Writing or managing a web site? Textise can help.

How can Textise help you?

If you manage or develop web sites, you’ll know how important accessibility and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) are. So, to make it easy for everyone to use your site – including, for example, people with various sorts of vision impairment or dyslexia – you give them options for font size and colour, and you make sure that images have ALT tags, and so on, and you ensure that search engines can easily trawl and uderstand your content. But did you know that Textise can help you to make your site even friendlier for everyone?

Here at Subjunctive Software, we’ve been writing and improving Textise for over 10 years. Textise will convert any public-facing web page into clear, readable text at the push of a button, and this gives you various ways of improving the accessibility of your site, along with other benefits like exposing the underlying text that search engines use to index it. Not only that, but you can offer your users the opportunity to easily view your site in a readable text-only format. But how? you ask. Well…

Textise gives you the “screen reader view”

First off, by converting your pages to text in Textise, you’ll instantly see exactly what a screen reader “sees”. This can obviously give you valuable insights into various aspects of your page: the flow of the text, for example, and the use of internal bookmarks (that allow the user to skip over certain sections). Don’t take our word for it, though. According to thatware.co, Textise

can display what a screen reader sees as it analyses a web page – excellent for guaranteeing accessibility!

https://thatware.co/textise/

Textise de-clutters pages

One complaint often aimed at web pages by people with low-vision problems is that they find adverts and dynamic content distracting and confusing. Of course, you want your ads to be seen by the largest number of people possible but I assume you don’t want to alienate a sub-set of your user population with them. Textise can help by removing all ads and javascript trickery, leaving just the plain text (with links, of course). Using Textise, you can easily add a link to your pages that automatically converts them to text on the fly. This means you don’t have to create and maintain separate text-only pages. Keep reading to find out how easy this is.

Textise can be tailored by the user

The Textise Options page offers the user a variety of ways to tailor their experience. The font and background colours can be changed, along with font size, link style and a host of other things, any one of which can have a profound impact for people with dyslexia or low-vision.

Textise can help you check your UX design

In this authoritative article on UXDesign.cc, Designing accessible websites: guidelines that every UX designer needs to know, Alissa Condra recommends the use of Textise to make sure you haven’t used images of text instead of actual text (which would an absolute accessibilty no-no).

This is a great example of how Textise pulls back the shroud to reveal the web page within! 😀

In fact, Textise was even mentioned on WordPress’s own Accessibilty Day on October 2020. Deborah Edwards-Oñoro tooks notes on Martin Stehle’s presentation, Essential HTML Tweaks for Accessible Themes:

Is content in a meaningful order? A meaningful sequence of content is available not only visually but is accessible for assistive devices. To test: linearize your content by disabling CSS in your browser or use Textise.

https://www.lireo.com/takeaways-essential-html-tweaks-accessible-wordpress-themes/

Textise helps with SEO

Because Textise exposes the underlying text of your pages, it gives you a useful window into the way that search engines trawl through your content.

vye.agency has this to say about it –

Another factor that should be considered when checking on-page SEO is that search engines ‘see’ the page differently than your users.  The search engine spiders are unable to ‘view’ the colors and images on your page, nor do they necessarily ‘see’ the content in the same order as your human visitors.  Use a tool like Textise to see view your website without all the images and colors and JavaScript functions.  Make sure you can still navigate your site and that every image has a descriptive alt tag.

https://www.vye.agency/blog/10-ways-to-make-your-website-redesign-go-smoother

So what next?

Now you know what Textise can do, just hop over to Textise, type in the URL of your site, and see how it looks in text-only format. Does the text flow neatly and logically? Do all of your images have ALT or TITLE tags?

Next, consider the power of offering this facility to the users of your web site at the click of a link. For this, all you need do is add a simple JavaScript link to your pages and the work is done for you. Once that’s in place, with the addition of a reasonably-priced annual subscription direct from Subjunctive Software, you’re good to go. With a subscription, you also get a customised header on the text-only output, so people know you’re serious about doing everything you can to offer the most accesible site possible, regardless of any other measures you may have taken. For technical details, see the Textise page for web developers. To talk to us about a subscription, get in touch.

Other sources

Here are a few more articles about Textise plus links to some sites that use it to improve their UX.

This one’s from Reddit:

Manchester Disabled People’s Action Group http://www.mdpag.org.uk/

International Blind Sports Federation https://ibsasport.org/

Loras College Library (CIT 322 Web Usability) https://library.loras.edu/c.php?g=100688&p=652088

YourStory

Textise works pretty fast and is one of the best services on the internet. You can use it to extract text from HTML online without compromising on quality. It is customizable and can automate the text scraping tasks. In general, Textise is more of an online application than a full-scale web data scraper. If you have a large number of PDF files or HTML files and want to scrape text from all of them, then Textise will definitely ease your work.

Read more at: https://yourstory.com/mystory/ffa73c60e6-how-to-extract-text-fr

Textise’s competition

And finally, if you’d to know a little more about other accesibility “services”, have a read of this from SlashDot. A comment on the page reads, “Also: textise.net is your friend. It helps to make unusable sites useable if you just want to read the text.” We think the message is clear.

Hundreds of people with disabilities have complained about issues with automated accessibility web services, whose popularity has risen sharply in recent years because of advances in A.I. and new legal pressures on companies to make their websites accessible. From a report:Over a dozen companies provide these tools. Two of the largest, AudioEye and UserWay, are publicly traded and reported revenues in the millions in recent financial statements. Some charge monthly fees ranging from about $50 to about $1,000, according to their websites, while others charge annual fees in the several-hundred-dollar or thousand-dollar range. (Pricing is typically presented in tiers and depends on how many pages a site has.) These companies list major corporations like Hulu, eBay and Uniqlo, as well as hospitals and local governments, among their clients. Built into their pitch is often a reassurance that their services will not only help people who are blind or low vision use the internet more easily but also keep companies from facing the litigation that can arise if they don’t make their sites accessible. But it’s not working out that way.

Users like Mr. Perdue [an anecdote in the linked story] say the software offers little help, and some of the clients that use AudioEye, accessiBe and UserWay are facing legal action anyway. Last year, more than 400 companies with an accessibility widget or overlay on their website were sued over accessibility, according to data collected by a digital accessibility provider. “I’ve not yet found a single one that makes my life better,” said Mr. Perdue, 38, who lives in Queens. He added, “I spend more time working around these overlays than I actually do navigating the website.” Last year, over 700 accessibility advocates and web developers signed an open letter calling on organizations to stop using these tools, writing that the practical value of the new features was “largely overstated” and that the “overlays themselves may have accessibility problems.” The letter also noted that, like Mr. Perdue, many blind users already had screen readers or other software to help them while online.

https://tech.slashdot.org/story/22/07/13/1957219/for-blind-internet-users-the-fix-can-be-worse-than-the-flaws

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