ONOFF: another failed redesign
This article is co-authored with Robert Nyman.
The large Swedish consumer electronics chain ONOFF recently launched a new website (www.onoff.se) with a brand new design and rewritten code. Normally we believe it’s up to every privately owned company to decide how accessible they want to make their website. It’s their call to decide how many potential customers they want to reach and how they want to treat their visitors.
With that in mind it was very interesting to see the full-page ads that ONOFF recently ran in national newspapers. In the ads they talk about their new website and tout just how accessible it supposedly is.
Loosely translated from Swedish:
The updated design is also mostly adapted accessibility-wise for customers with disabilities, e.g. visual or hearing impairments.
When taking a closer look at the new website, excited to learn that a major company has released a new, accessible website, you start wondering if you’re looking at the same website they’re talking about. A quick glance immediately reveals some major coding issues:
- The code is very lacking in semantics. There is only one heading per page and no list elements are used, which is odd considering that the site contains many lists.
- Links using the
<a href="#" onclick="return goURL('/online/se/inet.nsf/vProdList/TVTV0-15tumvendor1?opendocument',this)" title="0-15 tum" class="tlink">0-15 tum</a>. ONOFF clearly has no interest whatsoever in search engines indexing their site.
- Keyboard and mobile phone users have to tab through no less than 341 links to get to the page content.
- The layout is table-based.
When it comes to good coding in general and separating content from presentation and interaction, www.onoff.se is nothing short of a complete disaster. The homepage HTML is 111 kilobytes, has 271 (!) inline
onclick event handlers, 79 links that use the
And all this makes us wonder: how hard can it be? It’s only HTML coding we’re talking about, not rocket science. But apparently HTML is much more difficult than the people who built this site realise. ONOFF’s accessibility claim has no merit. If we talk about the term accessibility in a broader sense, it’s just pathetic that people can’t navigate to their website without adding a www prefix.
Conclusively: If you’re going to use full-page ads in national newspapers to claim that your new website is accessible, you’d better make sure it really is accessible.