Chris Ashton

dai11y 10/01/2022

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The world’s most accessible websites

This is a study by ToolTester.com, but take its findings with a big pinch of salt.

The study looks at “the 200 most popular websites in the world”. This list of sites was allegedly “collected from data by Similarweb”, but comparing the study data with the top websites on similarweb.com, a lot of moderation has evidently taken place: the study omits adult websites, non-English websites, and (inexplicably) Reddit.

asos.com is deemed the ‘least accessible’ site, with the “percentage of site inaccessible” graded as 21.38%. This story has been covered by the Mirror and also covered by ChargedRetail.co.uk, which is what brought my attention to the study in the first place. Both news sources implied that the 21% figure applies to the whole website – the Mirror even headlines ‘1 in 5 pages blocked’ – but according to the ToolTester methodology (at the end of the study), only the homepage was tested.

ToolTester used ‘Arc Toolkit’ – a Chrome extension – to perform automated tests across these sites. It doesn’t look as though any manual testing was performed. For these reasons, I really think this study is lacking in detail and substance, but it’s an interesting data point nonetheless.

ASOS performed poorly due to errors including poor colour contrast, missing ARIA and missing labels. Instagram came second in inaccessibility, lots of user generated content with no alt text causing the bulk of issues, but there are other more easily fixable issues, including a lack of alt text on the login page and a lack of ARIA labels on play buttons. Facebook also makes the bottom 10 list.

Government websites NIH.gov, CDC.gov and GOV.UK fared best, with LinkedIn, H&M, PayPal and Amazon not far behind. All of these websites had more than 99% of their ‘site’ (read: homepage) considered accessible.


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