Accessibility Poker – Walking away from the deal

This is a friendly reminder, that all stories with George are fiction.

Unexpected start

“Hi George, you can call me Polly.”
“Hi Polly.”
“Thanks for joining in remotely. I have meetings set up for the whole day. The first is at 9 o’clock.”

“Excuse me, but my next appointment is at 9.”
“But how can we solve my problems, George?”
“Norman told me that you have great leadership skills. And I help leaders.”

Unexpected business

“And Norman told me that you could help me. Let’s see what we can do before 9.

My company makes haptic gloves for virtual reality. Are you familiar with these terms?”
“So, your company makes gloves which enables me to move and feel objects in an imaginary world. Am I right?”
“You described it well.”

So, I have to help you with the gloves.”
“It’s something different.”

“For the fashion industry we made a low end or cheap version of the glove. You can only feel with the finger point of your index finger. You do feel the fabric like wool or silk.

One day a researcher asked whether we could make software to emulate braille. We said: “Sure. You can even develop it yourself. You can download the Software Development Kit from our website.””

“So, I have to help you with the software?”
“It’s something different.”

“The researcher made software and put it online. Then sales went out of the roof?”
“So, I have to help you with the product management?”
“It’s something different.”

Unexpected hurdle

“My marketing team looked at the numbers on a daily basis and noticed something strange. A lot of people did not order.”
“Is this not a common behaviour?”
“That was my first thought.

Then they showed me the patterns before the braille software was released. The percentage of people walking away from the deal was 70% instead of 20%.”
“That is a lot of money, Polly”

“It was worse. Customer service asked permission from a caller to share the call with colleagues. The same day I set up a short meeting for the whole web team. Then I played the recording of the talk.

A blind man really wanted to buy a glove, but he had to recognise pictures. This was needed to make sure that he was a human being. He could not see the pictures and the screen reader could not find any description of the pictures.

I asked the team not to help me. I asked them not to help the company, but to help this blind man.”

Unexpected work

“The web team did some research and found the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines provided tips to make a web site accessible for blind people.

With this information they solved the problem within a day.”

“Polly, you acted great,”
“George, I have a great team.

At the moment the backlog is overflowing with accessibility tickets. The Product Owner does not know how to prioritise the tickets.”

“Polly, if I understand the problem, your web team has more than enough work to do, but it does not know where to start.”

“Yes. You described it well.”

Unexpected effort

“Polly, you wanted to help the blind man. Let’s go back to the pictures problem. How much time or effort would a blind person need to recognise the pictures?”
“I cannot estimate this. It could be hours, weeks, or even ages.”

“How much time or effort would a blind person need to recognise the pictures at the moment?”
“It could be 5 minutes, but it might be still too long.”

“Does your team use any ways to estimate their work?
“They use Planning Poker.”

“Okay. What would you estimate the effort of a normal person to recognise the pictures?”
“That would be 5.”

“Okay. What would you estimate the effort of the blind man to recognise the pictures?”
“It is an 8.”

What number would you give to the situation of the pictures without the alternative texts?
“I would give it infinity.”

Unexpected technique

“Wait. You mean that the web team has to use Planning Poker cards to estimate the effort of a blind person to complete a step?

This can be quite fast. The web team members can show their numbers at the same time. Differences can be discussed in minutes. The number for accessibility should be agreed upon without lengthy meetings.

The tickets with the highest numbers will be put on the top of the backlog. I really like Accessibility Poker.”

“Polly, those are your words. You figured out the solution yourself.”

“You mean, that this is something new?”
“That’s right. I only asked questions.

It’s 9. Sorry, I have to go. Goodbye Polly”
“Goodbye George.

“Wait George. Too late. I know that you hung up and you cannot hear me.
Thank you, George.”

An expected end

“Hi Polly.”
“Hi John. Hi everyone.”

“I expected George. Is he preparing a workshop or brainstorm session?”
“It’s something different.”

To be continued.