This page gathers the IT Subcommittee's resources and reviews of the accessibility of Doodle.com. This page will be updated as new information is available or further reviews are conducted.
There are several ways to use Doodle.com. Our testing focused on Poll Creation and Filling out a Poll. We did not test the full Premium Doodle account, the advanced calendaring/enterprise options, or the mobile apps.
In general, the Monthly and Text poll creation pages are generally accessible via keyboard and/or with a screen reader. The default option, Weekly, is NOT accessible, as it requires the use of the mouse to select time blocks, and the only text on that is screen reader accessible is the delete option. The best browser to use is Chrome, as some options are not accessible in Safari. Firefox had too many barriers to even test the page. There is a "more" option menu once you create a poll which is not accessible at all by keyboard or screen reader. If you are using the Text poll option, you may find your usual surveying software to be preferable, as it functions the same as just entering any text in the creation fields.
Voting in a Doodle Poll
When filling out a Doodle Poll, the Table view is generally accessible. It comes up as a standard table with headings, but it doesn’t have audio cues for the Yes if Needed/Maybe option. JAWS has some issues reading the state of the checkboxes. Calendar view is less accessible.
- Archived version of University of Michigan's Accessible Polling and Screen Readers page.
- There is no VPAT or support page devoted to accessibility for Doodle.com, nor is there a contact email specifically for accessibility questions.
- Doodle.com Help (support) pages.
Known Accessibility Issues
There are several barriers in keyboard navigation. In our testing, we found that it didn’t work at all in Safari or Firefox; Chrome was the only browser that had successful keyboard nav on Doodle.com. There are several buttons on multiple pages that are only accessible by mouse--the “Log In” and “Sign Up” (though this doesn’t affect every page), and as a poll creator the More options are inaccessible. On some of the pages, you have to cycle through the entire page in order to access some of the buttons; for example, when you use Text to create a poll, in order to delete options you have to tab through the entire page to get to the delete button.
The default state in creating a poll, Weekly, is completely non-functional with a keyboard, unless you’re using Mouse Keys (PC, Mac). There is a report that the Bookable Calendar editing page doesn’t use proper focus states to allow for keyboard ease-of-use.
There are no known keyboard shortcuts for Doodle polls.
Creating and voting on a poll were tested with Chrome using NVDA, VoiceOver, and JAWS. VoiceOver and JAWS didn’t work as well as NVDA. Firefox didn't work at all with any screen readers.
Creating a Poll
The Create Poll button (a large orange button with a white plus sign) is not labeled as the Create Poll button in any way. When using a screen reader, it’s the button immediately after the Doodle “logo.”
The default poll creation state, Weekly, is not usable with any screen readers. There is an invisible pop-up that can only be closed using a mouse. To select blocks of time, you must use a mouse.
Monthly view is usable, but it may be cognitively exhausting to navigate, as there are several drop down menus to select. Once you select the days of the month you want to schedule meetings, you need to select “Add time” and then select the time from a dropdown menu in 15 minutes increments. You can only skip down to afternoon times if you use military numbering (i.e. “13” for “1pm”), otherwise it’ll skip down to 1am. It doesn’t always recognize when you type in a time, such as “10:00am”. If you select several days but each day needs different times, you will need to skip the time entry to select the “Need different times for each day?” link to bring up the full interface.
Text view is the most accessible, as it allows for plain text entry of dates and times. The only issue is that in order to delete an option, you have to cycle through the entire page before you can get to the “remove option” buttons, and they do not read the text that accompanies the delete. You must remember which option you want to delete in the list. Otherwise, you can enter any sort of text in the text options. If you have an existing survey application that you prefer to use, it might be easier than using the Text Doodle poll, since the end result is the same as any other survey instrument.
In viewing the results of a poll, the screen reader will only read how many votes each option received. You can’t navigate to see who voted for which option, or whether some of the votes were “maybe.” When using JAWS, it's been reported that the dates are perceived as an image and cannot be read by JAWS.
Voting in a Poll
Table view is the most accessible for a screen reader when voting in a poll. It was reported that JAWS doesn't perceive the checkboxes unless you created the poll, and instead only reads "graphic description." The Monthly view, if available, can be cognitively exhausting to navigate, as it isn’t always clear whether you selected something, or where you are at. In either case, the only audio cues for the checkboxes is “Selected/Unselected.” While you can activate the “maybe” option, there is no audio cue to show that you had done so. For a screen reader, you will hear Yes as “selected,” Maybe as no audio after activating the checkmark, and no is “unselected.”
Captioning and Alt Text for Audio/Video
In general, Doodle.com doesn’t use images for major navigation purposes in creating a poll. When voting on a poll and using the “Yes, if need be” or “Maybe” option, there is a secondary image overlay with no alt text that comes up to indicate the “maybe” vote. Many images on the dashboard/landing page for the site have insufficient alt text, such as “Hero Image” or “Personal Illustration,” but they can be considered decorative. The images on the support documentation use insufficient alt text, such as ”Screenshot 04-14-2020 03.20.4.jpg”.
The only videos on the site are the YouTube videos that are part of the Support documentation. The embedded videos use YouTube’s auto-captioning only, and there are no corrected transcripts available.
Basic Web Accessibility
- The links on all pages only have an underline when you hover over them. This may be a barrier to some users.
- The contrast, for the most part, is sufficient, except for some feedback options that do not get in the way of the user creating or voting on a Doodle poll.
- The pages do not use properly structured headings, as everything is an H1, and may cause some confusion if navigating by headings.
- At magnifications over 200%, some areas of the page become inaccessible.
- All pages are missing a “Skip to Navigation” or “Skip to Main Content” links.
- 2016 tweet by Doodle.com (not accessible)
- 2016 post on NFB.org (accessible in terms of filling out an already set up form, but not sure how accessible it is to set up)
- 2016 post on NFB.org (not accessible to set up, but haven’t tried all views)
- 2016 post on NFB.org (accessible to create if you use the text view, not calendar)
- 2012 blog post on doodle.com (mentions optimized accessibility for Doodle iPad app)
- 2011 blog post by Terrill Thompson