Review of Skype

Skype Reviewed 13 Aug 2014 · Average score 86%


Microsoft have taken over Skype so there is a tendency to think it will work well with Windows but the application appears to also work well with VoiceOver as an app and on the desktop. The built in accessibility features of the desktop computer offer the best high contrast mode and zoom along with the alerts. <a href ="">Accessibility support</a> is available and enabling the accessibility mode in the settings can further help screen reader users.

Detailed Results

# Test Outcome Notes
1 Built in accessibility checks 67% The application on a desktop computer is keyboard accessible and works well with built in Zoom and high contrast mode. However, reaching some small icons when in video mode may not always be easy.
2 Application works with External Assistive Technologies 100% The application worked well with NVDA when tested on a MS Windows computer and VoiceOver on iPhone. <a href="">Skype offers guidance and support for external assis
3 Text or other alternatives for image elements. 100% Images can be shared as file uploads and also seen on the video screen but any attachments need to be explained. Icons for menu items are read out clearly
4 Keyboard / Alternative input with focus 100% Alternatives to mouse input work well including onscreen keyboards and touch input.
5 Labels for objects, fields or controls 100% Items are well labelled and easy to hear when screen reader access is used.
6 Audio alerts have visual cues 100% These can be set up using the built in accessibility systems and Skype has its own settings for audio feedback.
7 Alternatives for Video / Animation 0% As video is used as part of the system the user can add any text support in the messaging systems but this is hard to achieve simultaneously. Live streaming transcription is not available.
8 Media events offer user control 100% All controls are available via the menu system and with short cut keys.
9 Textual Information for screen reader 100% Messages can be read with a screen reader as can contact names and other elements.
10 Keyboard shortcut keys offered 100% Shortcut keys can be set up as preferred by the user - these are known as 'hot keys' and guidance for their use is provided on the <a href="">Skype support pages</a>.
11 Save user preferences for style and zoom 67% It is possible to set up accessibility options via the advanced settings but there is no individual zoom feature - that needs to be set up by the built in OS settings. Font changes and the way emoticons are used can be personalised for messages.
12 Timed events can be altered 100% The only event that could be considered as a times one is the length of the ring tone when a call is made. This can be altered and there is an indication on the actual application when a call is being as well as the Skype icon pulsing.
13 Change colours and contrast 67% There is no way to change the entire look and feel of the application as themes are no longer available for desktop versions but it does respond to changes made via the accessibility features of the operating systems.
14 Uniform and standardised presentation 100% The entire application is consistent in its navigation and look and feel depending on the operating system used.
15 Documentation 100% The website information has been expanded and can be printed out. There are helpful <a href="">accessibility pages</a> and FAQs all available via the application.