Latest WebAIM’s Million – some thoughts

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Another WebAIM’s Million, this time with different webpages. A tiny improvement, but more complexity at the same time. Can design annotations help preventing some issues that are still rising?

I love the initiatives that produce accessibility related data. WebAIM’s Million is for sure one of them. But recently I also found Web Accessibility Survey (opens in new window) that provides data about the end users and does not assume users only has one disability or only one way to access the web.

More data like this is key to make a better case for accessibility, especially in those organizations that are still not convinced yet – or that are just starting with their accessibility initiatives.

WebAIM’s Million 2024 (sixth in a row)

Main message is that 95.9% of webpages fail WCAG (automatically detected WCAG failures). But we need to consider that those are not the same websites as tested before (Tranco list (opens in new window) was used instead). This is still important for overall state of accessibility, but personally I would prefer if same list was used (to really have the trends on same sites). I guess same list would be problematic sometimes (some domains stop to exist), and the popularity of web pages changes as well, so not a big problem…

Complexity trend goes up, meaning that webpages have more elements, this is not a good indication when considering web sustainability as well.

As for WCAG errors – low contrast, missing alternative text for images, empty links and missing document language are improving, but missing form input labels and empty buttons are worse. This is kind of strange and perhaps indicate that developers need more accessibility leadership. Considering the gaps between design and development, at least. There are also more occurrences of pages without headings… Perhaps design annotations would really help here…

28% of ARIA menus (made with role="menu") introduced accessibility barriers due to the improper implementations. Please don’t use role="menu" for normal websites!

I like the fact that “click here”, “more” and similar link names are in decline. Let’s keep the good work here! But please don’t forget about the “skip to content” links. Seems like those are decreasing and sometimes even broke.

All reported e-commerce platforms have increased accessibility barriers. This is not encouraging, especially when we consider the European Accessibility Act. Hope that awareness will improve that…

Websites with common accessibility overlays had fewer accessibility errors than average sites. I would like to see the stats here that would provide information about how many websites used overlays. That would be a good key performance indicator for the future, considering the activities with overlays (acquisitions etc.). I can’t agree with the note that states WAVE disabled overlays before testing though. Some overlays can manipulate WAVE and I am afraid they will always be one step before, a moving target that can’t always be prevented.

Author: Bogdan Cerovac

I am IAAP certified Web Accessibility Specialist (from 2020) and was Google certified Mobile Web Specialist.

Work as digital agency co-owner web developer and accessibility lead.

Sole entrepreneur behind IDEA-lab Cerovac (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility lab) after work. Check out my Accessibility Services if you want me to help your with digital accessibility.

Also head of the expert council at Institute for Digital Accessibility A11Y.si (in Slovenian).

Living and working in Norway (🇳🇴), originally from Slovenia (🇸🇮), loves exploring the globe (🌐).

Nurturing the web from 1999, this blog from 2019.

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