Popping up on Twitter (and joining Facebook) early this March was the website DisabledLoo.co.uk .
The website is a map of the UK with the names of some of the key towns and cities. Clicking on a town shows you a picture, name and address with a star rating for accessibility and cleanliness.
The project/individual’s website currently doesn’t say anything other than invites people to contact them with pictures and the relevant rating they would give. The website has obviously only just been set up (perhaps a launch prior to any data was not the best publicity to go for?).
There is no data currently (the pictures are just examples). The problem of relying on public data usually means little data is ever entered. We will have to ‘watch this space’ to see how this website pans out (pardon the pun).
Like similar sites, the ratings on accessibility will be meaningless as one person’s ‘excellent’ is another person’s accessibility nightmare. Similarly, cleanliness is subject to change – varying from use to use and will mean very little. Having said that, I’ve been into public toilets rich in pee and obviously not cleaned in months – and those I wouldn’t even bother entering as they are too disgusting. Again, one person’s view on cleanliness will also be very different from another.
I will be blogging soon on ‘what might make a good toilet App’ and highlighting the range of problems disabled people have with toilet location and rating tools.
What I did like was the basic design – clean, no adverts and a huge map that came out well on my phone as well as my desktop. I was using Safari.
What doesn’t work so well is the colour – dark green map on a rich blue background. Blue and green (and little contrast) are difficult if not impossible for many people with visual impairments – and they need to find toilets too particularly if they also have other impairments. The writing is, however, white and the information page which the links go to are nice and clear and contrasting black on white. On the down side, the star rating are yellow on a white background which is a difficult to read colour scheme.
I am primarily reviewing the purpose of the site and data quality and not the accessibility – however, on this occasion, it seemed relevant. I do not know how it reads using text to speech or similar.
It is not clear how the site will handle multiple toilets in one town or building.