Friday, May 3, 2013

Inaccessible Websites Suck

Technology should be empowering. Particularly for people with disabilities, technology should be enabling access that was hitherto impossible or very difficult. Unsurprisingly, some technologists are dickheads, and wouldn't know an accessible websites if it slapped them in the face. More surprising is that some of the least accessible websites are ones that you would expect to have got this figured out. Like Rite Aid, for example.

I would expect Rite Aid to have a website that was easy to use for people with disabilities, particularly the visually impaired. It should be easy to indicate to the website that I have difficulty reading ability and small pieces of crap information selling me things. If there is one I haven't found it yet. Instead, renewing my prescriptions is a miserable chore. Perhaps it is too much to ask, that a drugstore should focus on getting prescriptions filled before it tries to sell you Halloween crap; evidently so.

Never mind that the workflow itself simply does not work. Their website is focused on selling you things that are not the drugs that doctors have prescribed for you. It is not sufficiently tested, and makes baffling choices and shows a mixture of incorrect and simply absent information. I used to find this irritating and inconvenient. Now, however, I find it infuriating and almost impossible to navigate. If the Rite Aid weren't extremely convenient — it is only a couple of blocks away — I would go to another pharmacy already.

In 2013 it is totally unacceptable to have websites that don't work and that don't at least have accessibility options clearly available. If you want to know whether your website works for people with visual difficulties, just ask and I will be happy to come and tell you what doesn't bloody work.