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Booking tickets online –the highs and lows of the experience

I am planning a trip to Gods own Country, Kerala in a couple of months and recently visited the Indian Railways website to book my tickets online. The experience was mixed.


The site is very nice even though it is missing some accessibility guidelines. Let me share the good things first.

I could recognize the link which I required by navigating through the link.

eg:- link for seat availability, Internet reservation link etc

The links are in sequential order, so it makes navigation more easy.

The most used links are given in a table which is a very useful thing for users of screen reader.

(giving a label or summary to the table works more efficiently)

  • The web pages are small and concise. It makes less confusion.

  • Graphics and frames are less in number, It is good for accessibility.

I could find a lot of scope for improvement from the accessibility point of view, that I am enlisting here. Some food for thought !!!!

  • Relevent text:-

The graphics of this website are not having text which tells about the graphic, the screen reader can recognize only the label of the graphic but it cannot make what the graphic contains.

  • About links:-

Only a few links can be recognized by its labels. It is better to give relevant labels to the links or provide some text after the link which speaks about the link. Then the user can see the label or the text of the link and make sure that this link is the required one.

For example : The link “bottom1” is taking the focus to the home page but it cannot be recognized by its label. The link “IRCTC” is for online reservation but it is highly impossible to recognize it.

  • Opening new browser window:-

In most of the links the focus is moving to new browser window so it is confusing to the user in checking the focus, Even the link to move the focus to home page .i.e. link “bottom1” cannot work when a new browser window is opened.

  • Assigning short cut keys:-
    It would be helpful if short-cut keys are available for usually used links like “link for PNR status”, “link for train enquiry” etc.

  • Font size :-

The font size has to be increased to 12 so that the low visioned users can also use the website more easily.

  • Giving proper labels to frames:-

If the labels of the frames are resembling the contents of the frame the navigation becomes more easy.

Hope these will be helpful the crusaders of accessibility !!!