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


It is important to note that there were a total of 34 interventions required, where participants asked for assistance in moving forward. These interventions were in situations where a mouse click was required (16), or where participants asked for suggestions (18). For the 16 situations where a mouse click was required, 12 of them were situations on four sites. Often, a mouse click was required to access any information about jobs. The other four situations where a mouse click was required were for buttons that were inaccessible by keyboard use only. For instance, in Figure 1, participants were required to click on the item to search for jobs, but the object could not be selected using the keyboard. In Figure 2, the two individual buttons were both read by the screen reader as “previousnext,” allowing no individual identification of the buttons, even though visually they appear as two clearly separate buttons.

Figure 1

Figure 1. Screenshot of an inaccessible link to search for jobs on a Web site that required a mouse-click

Figure 2

Figure 2. An example where two buttons were visually separate, but in the code they were marked with the same label of “previousnext”

The other 18 interventions occurred in situations where the participants asked for a suggestion to help them move forward. The causes of interventions were the following: (a) labels or markup were misleading or absent (5), (b) the instructions from the Web page were confusing (3), (c) there were pop-up boxes with inaccessible information (3), (d) there was an error message where the Web site had rejected the participant data input because it was not in the proper format (3), (e) lack of participant knowledge (participant was listening too fast or could not figure out how to attach a document; 2), and (f) JAWS problems (JAWS was not reading the current Web page, and JAWS was not reading the options in the combo box; 2).


Previous | Next