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New Website Accessibility Complaint

lukesamsowden
Bath Submerger

Hi everyone!

 

So after reading a thread on Reddit by one of the Software Builders who designed the new website in which they discussed telling their higher up that there was problems with the new Website and clearly being ignored. They said that we should post our frustrations about the new Website both in the Community and on Social Media, so this is what i'm doing in hopes that someone high up at Lush see this. I highly doubt they will and even if they do I don't think they will listen, but here goes.

 

I'm going to concentrate on the Accessibility issues i've found, as with me being Visually Impaired and using a screen reader, that's how i've come across these issues.

 

Firstly, I have a very, very minimal amount of Vision left so can sometimes see some of the Animations that clutter up most of the page when it first loads. These either need totally removing, or at least shrinking so that you can attempt to navigate the Website. I don't suffer from any neurological impairments, but looking at the main page for three minutes trying to navigate the Website caused a Migraine, so if you do, my thoughts are with you.

 

Secondly the menus are now an utter nightmare. I agree that the old Website needed some kind of Filtering System added but this is atrocious. It doesn't get any better on the Homepage either. Where as a fully sighted person, I did get a friend to check, might see four links, eg New, Bath Bombs, Shower Gels, etc and then a little Animation, when using a Screen Reader, you just get a list of every link next to each other. Also why is it in such a weird order? Bath Bombs then Haircare, then Shower, then Skincare, it makes no sense. If you're fully sighted, the best way I can explain the odd order, is the Milk being next to Pet Food, and then Fruit being next to the Meat in a Supermarket.

Thirdly, and my main reason for this post, When I do finally navigate to a Category, say Bath Bombs for instance, and have chosen a Filter and tap on View Products. When using a Screen Reader, nothing happens. So basically what you've done here is essentially said if you're Blind and using a Screen Reader, you can't shop with us. By the way, this is actually discrimination, as you've barred Disabled people from accessing a service any fully sighted person could access.

 

Also, why has Alt Text not been added to  any of the Product Pictures? For anyone who doesn't know what this is, when you upload a Picture to any Website or Social Media Site, you can add a little piece of Code to your Picture so that anyone who uses a Screen Reader can tell what the Picture is of. Yes the old Website had very basic Alt Text, but at least it was there. It takes literally seconds to add it. If i, someone who is Visually Impaired, can add Alt Text on Pictures for my other Visually Impaired readers, an international Brand has absolutely no excuse. 

Fourthly, and my final point for now. The entire look of the Website is just plain awful and looks like you've asked a Primary School Student to design it as their I.T project. As someone who runs a Website myself, when you're redesigning a Website, you don't just redesign it and hit publish, you spend several days or week tweaking it and getting people to test it out. Clearly this hasn't been done.

 

As I said, I doubt any one higher up at Lush will actually see this, but I can hope, and I suggest that anyone else who has problems with the new Website voice their opinions, both on here and on Social Media. Who knows, if enough people do, it might actually get fixed.

 

Thanks for reading my very long rant.

Luke X
Check out my Blog at https://www.lukesamsowden.com/ or my Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/lukesamsowden/
7 Replies 7

YsorandomxP
Groovy Kind of Lushie

Couldn't agree more! Like i ppsted in my previous thread i feel like Lush has some explaining to do bc it sounds like it could be a toxic work for the devs. The site looks like an Alpha build at most and i'm sure it was pushed out to coincide with the ASOS collab. I dont hate the looks, but that flashing front page video has to go an a menu bar has to be reinstated aswell as a port of all the old articles and ingredient lists. That's my main gripe: them basically just deleting everything that made Lush special and going for a basic looking site that looks like it was ported from mobile. As someone who has his full sight i'm actually realmy cueiois how the official app functions for you and yoir screen reader bc that one has even mess navigational functions. Cheers!


#TeamGrannyTakesADip

ShanRo
Fresh Starter

Absolutely agree! I know so much work goes into developing a website like this, but there are clear deficits to it and I hope that adding to the conversation will help Lush in refining this new website.

The home page causes me an instant headache with its constant flashing quick-change videos...I love Lush but now I'm finding this website literally painful to use. Beyond that, the search features are not intuitive and I personally struggle with the design choice to not actually have a menu bar to find what you're after...the tags are awkward to navigate and this is coming from someone who's fully sighted. This has got to be difficult for those who are visually impaired, it doesn't seem like the new website was designed with the visually impaired in mind. This is disappointing for a company like Lush - which publicly promotes fair access, sustainable manufacturing and consumer ethics. How have they forgotten this when developing the new website...it's a core principle.

I know it's early days and the website has only just been launched but changes and updates seem sourly needed if not inevitable.

LemonBunny
Ickle Lushie Bot

Agree with all the concerns highlighted on this thread about the new site and the accessibility issues. 

 

I usually enjoy having a browse of the website but this is such hard work now and causes significant visual discomfort with those flashing videos so I’ve no desire to use the new site. The accounts and wish lists being deleted was also very disappointing. 

Having seen the open letter from a staff member both on here and the sub-Reddit, it seems many of the issue were raised internally, which is a huge shame as many, if not all, the problems could have been avoided (or at least rectified before launching) by acting on the advice of the experts Lush themselves hired.  

Snow-Ferret
Bathing Master

Absolutely amazing post! I work for a charity that supports blind and partially sighted individuals and couldn’t believe what they had done to the webpage and how inaccessible it now is. If you are happy to share, what Accessibility Software and version do you use? If Lush could have an idea of the sorts of software and the most common versions people are trying to use to access the site, then hopefully they will collaborate this information and work to ensure that the webpage meets the required standards for a wider range of Accessibility Software!

Thanks. I use a macbook air and iPhone 12 both with voiceover. 

Luke X
Check out my Blog at https://www.lukesamsowden.com/ or my Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/lukesamsowden/

grace
Community Manager

hey Luke,

 

Thank you so much for this valuable feedback, we truly appreciate it and are so sorry for the stress and upset that the new website has caused you. Rest assured, we will make the necessary improvements ASAP. Are you happy for us to contact you about making the whole thing more accessible? 

 

Hope to speak soon.

🤗

Hi Grace. I wouldn’t call it upset it’s just infuriating that accessibility or usability wasn’t thought about at all when the Website was being redesigned. Totally happy for you to contact me. You can reach me at [email protected] 

Luke X
Check out my Blog at https://www.lukesamsowden.com/ or my Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/lukesamsowden/