While having a bit of a browse around today, I stumbled upon a report put together by 29 Digital entitled UK Banking Accessibility Review. I was particularly pleased to see that the report included Nationwide, because often these reports neglect to include building societies and focus only on the big banks (for those not sure what the difference is, here is Wikipedia’s low-down on building societies and Nationwide). I was even more pleased to see how well it fared:
Nationwide takes the "Top of the Class" award, while other well-performing
sites include NatWest, First Direct, Royal Bank of Scotland and Yorkshire.
Of our 19 sites, four (21%) have made the leap to CSS-only layout
(Barclays, Lloyds TSB, First Direct, Nationwide); this is encouraging,
as it is only in the last year or so that this "web standards" approach
to site design has gained in popularity.
As with previous tests, there are some good examples along with some very
bad examples in our group of websites. Many are easy to comprehend in a
text-only view - Abbey, Barclays, First Direct, Coventry, and in particular
Nationwide all work well
Of the rest Barclays, Cahoot, First Direct and Nationwide appear to be
using heading tags as intended.
I was pleased to see that after a year away, when my influence over matters of accessibility at Nationwide would naturally have weakened, the web site is still doing well. There’s always more that can be done (and I could list lots of improvements and changes if I had my way, before you start to pick holes that I already know are there!), but this does prove one thing at least: once the culture of web accessibility has been ingrained in a company, once it’s become part of the development and testing process, once it’s become just another thing that you do as part of your daily job, it’s very difficult to get things too badly wrong!
Anyway, self-promoting (kinda) pride ends here …