For most of us, the internet provides almost unlimited access to all the information, products, and services we could possibly need. However, there are still many people who struggle to access even the most ubiquitous sites on the web.
Often, visually impaired users have various requirements in order to browse online. Therefore, with over 2million people in the UK alone living with some form of sight loss, websites that do not fulfil these requirements are disabling access to a large proportion of our community.
But which websites provide the most and least accessibility for those around the world living with visual impairments? Lenstore analysed 90 of the most popular online platforms to find the answer.
Lenstore has created their own unique index as part of their Website Accessibility Report. It ranks each site’s performance on a scale of 1–10 across various factors such as contrast, anchor text, empty headers, and text – all of which can make accessibility difficult for visually impaired users. An overall ranking has been provided based on their cumulative scores to determine the most and least accessible websites.
Of the 90 websites studied, PayPal was one of three that achieved a near perfect score of 9.9/10 in Lenstore’s website accessibility report. Studying the amount of contrast errors, empty headers, and null, missing or empty alt text across the website, PayPal scored perfect 10 out of 10 scores.
The overall ranking was brought down only by some text issues: five of these were identified on the website meaning it received a 9.96 score in this section when compared against other sites.
The text that resulted in accessibility issues with PayPal included adjacent links that go to the same location which results in additional navigation and repetition for screen reader users, as well as the use of PDFs which provide accessibility issues.
The other websites that scored 9.99 out of 10 were health provider Alodokter and financial service experts Spectrum.
The Daily Mail’s incredibly popular online news platform, the Mail Online, was found to be the least accessible website in Lenstore’s study. It scored the lowest overall number, just 5.39/10, after an analysis of their use of contrast, headers and anchor text.
Very low contrast between text and background colours can create myriad problems for users with low visibility, and there were 60 errors of this nature on the Daily Mail’s website.
Furthermore, Lenstore also found 27 missing headers, which can introduce confusion for keyboard and screen reader users, as well as 360 instances of missing alt text, which help visually impaired users understand any images they cannot see.
Arts and entertainment platform Soyetsu ranked second to bottom in Lenstore’s website accessibility study with a score of 6.30/10 having discovered over 830 issues with their on-page text. Social media platform Line was the third lowest with a 7.26/10 score due to its poor use of alt text.