upa - home page JUS - Journal of usability studies
An international peer-reviewed journal

Investigating the Accessibility and Usability of Job Application Web Sites for Blind Users

Jonathan Lazar, Abiodun Olalere, and Brian Wentz

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 7, Issue 2, February 2012, pp. 68 - 87

Article Contents


Each participant was asked to apply for two job openings online. One of the participants had to leave early, and therefore could only attempt to submit one job application online. One of the other participants, who had a more flexible schedule, was asked to attempt to apply for a third job. Out of the 32 attempts to submit applications online (two for each of the 16 companies), 24 of those attempts were successful, that is, participants completed the application process. However, many of those attempts involved interventions. Only nine of the 32 applications were submitted successfully and independently, without any type of intervention, for a task success rate of 28.1%. The types of interventions are discussed in the following paragraphs. For the nine participants where both of the applications were successfully submitted, for eight of those participants, the second application was completed and submitted in a faster time period than the first application, suggesting that over time, there could potentially be some learning effects if users are submitting, for example, 10-15 employment applications online.

The quickest successful submission took 23 minutes, with no interventions. The longest successful submissions were in 121 minutes, one with no intervention and the other with one intervention. The longest unsuccessful attempt lasted 229 minutes (nearly four hours), at which point the participant gave up and indicated that they would not continue applying for the job. It is important to note that, before the data collection began, it was clear to the researchers that many of the sites use the same software applications to power their job application processes. For instance, four of the companies selected for the study use the Taleo software (http://www.taleo.com/solutions/recruiting), and four of the companies selected for the study use the Kenexa software. It is important to note that each implementation of the Taleo and Kenexa software packages is different (and there are multiple versions of the software from those vendors), so while there are some similarities, each company using Taleo or Kenexa is in fact using a different, but similar interface.


Previous | Next