the role played by subjectiveness, experience and, particularly, expectations on how users experience the accessibility on the Web. To do so, 11 blind participants were enquired through interviews and questionnaires about 12 tasks they completed in four websites. Thematic analysis on the transcriptions reveals that expectations are often built up on previous experiences and preconceived ideas. Particularly, the content which is explicitly labelled as accessible arises the curiosity and creates high expectations about the accessibility of the website. We also find that, in addition to unmet expectations, prejudices on branding issues and the memories evoked by past experiences or emotional bonds does not only affect the way in which users perceive and experience accessibility, but also the overall user experience. Identifying the nature of expectations is key (i) to formalise more exhaustive user testing protocols and (ii) to complement and complete existing accessibility guidelines.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)152-160
    Number of pages8
    JournalComputers in human behavior
    Early online date18 May 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


    • Behavioral sciences; Blind users; Screen readers; Web; Web accessibility; User experience


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