Have you tried using the Finna.fi search service with one hand? What about when you are tired and cannot concentrate properly? Or using a screen reader?
Accessibility – or the ease of use of a service – is essential in the development of Finna.
“Hardly anyone wants to use a service that is difficult to understand and causes stress”, says Pasi Tiisanoja, usability engineer at the National Library of Finland.
“Our goal is that the use of Finna is easy for everyone, regardless of whether the user has a hearing or visual impairment or reading or learning difficulties”, Tiisanoja says.
Accessibility applies to the whole team
Finna is being developed by the National Library of Finland, where accessibility concerns the whole Finna team.
“Usability engineers need to come up with solutions that are clear and understandable for users. Programmers must ensure that the source code is flawless and adheres to standards and guidelines. In communication, accessibility means that as clear and understandable language as possible is used”, says Tiisanoja.
Testing reveals any usability issues
Finna’s programmers test usability using different tools. They cannot, however, reveal all issues.
“Key factors in addition to technical implementation include the ease of use and understandability. We request users to test these factors.”
Accessibility is no novelty for the Finna team. “Our aim from the very beginning was to design the service for everyone”, Tiisanoja says.
The EU Web Accessibility Directive has since entered into force in Finland, requiring the authorities to make their digital services accessible.
Have you noticed an accessibility issue in Finna? Report it to us by completing the feedback form.
More information about the accessibility of Finna:
Pasi Tiisanoja, usability engineer, National Library of Finland, pasi.tiisanoja(at)helsinki.fi
More information about accessibility (in Finnish)