FINN wins Universal Design Award

Family and Equality Minister Solveig Horne handed out the award to FINN employees from the Accessibility Team, Product, Innovation and Technology. From left: Maiken Solberg Olsen, Solveig Horne, Lotte Johansen, Tor-Martin Storsletten, Karina Birkeland Lome, Ingrid Vestby Fredriksen, David Håsäther, Nicolai Høge and John Arne Bjerknes (Jury leader). By removing obstacles and involving users, FINN.no […]

Family and Equality Minister Solveig Horne handed out the award to FINN employees from the Accessibility Team, Product, Innovation and Technology. From left: Maiken Solberg Olsen, Solveig Horne, Lotte Johansen, Tor-Martin Storsletten, Karina Birkeland Lome, Ingrid Vestby Fredriksen, David Håsäther, Nicolai Høge and John Arne Bjerknes (Jury leader).
Family and Equality Minister Solveig Horne handed out the award to FINN employees from the Accessibility Team, Product, Innovation and Technology. From left: Maiken Solberg Olsen, Solveig Horne, Lotte Johansen, Tor-Martin Storsletten, Karina Birkeland Lome, Ingrid Vestby Fredriksen, David Håsäther, Nicolai Høge and John Arne Bjerknes (Jury leader).

By removing obstacles and involving users, FINN.no has created a service that allows everyone to participate in important social functions. On October 17th we received the DOGA Innovation Award for Universal Design in the Interaction Design and Digital Solutions category. Developers and designers run the grassroots work with accessibility at FINN.no. It started in 2014 when a new accessibility legislation was introduced in Norway. Since then the grassroots group has worked to make accessibility known to everyone who develops FINN.no. Sometimes the work gets hard, and it is extra encouraging to receive such an award. It helps us to show how important it is that we make our services available to everyone.

FINN.no has received the award for its web solution and corresponding mobile app.

House and Work for Everyone

It is a major responsibility being the country’s largest digital marketplace. If you do not have access to, for example, the job or real estate market on FINN.no, your opportunities are limited to participate in the community.

  • FINN.no is used by virtually everyone in Norway. Therefore, it is important that people can find a house to live in, a job to go to, trips, or other items they may need, regardless of any disabilities. Through user tests we have learned that where people with disabilities are struggling, others also tend to struggle. By removing obstacles, the solutions become better for everyone.

Images and icons are widely used in our online solution. Designs and texts are made to be as intuitive as possible, among other things by using self-completing text. The FINN.no app is adapted for use by screen readers, which are often used by blind and partially sighted people. The app easily integrates with the phone’s features, and supports push messages and GPS location.

In addition to the accessibility team teaching accessibility to our colleagues, FINN.no designers provide a design framework where developers can find elements used at FINN.no. These elements are all checked for contrast and other accessibility issues.

FINN user page before and after user test with people with disabilities
A user test regarding people with disabilities made it obvious that there was a confusion between My messages, My ads, My searches and My findings. The test made it clear that this confusion was a problem for everyone, focused our efforts on solving the problem.

Increases Competitiveness

The Innovation Award for Universal Design was awarded for the third time. The category winners also competed for a main prize. FINN.no competed for this award against the online retailer Kolonial.no, the children’s newspaper Aftenposten Junior, a changing room facility at Solvik camping, Hamaren Activity Park, the Vision of the Fjords sightseeing boat, and the soundproofing felt FeltRoll. The Vision of the Fjords won the main prize.

  • Universal design allows everyone to participate on equal terms. The seven categories are good examples of how universal design triggers innovation, boosting competitiveness and providing a more open and better society, says Program Director Onny Eikhaug in Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA).

Far Ahead of the Competition

In the jury celebration, FINN.no was praised for giving users a simple, safe, and engaging way to buy and sell items:

“FINN.no is innovative by being ahead in using new technology, and over the years has developed an entire ecosystem of services that constantly improve and develop further. Both the web solution and the FINN.no app rank high on ease of use and universal design, and are far ahead of many other digital products”, the jury writes.

(based on and translated from Pressenytt article in Norwegian on FINN wins Universal Design Award) by Henning Poulsen

FINN tweet with pictures from the award seremony
FINN tweet after winning the category interaction design and digital solutions

Other blog posts on accessibility in FINN.no:

Workshop with Blindfolded Lunch
How to make your Colleagues think Accessibility
WAI-ARIA and its true impact on assistive technologies

Source: Finn.no