Name that tool: forthcoming 'BBC Accessibility Settings Tool' needs you
The BBC are about to launch a whizzy new accessibility tool across the whole of its website. It'll make bbc.co.uk easier to read and navigate. You'll be able to 'have it your way' as a big burger chain used to say.
But the big question is ... what would you call it? The word 'accessibility' doesn't work well for everyone and it even puts some people off. We need something snappy and immediately understandable so that as many people as possible get it straight away. We also have to be careful not to use a name which might put people off ever using it.
Let me tell you a bit more about the new accessibility tool ...
Much of the Ouch website already has a control panel at the top of the page that enables you to change colours and font size to make it as easy to read as possible. But this new control panel will be rolled out across the entire BBC website - from messageboards to news and iPlayer so you can personalise everything. The guys in the BBC Usability & Accessibility Team have been working hard on this for a while now, testing it vigorously with all 'flavours' of disabled people.
The Ouch! team had a quick demo of the prototype tool today and it looks great. It lets you set preferences for text size, spacing, font, foreground, background and link colours. It can convert multiple-column pages into one single column. And it uses preset themes to allow you to do personalisations like this with the minimum of mouse clicks.
Version one of the accessibility tool will be rolled out soon. It concentrates on the look and feel of the site. In the future they are hoping to extend it to speak BBC pages, give an optimised experience for those who don't use a mouse and it will allow you to take your preferences and use them on the BBC mobile site too.
It looks like its going to help a lot of users - especially those with Lo-vision, Asperger's, Dyslexia, ADHD, or those who find text hard to read - when it launches in the next few months.
So. What should we call it? Its current working title is Accessibility Toolkit or ATK for short ... and it's just too boring.
So spread the word and get back to us via Twitter, email, Facebook or which ever is most convenient. Remember, short and snappy - it'll appear at the top of every BBC web page in the future.
You'll be hearing much more about this in the weeks and months to come. Web access for everyone is something the BBC and the UK government are striving towards and something I know a lot of you will want to support us with. Branding can be crucial to the popularity and take-up.
We'll blog about this again in the near future.
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