George Chalhoub | COMP6219 Report Summary

Section 508 & WCAG 2.0 AA

Applications Evaluated

This accessible tab widget lists and summarises web and software applications evaluated. is one of the world’s most famous websites that encompasses social news discussion, web content rating, and discussions. Reddit is the 8th most visited website in the world according to Alexa Rank. Reddit is a web application that can be accessed from from a web browser.

Steam Community is the world’s largest gaming digital distribution platform. Steam was estimated to have 75% of the game market in October 2013, and in 2015 it had around 125 million registered account. Steam can be directly accessible as a web application at any time at this URL:

Norton Internet Security is a prominent malware prevention and removal software developed by Symantec Corporation in 1991. It uses many technologies to identify viruses on numerous platforms. Services offered by Norton Antivirus include email spam filtering and browser protection.

Released 16 years ago, VLC media player is one of the world’s best open-source media players used by millions of users in the world. VLC is available on all major operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux. It is also available for Android and iOS.

What were applications evaluated for?

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Web and software accessibility were evaluated according to WCAG guidelines and guidelines by the US Deparment of Justice.

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The usability of the apps was evaluated according to a guide by W3 and a research paper by Whitney Quesenbery.

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The Browser and Operating System compatibility was evaluated using web tools as BrowserStack and NetRenderer.

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Reddit Website

summary of the issues found

Misleading Advertising

Screenshot of a reddit page with misleading advertising.

The website contains some misleading advertising confusing main content with advertised content. Despite having ‘promoted’ on it, it has posts contains the same layout of regular entries possibly creating confusion and taking users places where they do not intend to go.

Microsoft Edge’s accessibility tree

Using Microsoft Edge’s accessibility tree, we can see that a screen reader would fail to describe the website adequately. While the screen reader would be able to describe the login and registration forms; the search form and main content would not be appropriately read.

Screenshot of Microsoft Edge's accessiblity tree on the reddit website.

Flashing Content

The website contains many subreddits with flashing content, Aww and Jokes, without taking into consideration that this content contains flashing and might trigger seizures for some people. There are no warnings on the site as well about their flashings.

Screenshot of reddit website aww with flashing content.

Accessibility & Usability Issues

Captcha on login page

While the registration page is fully accessible by a screen reader and keyboard tabbing, a captcha is present without any alternatives offered.

Inappropriate alt tags

All subreddits on the main website contain images with empty alt attributes.

Incomprehensible wording

There is a ‘<3’ subheading found in the footer page failing to inform some users what it would mean clearly. The website also uses unknown wording such as ‘reddiquette’.

No user control

The website sends users to other websites without warning thus minimising the control the user has over a webpage and hindering the user experience.

Inconsistencies with headers

Each subreddit has its styling and structure, so no header is the same, there is no indication where a user came from or where they would be going.

Very low contrast

WAVE reports issues with very low contrast.

Inaccessible text editor

The website contains a text editor with absolutely no keyboard shortcuts and instructions that are not adequately readable by a screen reader.

Steam website

Flashing Animation

User profiles of gamers have animations that can be freely set. There are no ways for a user to disable or hide them. Some users might be at risk and experience seizures because of this. For example, if you visit the profile of a gamer called ‘Elite’, you can see a large flashing animation on the page.

Screenshot of the page of user ELite on the steam website.

Not compatible with Internet Explorer

The website’s store page is not compatible with Internet Explorer 11 and below. According to tests done on NetRenderer, the store page is also not compatible with earlier versions of Internet Explorer such as Internet Explorer 8 (Screenshot C3), 9, and 10.

Screenshot of steam website on IE10.

Incomprehensible for a screen reader

Using Microsoft Edge’s accessibility tree, we can that a screen reader would never be able to describe steam. The structure seems to suffer from many inconsistencies and the accessibility tree’s content cannot be understood by inspection.

Screenshot of Microsoft Edge's accessibility tree on the steam website.

Accessibility & Usability Issues

No captions for videos

Video of gameplay is found on some pages, but when the character speaks, no subtitles are found and cannot be enabled. There is no subtitle description of what is being heard as well.

Missing Alt Tags

The website rarely uses any alt tag attributes to describe images. There is no use of alt tags except on the logo of the parent company and the website.

Contrast Issues

The website has plenty of low contrast colours between foreground and background as reported by WAVE.

Lack of feedback

On some search forms, the website fails to provide feedback on user actions. On the ‘Find Hubs’ search form, if you type ‘soton’, you will get no feedback and pressing on the search button will not generate any action or message.

No error correction

The website does not make an effort to correct errors committed by the user. For example, misspellings in search queries are not corrected and return no results (e.g. searching for ‘toomb raider’ returns nothing).

Inconsistent Template Layout

The website is not consistent with its template layout. For example, when a user visits the help support page, the header’s spacing differs and the footer disappears completely.

Poor website navigation

The website’s navigation fails to put the user in a context where the position of the user is clear and concise. Going back, for example, would have to be done from the browser and not the website. Searching for a game redirects the user to without having an easy option to return back.

Norton Internet Security Software

summary of the issues found

Norton might slow you down

Despite having a strong reputation, Norton Internet Security has a history of draining the speed of computers. Symantec even confirmed that ‘there was some truth to this years ago’. Gamers or movie watchers with Norton Internet Security on are advised to activate ‘Full-Screen Detection’ mode to prevent Norton from slowing down the machine (Screenshot C13). There is no valid reason why users need to go through the process of activating this mode.

Screenshot of Norton Internet Security’s Administrative Interface.

Color blind? Might not understand

In many occasions, Norton Internet Security only uses graphs and images to inform the customer about the severity of the security threat or the trust of a particular program. For example, the trust of a program on Norton’s Program Control Interface is seen only via coloured icons. A person who is colour blind would not be able to absorb information. Written confirmation and words should be directly visible in the first alert shown or any security information present.

Screenshot of Norton Software showing intensity of a security threat.

Accessibility & Usability Issues

No color or font settings

Defaults fonts cannot be altered for texting and printing displays. No colour settings are present which prevents the user from altering any colours on the screen.

Lack of documentation

The software allows the use of keyboard functions, it does not provide any documentation nor any instructions what-so-ever on how to use them.

No ASCII file format

Generated reports from the software are not available to print in an ASCII file format.

No training

The company does not provide any training to people with disabilities to use their software. The word ‘accessibility’ is not found in the help centre.

Communication via graphs only

In many occasions, Norton Internet Security only uses graphs and images to inform the customer about the severity of the security threat or the trust of a particular program.

Recovering from user decisions is not easy

Recovering from user decisions is not easy. To test this, we added a Trojan Horse on a Windows 10 laptop with Norton Internet Security’s protection. Upon viewing a security threat notification, we have clicked on ‘Ignore threat’. However, recovering or undoing the click was no easy task.

Company-made controls

Norton seems to be using its company-made controls/elements which might confuse users with disabilities.

VLC media player software

summary of the issues found

Misleading search

The search functionality on VLC Media Player is misguiding. It appears to be doing a universal search, but in fact, it is searching a directory of a playlist.

Screenshot of search bar in VLC media player.

Documentation only online!

The documentation is only available online with no options to access it if you don't have an internet connection.

Screenshot of VLC Media Player’s online documentation about keyboard hotkeys.

Accessibility & Usability Issues

No support for QT accessibility API

VLC Media Player does not use the QT accessibility API which makes it very hard for blind people to use.

Full-screen mode not proper

Furthermore, playlists running in full-screen mode halt the mode every time a video plays; so a user would have to trigger the full-screen mode again.

No clear labels

Icon objects do not have a clear named label visible unless the mouse hovers over the objects.

Documentation not available offline

The documentation is generally a wiki website that is only available online.

Tabbing does not work

Tabbing does not work to navigate the elements of the media player.

No training offered

The company does not provide any training to people with disabilities to use their software.

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