Results for Google Docs (Office suite)

Web 2.0 Service
Test Average: 67%
Reviewed 27 August 2009


Google docs offers a free online wordprocessor, spreadsheet, presentation tool, form filling applications. The office suite can be used when several authors wish to collaborate on one document or several. Revision can be seen, highlighted and a date stamp is automatically added. Saved files can be downloaded or e-mailed direct from the application. A table of contents can be added to the word processed documents and the text has good zoom features.

Accessibility Testing Results

Users with eyesight problems will have trouble using this web 2.0 service. It does not react well to be enlarged and is not 100% usable with a screen reader. Signing up to the service will be difficult as the login form captcha is not very accessible for the visually impaired.

# Test Score Summary
1Login, Signup and Other Forms Accessible Good The Google signup form does not make thorough use of clear labels. A Captcha is used, which provides an audio alternative for screenreader users. However, it may be difficult to interpret both the audio and visual forms.
2Image ALT Attributes Excellent Text alternatives for images in this product are not necessary as the images are immaterial to content.
3Link Target Definitions Excellent All links, including images which would otherwise be ambiguous, have titles to uniquely identify them.
4Frame Titles and Layout Excellent No frames or iframes, which can be disorientating for screen-readers, are used in the design.
5Removal of Stylesheet Fair The site is hard to use without the stylesheet. The text editing is affected by the javascript and may not be viewed in edit mode in some text browsers. It is also not possible to navigate to certain areas of the site if the stylesheet has been removed.
6Audio/Video Features Good Generally does not have multimedia as text based although videos and graphics can be added to presentations. Captioning is not possible within the service but has to be added via YouTube.
7Video/animations - audio descriptions Good Generally does not have multimedia as text based although videos and graphics can be added to presentations. Audio descriptions are not possible within the service but have to be added via YouTube.
8Appropriate use of Tables Fair Data tables have been used frequently without headers, which is problematic for users with screenreaders.
9Tab Orderings Correct and Logical Good Tab order is good but the more documents and people sharing a document the more links that are generated. Tab order is logical, and follows a top-to-bottom format, which is continued throughout the use of tables and forms.
10Page Functionality with Keyboard Good Keyboard access is good but you have to learn the shortcuts to be able to edit documents, save and send etc. Editing documents can cause some problems as some shortcuts are not obvious.
11Accessibility of Text Editors Fair This is good if you know all the keyboard shortcuts provided by Google. However it can be difficult to tab out of the text editor and gain access to the toolbar.
12Appropriate Feedback with Forms Good The site does not always offer suitable feedback, but signup forms provide feedback on password strength and username availability, and there are no time restrictions.
13Contrast and Colour Check Excellent Site contrast is generally good, although some issues arose with the default colour settings such as light blue on white. Alternative colour can be used with browser changes to suit the user.
14Page Integrity when Zooming Fair The website maintains the layout when zoomed, and ensures that some features such as the text editor toolbar remain accessible. However navigation may become difficult in some browsers, which can cause editing documents to be problematic.
15Text size, style, blinking elements and Readability Good The majority of text on the site is size ten, which is readable but may be uncomfortable for some. There is no flashing or blinking content on the site.

Disability-Tailored Results

The following table shows how well the product performs for people with disabilities, as listed in the Disabilities section.

Percentages do not indicate how much of a site is accessible. They indicate the average figure of test results relevant to each disability. Select a disability to see which tests are relevant to it.

Disability Average Score
Colour Deficiencies78%
Partially Sighted and Visual Acuity71%
Deaf/Hard of Hearing67%
Blind and Severe Visual Impairments67%
Visual Stress67%
Cognitive Learning Disabilities64%
Specific Learning Differences (including Dyslexia)60%

Activities you can do with Google Docs (Office suite)