You must have filled many feedback forms, be it in your office, in your school or college, or for any service provider. A simple and user-friendly feedback form is one of the most efficient and economical method for a business to understand its customers. With the benefits that are associated with a feedback form, it becomes very important to ensure that they are accessible to all including people with disabilities.
If I consider few years back, we had to fill the forms manually and being a person with visual impairment, I was not able to fill the form. I had to always depend on my friends or family while filling any form.
Technology has rapidly progressed over the days and we are finding feedback forms are now available online. However, in many cases, I have experienced that feedback forms are still not accessible for assistive technology users and the developers have not taken care of accessibility while coding the form. The result, that people like me who use assistive technology still have to be dependent on our friends and family for filling an online feedback form.
Common problems faced by assistive technology user
Personally, I have experienced lot of problems while filling and submitting feedback forms online. These are some common problems:
- Mandatory fields or instruction related to it are missing or provided at the bottom of the form incorrectly.
- Error messages that do not state clear meaning and are difficult to understand.
- Assistive Technology users are not aware about errors, which are displayed dynamically on the web/app page.
- Form field’s label are not provided or not associated with their respective form fields.
- At times Date widget or Time picker is not accessible for assistive technology user.
- Users are not aware that form is submitted successfully or not.
Experience of filling an accessible feedback form
I was very happy when I had submitted a feedback form successfully without anyone’s help. Below listed are some good points which was coded in the form:
- Form was coded very well using native HTML .
- Instructions about mandatory fields were provided at the top of the form and was mentioned in the form fields too.
- Form fields were labelled appropriately and associated with the respective form fields.
- The radio buttons were grouped programmatically.
- Alert/Error messages were provided if user hits on submit button failing to fill any mandatory field.
As you make your website content accessible for your customers, it is also essential to make the forms, if any, accessible and usable to people with disabilities. A good accessible feedback form would go a long way in helping you understand your customer and also gather important information about your products and services.