Grading the usability of apps

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Hi all,

Following some discussion elsewhere on this forum, I am looking to add a usability rating to the App Directory. What I have in mind is that when you add an app to the App Directory, you would be asked to rate its usability. There would be a list of possible responses, and you select the one that most closely matches your experience of using the app.

At the moment, these are the choices I am looking to offer:

  1. The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.
  2. The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver, but the interface could be easier to navigate and use.
  3. The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver, but the interface makes the app very difficult to use.
  4. There are some minor accessibility issues with this app, but they are easy to deal with.
  5. There are some accessibility issues with this app, but it can still be used if you are willing to tolerate these issues and learn how to work around them.
  6. Some parts of the app are accessible with VoiceOver, but not enough to make it usable.
  7. The app is totally inaccessible.

I was able to easily think of apps that matched each of these descriptions.

I would welcome any feedback on this grading system. Are there too many choices, or too few? Can the wording be improved?





Submitted by Jim Tobias on Sunday, March 6, 2011

I think the 7 categories are okay; maybe the wording can be simplified or regularized a bit. The first 3 are fine; maybe 4-5 could begin with "There are some accessibility issues with this, but..." 5 could finish with "it is possible to work around them", just to shorten it a bit. I have a few related suggestions: 1. Let searches allow users to choose not a single usability category, but a threshold, as in "category 4 or better". 2. For categories 5 and worse, add a field for similar apps with higher ratings (so as to stimulate the developer to improve!) 3. Also for 5 or worse, but definitely for 7, add a field linking to your excellent complaint/advocacy form. BTW -- this is a great site, and should be a model for other crowdsourced accessibility resources!