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Apple’s inaccessible homepage

By Tim Reader, 27 January 2014
In: Miscellaneous

What a strange decision for Apple on announcing its 30th birthday and boasting that the Macintosh “was designed to be so easy to use that people could actually use it” that they publish the piece to a page that is not easy to use and highly inaccessible.

I’m as much of an Apple fan as the next geek – my office and home look like the Covent Garden store – but the following accessibility gaffes are hard to fathom from the world’s leading tech company.

1) 6 paragraphs of copy inside an image? Really?!

apple homepage image dimensions

Does anyone still do this? Have Apple not heard of web fonts? Clearly not if they’re using a big fat image for the only copy on this page, just so they can use their favourite font.

  • Accessibility fail: users cannot select the text from this page if they wanted to copy/paste it. The alt tag is far too long, and this isn’t correct use of the image tag.

2) No alt attribute in images

Well, apart from the first one that is masquerading as live text and has an alt attribute of 345 characters, the other images are missing basic alt text. I know there are some cases in modern web design where this is acceptable (where surrounding text provides the information, and the alt text would be redundant), but I don’t believe this is one of them.

  • Accessibility fail: from one extreme to the other with alt text. But you shouldn’t have missing alt tags on image elements. We learned that nearly 30 years ago…

no alt text

3) Not responsive

horizontal scroll

I’d never realised that the Apple site isn’t responsive. So it’s not just this anniversary page which is at fault. I don’t know if that’s better or worse.

  • Accessibility fail: on a smaller screen, some of the content is off screen by several hundred pixels and can only be reached via the dreaded horizontal scrollbar…

 

So Apple celebrate 30 years of the Mac with a homepage in the style of the kind of websites that those early models probably produced!