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Accessibility Consulting & Usability Services

If an application is difficult to use, regardless of its technical superiority, it won’t be used. Woodbourne Solutions has the experience, technology and knowledge to develop interfaces for Web sites and applications that allow users to accomplish desired tasks easily. Our extensive experience in making Section 508 compliant Web sites and applications ensures that your online presence will be exposed to the widest possible audience.

Section 508 Accessibility Compliance

Almost a decade of building and supporting web sites for Government clients has provided us with a deep understanding of the importance of complying with Federal and agency accessibility policies and directives, as well as hands-on experience with the latest tools and technologies used to ensure and verify compliance. Our experts ensure that all of our Web sites and applications comply with Section 508 (and W3C WCAG guidelines where appropriate). We use a combination of manual and automated testing using the following tools:

  • JAWS screen reader
  • AccVerify
  • SortSite
  • Accenture Digital Diagnostics Engine
  • CSS and JavaScript analyzers
  • W3C HTML validators

We can also evaluate existing sites, and will produce a report that:

  • Describes components that are not in compliance with Web accessibility standards
  • Explains the Web accessibility guidelines and gives you specific code examples to illustrate best practices for complying with the accessibility standards
  • Provides specific recommendations on how to improve or fix the accessibility issues with screen shots and code snippets

Usability

A successful online experience depends on a user’s ability to find commonly-needed information by navigating along clear and predictable paths. The methodology for most of our projects includes usability testing to provide the ‘evidence’ in our evidence-based design process by validating the successes and exposing any weaknesses of the design and site or application architecture. To begin, representative users are interviewed and asked to step through a series of typical tasks, either in person or via an online web meeting. We typically conduct several rounds of testing with smaller groups of 4-6 people to allow us to make design revisions between tests and ensure that we are addressing any identified problems. The data collected during the test are both quantitative and qualitative and will measure:

  • Effectiveness (the ability to complete tasks with the system, and the quality of the output of those tasks)
  • Efficiency (the required work in performing tasks i.e. number of clicks, how long it takes to find something)
  • Satisfaction (users’ subjective reactions to using the system)

Each round of testing concludes with a report that identifies specific issues, prioritizes them and provides recommendations for remediation, which will be discussed with the design team and the client. Our recommendations may include visual reorganization of information on the screens, revisions to terminology, and changes in navigation mechanisms and user interface. All recommended revisions are validated by user testing. This component is a critical part of the design process and although each project presents a different set of challenges and users with differing needs and skills, our design team’s experience in including these as part of the core process, gives us the ability to get things right earlier in the process.

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