Review: DisabledLoo.co.uk gets 1/10

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Disabled_Loo_HomePopping  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.

Review: 1/10 

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.

 

 

App review: Wheelmate toilet finder

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Wheelmate is an App to locate toilets and parking.

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Overall, the content is limited because it is based on public entering/completing entries.

I searched for toilets in the UK using my iPhone5. Whilst it located some toilets, I could find none which were confirmed as actually existing!

You are invited to declare there is no accessible toilet, or confirm it exists. Alternatively you can add an entry. However, be warned, if you enter the wrong data you can’t change it back. I accidentally said a toilet didn’t exist when it does. This makes the data very unreliable.

You have the option to give the toilet a thumbs up or thumbs down … But it is not clear what this means. There is an option to write a comment.

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Perhaps the most frustrating aspect is searching for a toilet, seeing a map of them, selecting one … then pressing back and finding it takes you to your current location to search again.

Some people have even entered their own home toilet.

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The other features are to save favourite locations, view toilets or parking as a list and mark them as free to use or not.

Review of the RADAR toilet key App

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*For archive only as the App is no longer available *

This review looks at the RADAR App for iPhone and was tested on an iPhone 5.

The App enables users to locate and seek information on accessible (disabled) toilets that use the RADAR key to gain access – over 9000 in the UK.

The App was last updated in January 2012 and was initially £4.99. The current price is free – and for good reason because it is probably worth 10p.

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Firstly, the App crashed three times. When I did get it to work I got it to find my current location and searched around my local town.

Little pins show the location of toilets and tapping them brings up the name of the road/toilet. All pretty standard map details for locating services.

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A double tap takes you to the menu screen for that toilet. Here the most likely place to go is ‘facility information’.

If you were expecting pictures of the toilet or a description of what you will find inside … close the App, mutter how useless it is and delete it from your device.

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I was unable to find any toilet where this data was filled in. You can fill it in yourself but what is the point?

My town has changing places toilets which use the key – and although around at the time the App was developed, do not appear.

In fact, many reviewers complain that
the most accessible toilets they use regularly, aren’t listed.

I tried to get directions from the menu and the App crashed, then the second time it froze and I had to delete it.

Conclusion

Whilst some toilets are listed, the available facilities or layout details within the toilet are not. The App crashes and freezes all the time.

I give it 0/10