User Experience

How much technical experience is needed to use Sitecues?

Assistive technologies (AT) typically focus on highly technical users with the most severe disabilities. By contrast, Sitecues is designed to make websites accessible to a much wider range of individuals, including web users with low technical sophistication. Sitecues has been carefully designed to be usable by a first-time user. Although helpful tips and detailed instructions are available from our user interface, these instructions are generally not necessary. From our usability testing and from client feedback, we find that first-time users are able to quickly grasp and use Sitecues without training or instructions.

What types of users does Sitecues help?

Sitecues helps users with the following conditions and needs:
Seniors and Baby Boomers: age-related loss of vision, dexterity, cognition
Low vision: non-correctable vision loss, (excluding people who are blind or legally blind, who would be better served by screen readers and screen magnifiers)
Low literacy and non-native English
Learning disailities: ADHD, dyslexia
Anyone with situational need: eye fatigue, low light, small displays
By design, we have included functionality that can assist all of these user conditions and needs. For more information on how we address specific user needs, please contact us.

Does Sitecues work with screen readers?

The primary use case for Sitecues is to help web users who do not already use an Assistive Technology, such as a screen reader. As such, Sitecues does not effectively replace or extend the functionality of screen readers. We have included ARIA within Sitecues to inform screen reader users of Stiecues’ existence and function within a web page. Because of our organization’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion, we ensure that Sitecues is fully Section 508 compliant and keyboard accessible.

Can't users just use the built-in browser zoom feature?

The inherent browser zoom feature does not address a number of user needs, most notably:
Quickly zooming in and out
Panning around a page one zoom has been applied
Listening to content
Easily finding the mouse cursor
Customizing the mouse size and color
Adjusting color contrast while retaining meaningful color indicators
Reformatting text for easy reading
Retaining an overview of the document while zooming in on interesting parts of a page
Navigating and entering content in forms
The Sitecues zoom provides more assistance for those struggling to use your website. For example, Sitecues also increases the size of the mouse cursor. A tiny cursor with a magnified zoom level does little to help users who cannot see well. The built-in browser zoom also does not offer features such as paragraph highlighting or human-sounding text-to-speech (TTS). Most of all, the built-in zoom quickly leads to horizontal scrollbars, whereas Sitecues provides contextual zooming, also known as our lens. Rather than zooming the page so much that it overflows the screen, users can just highlight content and press spacebar when they want to read an area of interest. Few users actually know about the magnification built into web browsers. The Sitecues badge is built to help users discover and understand how better to view and use your site.


What metrics will Sitecues provide?

Our metrics will focus on a number of key performance indicators (KPI) to help our partners determine how our assistive technology is helping their visitors and the impact sitecues is having on their business.
Broad KPI inquiries will include:
how many total user sessions there were
how many were unique visitors
on which pages Sitecues is used
how many pages per visit
average visit duration
Usage of specific features also will be captured, including:
how many unique visitors used a specific feature
frequency of page zoom usage
frequency of contextual zoom usage
frequency of speech usage
While metrics have the ability to show the success of providing AT to visitors, another of our goals is to provide our partners with the relevant and accurate data necessary to identify problem areas and improve the experience for all visitors. When used in conjunction with your own website analytics you will be able to determine buying power of users with disabilities, impact of Sitecues on customer service, conversion rates, satisfaction levels, etc.

How will you provide metrics?

The metrics collected by sitecues will be delivered via a web interface that customers will log into. This web interface will be secured by-customer in order to protect the data, and will be available only through a secure HTTPS connection. The data presented in the dashboard and spreadsheet format can be exported by the customer for use in other data analysis tools.


What languages does Sitecues support?

The Sitecues user interface is available in these languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Polish and Swedish. Additionally, Sitecues provides text-to-speech in these languages (with dialects in parentheses): English (America, British, Australian), French (European and Canadian), German, Icelandic. Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Spanish (European and American), Swedish, Turkish, Welsh. If your website supports multiple languages, Sitecues will support each language as long as the proper language attribute is included in your HTML markup. Please contact us if you have any questions about language support.

Which browsers does Sitecues support?

We support all major desktop browsers: Internet Explorer (version 11+), Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Mac Safari.

When will Sitecues support mobile phone and tablet users?

We are currently working on a mobile version of Sitecues, with a target release on Q3 2017. All Sitecues customers will receive the mobile version at that time.

With what types of content is Sitecues compatible?

We are compatible with most HTML, CSS, and JavaScript used in web pages. We are still improving compatibility for different types of content. Each site must go through a QA process before Sitecues integration can go live.

Is Sitecues compatible with Flash, PDFs, or Java applets?

Our priority is HTML content. Our technology is not currently compatible with PDFs or applets. That said, Flash videos can be opened in the lens (by selecting and pressing the spacebar).

Technology and Implementation

How does Sitecues work as part of a web browsing session? How does Sitecues impact users and non-users?

When any web user visits a site that has Sitecues, a minimal JavaScript library is loaded as part of the page load. When a website visitor interacts with the Sitecues badge, more JavaScript is loaded. This progressive loading of our JavaScript library serves to minimize the impact on non-users while allowing Sitecues users to benefit from a rich set of features. We have taken other steps to create a favorable experience for both Sitecues users and non-users:
  • The Sitecues JavaScript library is optimized, minimized, and compressed to be as small as possible – currently 20 KB.
  • As a web page loads, the Sitecues JavaScript library loads last -- after all other text, CSS, and scripts on a page have loaded.
  • In the unlikely event of downtime, all Sitecues functionality is gracefully degraded without interrupting normal website delivery to visitors.
Based on extensive testing and the experience of our customers, typical website visitors do not experience any additional latency from the addition of Sitecues to a website.

How does Sitecues store preferences? Does it rely on cookies?

Sitecues will automatically store a user's preferences on a website – applying the user’s previous zoom, speech, and color preferences the next time they visit the site. Sitecues does not use cookies. Instead, we employ local storage, a technology that better protects individual privacy while offering the convenience of user settings.

Does Sitecues require any maintenance by the website owner?

No maintenance is required on the part of the website owner. This is because the Sitecues library will be delivered through a CDN to ensure the most stable versions are available to all website visitors.

How is Sitecues installed on a website?

Installing Sitecues on your site can be done as follows: The Sitecues team first will QA your website to make sure that Sitecues works well with your varied content. We conduct both manual and automated tests on your entire site.We will provide you with Sitecues browser extensions (or other tools) so that you can perform your own manual, low-volume testing. The Sitecues JavaScript code then can be embedded into test suite pages to test the functionality for internal and/or limited external testing. We work together to set up an A/B test with Sitecues to measure external usage and benefit. Alternatively, we can develop an integration plan that meets the specific requirements of your organization.

Can we host it ourselves?

Sitecues is only offered as a Software-as-a-Service, so we do not have a self-hosted option. For large organizations, please let us know if this is a requirement.

Can we use it for internal employees on our intranet?

Yes. We can support any intranet implementation that has the ability to connect to our public content delivery network (CDN). We are able to deliver the same experience to internal employees as to external website visitors.

Can Sitecues be deployed to a portion of my website?

Yes – website owners have the option to deploy Sitecues to a single web page, to a sub-section of their website, or to their entire website. Sitecues can be added page-by-page, or else added to a page template to simplify deployment across a number of pages.

What happens to my site if any or all of your services are down?

Our library loads directly into a web browser from a CDN that is both redundant and scalable. All services, if unavailable, are gracefully degraded without interrupting normal delivery to visitors.


How much does Sitecues cost?

Sitecues is licensed on an annual basis, at a cost determined by a variety of metrics including but not exclusive to the traffic on your website and number of constituents that you serve. Sitecues offers different packages of services to different verticals. We have a service that is right sized for Large, Medium and Small Corporations as well as Government Agencies, State and Local Governments, Universities, Schools Systems and Non-Profits. For a price quote, contact sitecues@aisquared.com

What work is required to maintain our license?

Once we give you the Sitecues integration code, you can use it on any website your organization maintains. This guarantees uninterrupted service for users, and no surprises for you. Your organization does not need to maintain a list of URLs that belong to your website. Rather, Sitecues will track usage of your customer ID across URLs. It will be our job to check with you if we see any potential unlicensed usage from a third party. For more information, contact sitecues@aisquared.com.

Site Markup and Compliance

Does Sitecues make websites compliant (WCAG, Section 508, etc.)?

Many organizations have requirements to make their web content compliant with checklists such as WCAG and Section 508. To be clear, Sitecues does not make websites compliant and does not replace compliance efforts. That said, Sitecues augments existing compliance and ongoing compliance efforts as follows:
Provides clear benefits to many users with disabilities while a site's compliance is still in the planning or development stages.
Raises the level of compliance and accessibility awareness within your organization. Now, anyone from the CEO to a support engineer can discover and benefit from accessibility tools on the site.
Leverages existing compliance and accessibility efforts to reach more users.
Provides additional data (via metrics) to manage your compliance and accessibility efforts.
Communicates a step in the right direction, showing all stakeholders that efforts are being made to make the site more accessible.

What is Ai Squared's philosophy on compliance, accessibility, and usability?

The web today is a necessity, not a luxury. We believe that everyone should have equal access to all digital content. To achieve this vision, a corporation needs to make compliance a priority, but making websites accessible is just the beginning. Truly equal access means putting free and intuitive AT in as many people's hands as may be benefited; making it easier and more enjoyable to use the web. Sitecues is one example of Ai Squared's continued commitment to making web accessibility simple.

Will Sitecues work on non-compliant markup?

Like any AT, Sitecues will do its best to adapt to real-world markup, which isn't always perfect. That said, current and future features work better or more consistently with well-structured, WCAG-compliant markup. Overall, the more compliant your markup, the more intelligence Sitecues can apply and the better Sitecues features will work. Sitecues does not require 100% accessible markup to start working, but we encourage it.

Which Sitecues features are impacted by proper, accessible HTML markup?

Examples of markup Sitecues will process includes: <h1>-<h6>, <p>, <li>, lang, alt, title, aria-label and aria-labelledby. One current feature that processes markup is the mouse highlight feature. The highlighter, which chooses which content belongs together when the user mouses over it, is aware of list items, paragraphs, and headings. In the future, we will allow sites to use WAI-ARIA markup to help control the exact behavior of Sitecues features, such as screen reading, keyboard navigation, content highlighting, TTS, and the article reading view.

Privacy and Security

How does Sitecues implement privacy and security?

Sitecues is committed to maintaining the highest levels of end user privacy and data security. We have designed our technology to restrict the collection of personal information. In addition, we employ strict policies and advanced technology measures to safeguard all end user data.   No personally identifiable end user information is ever logged. With the exception of direct user feedback (which is voluntarily submitted), only aggregated end user data is ever provided to Sitecues customers. Sitecues does not share data on individual end users with any external parties. All logged end user data relates only to usage of Sitecues and the browser.   The transmission of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) can only occur with network-based text-to-speech (TTS). In such instances, all TTS processing is conducted in-memory, with no storage of personal information. All data transmissions are conducted over highly secure HTTPS.   All Sitecues systems maintain 9 basic security controls, with detail available under NDA. Our infrastructure is managed by Amazon and run on EC2, a worldwide hosting solution that maintains ISM, ASD, ISO 27001, ISO 9001, Multi-Tier Cloud Security Standard Level 3 (CSP), and SOC 3 certifications.


How well does Sitecues scale?

Sitecues is designed with scalability in mind. Our SaaS service, built on Amazon Web Services, allows us a fast and seamless ability to scale our infrastructure in order to meet customer needs. Our server solutions, firewalls, and databases are designed to be fault tolerant and concurrently support one to tens of millions of users.
The Sitecues JavaScript library is delivered by Amazon Web Services CDN, CloudFront. Using an advanced CDN allows Sitecues to deliver our JavaScript libraries as quickly as possible over the last mile.
Load-on servers in the cloud can be difficult to manage; but for Sitecues, using AWS gives us the ability to scale quickly. For new partners coming on board or for current partners looking to expand their influence with AT, across more and more sites, Sitecues can provide rapid implementations to meet needs.
Databases are often a limiting factor when considering scalability. Sitecues understands not only the importance of scaling data, but scaling in a way that provides fast and accurate access to the data. Sitecues' infrastructure uses a combination of SQL and NoSQL for the smallest possible impact on page-load budgets.