Post Launch Newsletter for Fix the Web

Welcome to Fix the Web for all the people who joined recently since its launch week!

And thanks to you all who have been busy reporting and volunteering on the site, as well as promoting it to your networks, I’m astonished at the stats we have on the site already.

We need more reports!
Our avid volunteers keep processing the ones that come in, so please do report all the web accessibility issues you reporters come across.

Also please send on information about Fix the Web to networks of disabled people that you know: You can use / edit the press release here:
http://fixtheweb.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/press-release-launch-of-fix-th...

(If you want any assistance with marketing the site, or want to let us know what you are doing please contact Nicky Ferry: pumpkin.comms@virgin.net ) Well done for Nicky with the coverage we have had so far, which you can see if you google “Fix the Web”. We were also a “top tweet” on twitter!

Report using the toolbar
Southampton University (Learning Societies Lab) have made us a toolbar for reporting to Fix the Web which is compatible with most browsers. It’s at the bottom of the Home page (to the right if you are sighted). Install it in your browser and then click the heart to report web accessibility issues when you are on a page with a problem. You only have to say what the problem is- everything else is already captured- so it should take seconds to report.

Issues with our site
Despite rounds of bug testing, disabled user testing and accessibility auditing, we have inevitably still had some issues with our site and of course we are working as quickly as we can to address them. Thanks for your patience on these things and for letting us know about them. You can mail our coder directly at ben@fixtheweb.net with bugs and go to grant.broome@hanona.org with any accessibility issues.

Some people don’t like the design of our site and I will have a think about that in a week or so, when we have focused on other issues. If you would like to comment on this or get involved in improving it please be in touch.

Liquid Layouts and Capchas
We are currently implementing a piece of the reporter profile so you can opt for liquid layouts which I understand is good practice for text resizing, but concerns people about integrity of design. We will reconsider this when we rethink the design in a few weeks time (at the moment there is a lot to do!)

A couple of people have asked us not to have capchas. In principle you only ever need to do one captcha if you register (and then use the toolbar -the reporting couldn’t be simpler). There is a refresh option on the capcha so you can skip over any questions you don’t like. Alternatives to capchas including Askimet are throwing up several issues that don’t seem worth taking on…

Forum
A volunteer has asked if we can put a forum on the site for volunteers. My thinking on this is that Accessify offer some really good forums and it would be good to stay simple on our site (I often think things get re-invented when you could use what is there already). Does anyone know the Accessify people well? Does it make sense to ask for a Fix the Web discussion area? Or is there an area on their site best to use? Your thoughts are very welcome!

Closing Reports
It’s great to see the stats going up on the site and some sites being fixed. Some reports are closed with “owners informed” or owners acknowledged (i.e. that there was a problem). It’s down to the volunteer and particulars of a report, but I would say in general, after you have contacted a web owner it’s good to leave it a while and chase them. So if they said they would do something, chase them in a month’s time to see if they did it, etc. (This is perhaps the kind of thing it would be good to discuss on a forum? ;-)

Many thanks again for your involvement..

Ooh I can’t resist being cheesy: let’s Fix the Web together! ;-)

Gail
gail@citizensonline.org.uk