Teddy Pig, who I would love to call “my favorite shit stirrer” but someone will totally accuse me of being homophobic, has a majestically awesome article on his blog about website design for e-publishers. Not only does he name some of the most annoying habits of some epub sites – like changing the entire URL on a book when it’s released from a “coming soon” link to an entirely different, non-intuitive link. That has driven advertisers on our site crazy because they don’t know until the last friggin’ minute what the URL will be. Bad, bad bad!
But by far the most interesting, and the part I’ve dealt with the most, is this section about sight impaired linkage and code usage:
Are all cover pictures clearly text and alt labeled for sight impaired and also hyper-linked to the book’s sales page?
Did you know even Amazon fails at this? As I said, this is becoming a big thing and should be part of your companies presentation in a professional manner. I find the most dedicated eBook customers are those who are site impaired. Catch the clue and ride the wave.
After our redesign, I had an email asking that I remove the captcha (that would be the security word you enter to comment if you are not logged into the site, like wanker45 or booty99) from the comments page for users who are logged in because page readers do not read captchas. If the page reader software cannot read the captcha image, then the person using the software cannot leave a comment and participate in the discussion. The person who brought this to my attention was bashful about it, as if asking for this amendment to our design was somehow outrageous. I felt terrible that we were inadvertently excluding those who use page reading software to surf the web, and fixed it as soon as possible.
Speaking only for myself, I know that I don’t want to exclude those who are sight impaired, and while I know about alt tags and title tags for images, I’m sure there are parts of the sight impaired features that we miss, and we’re not even trying to be a marketplace. So what other features for the differently abled do you wish were on websites – not even this one, but any site out there?
And mad props to Teddy for taking on the issue of Fugtastic E-Pub Websites.