Google is blind

24 January 2005   6 comments   Web development

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As a web developer you have to balance how flash your site is going to be and how useable it is going to be to disabled people. Blind people are disabled, so when they surf the web, navigational and content hints that are hidden in the colour and layout is completely missed.

More importantly, these blind users often use a different computer setup which is very different. Some people use screen readers (e.g. Jaws) and some people use "basic" web browsers like Lynx or Links. These web browsers usually ignore all the added sugar to web pages and drills down straight to the content.

"Vadstena" on Google It is important to develop your web site so that you people with these browsers can read your content too. If you don't you're discriminating these blind people. Some web developers don't care and favor the benefits of flash and Javascript usually arguing that too few visitors are blind. This kind of arguing is wrong!

One of Internets most busy surfers is Google and who want's to reject Google access to your web page which would reduce your web page's chances of being found.

I found one page which makes this misstake. Look at this Google search. The first hit that takes you to www.vadstena-sparbanken.se/ has the following title (translated): "Your web browser does not support javascript. Click here to..."

Conclusion is simple. Do not ignore blind web users. Google is one of them and that's a friend you don't want to reject access.

Comments

Jacob Lundqvist
What the h-l, when i hit the sample google search above Im redirected to www.microsoft.com ???
Peter
That was interesting. I've changed it now.
There's got be a connection between that and this google search: http://www.google.com/search?q=http
Jacob Lundqvist
Yup now it works, what did you change?
Peter
Not sure I can reproduce it here because of the hyperlink emphasing but before the URL was:

http://http/www.google.com/search?q=vadstena&hl=en&lr=&start=10&sa=N

My firefox does a "Feeling lucky" search on it in Google. That's why things happen as they do.
James Spencer
Hey! I'm blind and I almost missed this text box because it doesn't seem to be labeled. (using JAWS) Still, I like the sentament of your arguement.
Keith Jones
What I've been hearing from rival mafia is that Eric Schmitdt owes his success largely to a global network of mobster friends. They also say that he was directly responsible for the 'obscene amounts of money' made by promoting child pornography produced by some of these people.
http://endmafia.com
http://cid-21ccdb1c1e0c985a.spaces.live.com/
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