Web accessibility standards in China

11 Feb 2012 - 7:39pm
2 years ago
1 reply
1073 reads

Is anyone familiar with Web Accessibility Standards in China? Is there a central set of standards that China has agreed to? Is there any agreement or effort to adhere to the W3C guidelines?

I'm doing some research on web accesibility standards globally, and would appreciate any information you could share. Thanks in advance for your help and time.

Dave, Sr. UX Analyst



14 Feb 2012 - 9:30am

I have no idea if there are any centralized set of standards in China, but I can tell you from frequent time on many of the largest Chinese sites that... well, accessibility? I'd have to say it's seriously lacking, at least in certain noticeable ways. Things like non-titled/non-alted images for buttons (even a single image that covers several buttons in a row, and image-mapped!), and oh, the flash embedded everywhere, including for buttons. Don't get me started on the pop-up buttons that appear for literally a split-second and disappear (without you even touching anything). Granted, this impression comes mostly from weibo, baidu, and 115, so grain of salt required, but the accessibility and usability is often, hrm, not up to what I'm used to. I have no idea as to formal accessibility, but in general terms, I don't see a lot to inspire confidence that accessibility (or even usability) are significant issues.

Actually, the places where I find anywhere near decent accessibility or usability are where a site's patterns are obviously based on western (Facebook, Flickr, Gmail, etc) big-name apps. I say that, but sometimes it seems as though the visual pattern got adopted without an understanding of any concerns that may have driven the original design. (Like using FB's color scheme but doing the buttons as images, not CSS-based.) Also, some things are cultural: the cancel button is more likely to be soft gray than red, and red (being a positive color, for the most part, not one associated with 'stop') may also be the text-color for the action you're supposed to take.

I should note that Korean sites are only a shade better, while many of the Japanese media & shopping sites I've seen are absolute paragons of anti-usability, so I don't think it's just China. I know that's not quite what you asked for, but since I don't see anyone else speaking up, I figured it was still at least better than nothing.

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