While the current version of the Foursquare iPhone app is usable by blind people with VoiceOver, I would like to see its accessibility get even better.
Specifically, I am concerned about unlabeled buttons, fields and other controls that make using portions of the app confusing.
A couple of examples may help start a productive discussion
While looking at a user's profile, several buttons are labeled "user greybutton." What does that mean? Please add descriptive text labels to those buttons.
While checking in, the screen for shouting and sharing is confusing due to unlabeled buttons and fields. There are two text fields on that screen. Which one is the edit field for entering the text to accompany the Twitter posting? What do the unlabeled buttons on that screen really mean? What is "modal_t"? How can the VoiceOver easily determine which option is on and which is off?
Have Foursquare's iOS developers taken a look at Apple's accessibility programming guide? It contains a wealth of useful information about developing applications that work with Apple's built-in VoiceOver screen reader.
I hope Foursquare will address these accessibility concerns in an update in the near future.
Help get this topic noticed by sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or email.
I would echo Darrell's observations, and add that I think the highest priority issue is improving the accessibility of the friends screen. There is redundant text read when a VoiceOver user navigates the friends screen. A VoiceOver user cannot get the date and time information from a friend screen checkin. Also I have not found a way with VoiceOver to access the "Friends In Other Citys," view in the application.
I or someone else can record an audio file to demonstrate the issues with the friends screen.
I know people that still have versions of the app from say January 2010 because the old versions were much more accessible. These users are unable to do an iOS Update All aploications largely due to the status of the Foursquare application.
I also know of blind users who have uninstalled Foursquare, given up essentially, because of the iOS accessibility issues.
both @ppatel and I are also available to come in to your NYC offices to demonstrate the VoiceOver experience, and help you in any way that we can.
I use 4 square on the iPhone using voiceover and find these issues to be inconvenient, but not blockers to my being able to use the app..
I would love to see the items labeled, as having correctly labelled butons and fields would improve my user experience.
Thanks for a great social app,
Jim barbour jbar ta barcore dot com
Well something like the Twitter and Facebook button labels are just inconveniences, though the unlabeled buttons under a users profile do create a real barrier. Also I have not found a work around to access the "friends in other citys" view.
So yes you can do the basic checkin, but there are essential parts of the experience (like looking at the Friends In Other Citys view) that are not useable in the current app.
My wife has just signed up on Foursquare. She was unable to post her checkins to Twitter. I discovered that "modal t" was not selected. Grrr. Foursquare can do better than that from an accessibility standpoint. Please use the tools Apple provided to make Foursquare more accessible.
In addition, please address accessibility issues at the foursquare.com website. Primarily, I'm talking about missing alt text and unlabeled Flash controls.
This guy Darrell Shandrow just sounds a little too demanding for me. almost as if he is owed something. especially when you have other check in app choices such as gowalla and brightkite. no one makes you use foursquare.
there is a bus that is a quarter mile away from my apartment and only runs half an hour. sure I could call the city and wine about me being blind and helpless and what ever or, I can call a cab, brive a friend, or just find another way to get it done. I am blind and I am happy with foursqares usability at this point. but don't take for granted what we have sir. and how dare you come up on here with a demanding tone telling them to fix website flawse and app buttons as if you actually paid anything for it.
You have options, go use them
CEO - CommTech LLC
Technology Consultants at their best