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Is Google Discriminating? No Social Circles For Visually Impaired in Google+

04 August, 2011 by Peter Verhoeven

Social media in general has major accessibility problems. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook all certainly need improvement. Google latest attempt at social media, Google Plus, launched a short time ago. This time, Google says they considered accessibility of Google plus from day 1. But is that true?

The most important feature in a social media application is the ability to connect with other people and to share information with them.

I do not know what Google meant by consider accessibility from day 1, because currently Google plus is highlly inaccessible.

Important in Google plus are circles. A Circle is a group of people you want to share information with. Like in daily life you can share different information with different people in circles. The idea behind circles is that information you are sharing with your teacher or boss is not the same as information you like to share with your friends or family.

In Google plus you get a list of suggested people you may know and add to one of your circles. To add a person to a specific circle (Friends, Family, Colleagues, Follow), you can add that person to a circle by drag and drop with your mouse.

Worldwide there are millions of people, including millions of visually impaired, who can not use a mouse. They must do all interaction with Google plus by using the keyboard and are not able to add any person to a circle!

It is hard to believe that Google plus accessibility was considerd from day 1. Maybe Google meant that they forget accessibility from day 1, or day 1 is anywhere in the future?

If they really consider accessibilty in Google plus, they add keyboard support for this important feature. For example a simple sollution would be: first select the person in the suggested list and after that select the circle you want the person to be in. Simple as that Google?

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