Artwork for podcast Bring Your Product Idea to Life
How to make your customer experience more inclusive (and make more sales) - with Jodie Greer, Be People Smart
Episode 9414th January 2022 • Bring Your Product Idea to Life • Vicki Weinberg
00:00:00 00:34:27

Share Episode

Shownotes

Jodie Greer, founder of Be People Smart, joins podcast host Vicki Weinberg to share some simple ways to make your customer experience more inclusive for everyone.

EPISODE NOTES

**Please remember to rate and review the podcast - it really helps others to find it.**

Today. I am delighted to be joined by Jodie Greer, founder of Be People Smart on the podcast.

Be People Smart supports organisations of all sizes from all sectors, both private and public, to be more inclusive by considering all staff and customers in the way they operate and communicate.

I’ve known Jodie for years, and recently heard her talk at an event which really opened my eyes to lots of things that I could easily be doing, but wasn’t, to make my website and social media much more inclusive for everyone. I hope you find it as useful as I did, there are lots of simple ideas that you are going to want to action straight away.

Listen in to hear Jodie share:

  • An introduction to herself and her business (02:35)
  • What we mean when we talk about making things more inclusive and accessible (02:51)
  • Why you are missing our on custom if you don’t take this into account (05:23)
  • Practical things you can do to make your website more accessible and inclusive (07:43)
  • Things you can do if you are selling on third party websites (16:26)
  • Practical things you can do to make your social media more accessible and inclusive (21:40)
  •  Her number one piece of advice for product creators (29:51)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Be People Smart

Be People Smart Facebook

Be People Smart Linked In

Be People Smart Instagram

Accessibility Checker

LET’S CONNECT

Join my free Facebook group for product makers and creators

Find me on Instagram

Work with me

Transcripts

Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to the, Bring Your Product Ideas To Life Podcast,

Vicki Weinberg:

practical advice, and inspiration to

Vicki Weinberg:

help you create and sell your own physical products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Here's your host Vicki Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg:

Today.

Vicki Weinberg:

I am delighted to invite Jodie Greer onto the podcast.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, Jodie is the founder of Be People Smart, a disability inclusion

Vicki Weinberg:

and accessibility specialist.

Vicki Weinberg:

Be People Smart supports organizations to be more inclusive by considering

Vicki Weinberg:

all staff and customers in the way they operate and communicate.

Vicki Weinberg:

Jodie spent more than two decades in the corporate world before deciding

Vicki Weinberg:

to jump ship and become a route of enablement support of companies of

Vicki Weinberg:

all sizes across all sectors, which is when Be People Smart was born.

Vicki Weinberg:

Now I have known Jodie for a long time now.

Vicki Weinberg:

More years that I probably want to remember.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and it was actually after hearing Jodie speak at an event that I

Vicki Weinberg:

attended fairly recently, a virtual event, I should add because we are

Vicki Weinberg:

obviously living in that world.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and she was talking about how small businesses can make their

Vicki Weinberg:

communications more inclusive.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I have to say, really opens my eyes to a lot of things that I wasn't doing,

Vicki Weinberg:

but could quite easily do to make my website, my social media and lots of other

Vicki Weinberg:

things, much more inclusive for everyone.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and so we're going to talk today about just a tiny, tiny section of

Vicki Weinberg:

what she talks about in that speech, because honestly she had so much

Vicki Weinberg:

to share, but I think if we put all that into one podcast episode, it

Vicki Weinberg:

would possibly be quite overwhelming.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, um, you never know, hopefully Jodie can pop back at some point

Vicki Weinberg:

and share even more with us.

Vicki Weinberg:

But today we're just going to focus on some of the fairly small and

Vicki Weinberg:

simple things that we can all do to make sure our communications are

Vicki Weinberg:

much more accessible for everyone.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I really hope you enjoy this conversation.

Vicki Weinberg:

I hope you find it as fascinating and as useful as I did, as I

Vicki Weinberg:

said, Incredibly accessible.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think there's a lot in here that you'll be able to action straight

Vicki Weinberg:

away, or if not straight away, you know, the coming weeks and months,

Vicki Weinberg:

because it is a long term thing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, Jodie is really honest about the fact that, you know, none of us are

Vicki Weinberg:

going to be, you know, making all of these changes overnight, but even small

Vicki Weinberg:

test steps will make a big difference.

Vicki Weinberg:

So with all of that said, and gosh, that was quite a long introduction.

Vicki Weinberg:

I would love to now introduce you to Jodie.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for being here.

Jodie Greer:

Thanks for inviting me.

Jodie Greer:

It's good.

Vicki Weinberg:

So let's start by giving an introduction to yourself,

Vicki Weinberg:

your business and what you do, please.

Jodie Greer:

No problem.

Jodie Greer:

So I'm Jodie Greer and I'm the founder of a company called Be People Smart and

Jodie Greer:

effectively what we do is help other organizations, all sizes, all sectors to

Jodie Greer:

be disability inclusive and accessible.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So let's um, so let's give some actual examples of what you mean when

Vicki Weinberg:

you talk about being more inclusive and accessible, if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, obviously my audience, the people who are selling their own

Vicki Weinberg:

products, I mean, the process of that, that it's assumed that nowadays

Vicki Weinberg:

most people are selling online.

Vicki Weinberg:

So in that context, what do we mean by making our products more inclusive?

Jodie Greer:

Yeah no problem so I guess as well, it also helps to put

Jodie Greer:

some context around accessible because it's a new term to some people.

Jodie Greer:

I know that.

Jodie Greer:

Um, so for instance, online, it's about making sure that everybody can

Jodie Greer:

understand what it is you're selling.

Jodie Greer:

what it looks like an effectively what they're actually purchasing.

Jodie Greer:

So, um, for instance, if you think if somebody had low or no vision,

Jodie Greer:

they tend to use a solution called a screenreader, which literally reads

Jodie Greer:

out the content of a screen to them.

Jodie Greer:

So can they from your text and also from a description on your images, we can go

Jodie Greer:

into that a little bit if we'd have time, um, understand what the product really is,

Jodie Greer:

you know, what did it kind of look like?

Jodie Greer:

Feel like, um, how big is it, all that kind of stuff?

Jodie Greer:

Um, because of course not only purchasing for themselves, but

Jodie Greer:

of course, purchasing gifts.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I guess it's about making, like the buying experience easy for everybody.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, absolutely.

Jodie Greer:

And I mean, I mentioned vision, but it goes so much further than that.

Jodie Greer:

I mean, sometimes for instance people might have a video showing their

Jodie Greer:

product in different ways, but it might have some, you know, audible so

Jodie Greer:

someone might be speaking through it.

Jodie Greer:

So if there aren't captions on it, if you're deaf, how do you

Jodie Greer:

know what someone's telling you?

Jodie Greer:

So it could be things like that, but even down to, you know, people with dyslexia,

Jodie Greer:

there are certain requirements and for people with autism there can often be

Jodie Greer:

things that really kind of overshadowed because it's just too much stimulants.

Jodie Greer:

Um, so yeah, there's lots of things you can consider, but sometimes it's easier

Jodie Greer:

to sort of start somewhere and understand some really core points of how you can

Jodie Greer:

make things inclusive that we can all do, and we can all do quite easily.

Jodie Greer:

And that's the kind of stuff that hopefully we can cover today.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yep.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I was definitely want to cover that off in a minute because I agree that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Lots of things we can do.

Vicki Weinberg:

And this is obviously a massive, massive topic.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so for anyone who's listening, either feeling a little bit daunted, just be

Vicki Weinberg:

reassured that we're only going to go into like some fairly high-level stuff today.

Vicki Weinberg:

Is that right Jodie?

Jodie Greer:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, but I think something that we get to cover off before we go

Vicki Weinberg:

into this is why are people missing out if they don't take this into account?

Vicki Weinberg:

So if they don't make any even small efforts to make

Vicki Weinberg:

their products more inclusive,

Jodie Greer:

Yeah.

Jodie Greer:

I mean, literally they're missing out on custom and I don't know if

Jodie Greer:

your listeners would have heard of the purple pound for instance, but

Jodie Greer:

the purple pound is what is famed for the, um, dispensable income of people

Jodie Greer:

with disabilities and their household.

Jodie Greer:

Because of course it's literally.

Jodie Greer:

Can you purchase it?

Jodie Greer:

Can you even navigate around the web page for instance?

Jodie Greer:

And just to give you an idea, because it's an awful lot of money in the UK alone, the

Jodie Greer:

purple pound is worth 274 billion pounds.

Jodie Greer:

So if that's what people have got to spend, then I'm sure most, if not

Jodie Greer:

all of your listeners would be quite interested in a little chunk of that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think also because obviously I heard you speak at workshop a few weeks ago.

Vicki Weinberg:

I know some of the things you're going to cover, and I'm convinced from that,

Vicki Weinberg:

that actually implements some of the changes you're going to speak about will

Vicki Weinberg:

help make your products more accessible to everyone, because I'm sure that

Vicki Weinberg:

lots of people, myself included have been in the situation where you want

Vicki Weinberg:

a webpage and it just isn't clear what you're getting, or it isn't clear what

Vicki Weinberg:

option to choose or it just kind of doesn't work and you just click away.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so obviously somebody who can't even perhaps read the texts for

Vicki Weinberg:

whatever reason or see the images, um, that experience is going to

Vicki Weinberg:

be even more negative, presumably.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, absolutely.

Jodie Greer:

I mean, as an example, we've not long had Christmas and I was looking at some, you

Jodie Greer:

know, Santa ornaments on a site and I saw that when I wanted, but then when you look

Jodie Greer:

at the dropdown, it's like Santa 1,Santa 2, Santa 3 and Santa 4, but I wasn't sure.

Jodie Greer:

What, which one was Santa with the reindeer.

Jodie Greer:

So I just didn't purchase it because I didn't want to

Jodie Greer:

be ordering the wrong thing.

Jodie Greer:

And to be honest, I could have maybe contacted the seller, but it

Jodie Greer:

was kind of easier to go elsewhere.

Jodie Greer:

And that's what we call the click away pound as well, which is kind

Jodie Greer:

of linked to the purple pound.

Jodie Greer:

But often if people find the shopping experience difficult,

Jodie Greer:

they will just go somewhere else.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm sure for lots of people that's been experienced.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so let's talk a little bit then about some of those practical things

Vicki Weinberg:

that we can all do to make our product listings and websites more inclusive.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, absolutely.

Jodie Greer:

So a few key things.

Jodie Greer:

One is with your images, um, So again, talking about screen readers that I've

Jodie Greer:

already mentioned, they will read out the alternative text you put behind, an

Jodie Greer:

image it's not actually that difficult to do, but it's also important.

Jodie Greer:

Um, that it's contextual.

Jodie Greer:

So what is it, your image is basically trying to say, so for instance, if you

Jodie Greer:

were selling a product, your image is literally showing you what it looks like.

Jodie Greer:

So, you know, make that clear, you know, a ragdoll wearing a blue dress

Jodie Greer:

with blue shoes and a blue floppy hat, for instance, um, which will help and

Jodie Greer:

also thinking about all of the context.

Jodie Greer:

So for instance, you know, you've got different demographics within

Jodie Greer:

your customer base, so they may also be looking at different

Jodie Greer:

skin tones for that same doll.

Jodie Greer:

I don't know why I chose the doll, but anyway, okay.

Jodie Greer:

I can see this doll in my head now.

Jodie Greer:

So, um, you might be looking, you know, again, to see all the

Jodie Greer:

different kinds of details about it.

Jodie Greer:

So, you know, give them in the description and it may well be, you don't need to give

Jodie Greer:

as much in the alt text if you've got it in the body of your actual, um, webpage

Jodie Greer:

or, you know, your item description.

Jodie Greer:

So your alt text could be a lot simpler for instance.

Jodie Greer:

And also if it's in the item description, it's clear for everyone, of course.

Jodie Greer:

The way that you define your images is really important.

Jodie Greer:

Um, something else, and this one often gets missed is color contrast.

Jodie Greer:

So for anyone.

Jodie Greer:

Even if you've got 2020 vision, I've got to say a lot of color contrast are faint.

Jodie Greer:

And for instance, white texts on a yellow background or yellow text

Jodie Greer:

on a white background is really difficult for people to read.

Jodie Greer:

And if people have got reduced vision, even, you know, even if it isn't

Jodie Greer:

severe, it can be impossible to see it.

Jodie Greer:

So therefore it doesn't exist.

Jodie Greer:

There is no texts there.

Jodie Greer:

Um, there are some really easy ways to actually check, um, color contrast,

Jodie Greer:

but that's another thing I would say.

Jodie Greer:

Um, Text Styles.

Jodie Greer:

So using very kind of plain simple text styles.

Jodie Greer:

I know that a lot of people for their branding, like the very sort

Jodie Greer:

of pretty and curly styles for your brand, it is your choice.

Jodie Greer:

But just be aware, of course, people may not be able to read them.

Jodie Greer:

So for instance, a lot of people with dyslexia find very curly fonts, ones that

Jodie Greer:

haven't got even space in between letters, things like that really difficult.

Jodie Greer:

Um, yeah.

Jodie Greer:

Colors, fonts, alt text.

Jodie Greer:

Um, there's so many things you can do, but I guess are some of the key things

Jodie Greer:

and also being able to navigate your web page because a lot of people don't use

Jodie Greer:

a mouse, so they need to use a keyboard.

Jodie Greer:

So if you have stuff in a logical order, so effectively, if you

Jodie Greer:

were tabbing through, you can get to all the information.

Jodie Greer:

That's something else that really helps people.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for all of that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Cut.

Vicki Weinberg:

I just want to come back to the images and the alt text really quickly because lots

Vicki Weinberg:

of people and myself included, I've always thought of alt text in terms of SEO,

Vicki Weinberg:

but you've probably heard this as well, Jodie, that for SEO purposes in your alt

Vicki Weinberg:

text, you should put, I don't know your brand name or your, you know, things that

Vicki Weinberg:

people might find if they're searching.

Vicki Weinberg:

But it sounds like what you're saying is way alt text was designed to be used.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's actually to help people using screen readers if I got that correct?

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, absolutely.

Jodie Greer:

And also you think about the experience.

Jodie Greer:

So if you were a screen reader user, and I haven't actually got

Jodie Greer:

any statistics to hand, but there's a lot of screenreader users.

Jodie Greer:

Um, if you were a screen reader user, then you would literally hit all those words.

Jodie Greer:

So, you know, can you imagine you would just go in for a

Jodie Greer:

webpage, you get to an image.

Jodie Greer:

Be People Smart Inclusivity, Disability Inclusion like what is that picture?

Jodie Greer:

And actually the picture was about personas.

Jodie Greer:

I mean, it doesn't, it doesn't do anything, but also that's a lot of

Jodie Greer:

information you're actually receiving.

Jodie Greer:

You've now lost the plot completely as to what you were actually looking at.

Jodie Greer:

Um, and yeah, it makes it very difficult.

Jodie Greer:

And again, probably just a click away moment.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I can see it.

Vicki Weinberg:

So thank you for clarifying that because yeah, that's, that was when I heard

Vicki Weinberg:

you speak a few weeks ago, that was one of the light bulb things for me

Vicki Weinberg:

because yeah I only ever had people talking about alt text in terms of SEO.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then when I realized it was short for alternative text, that was a

Vicki Weinberg:

bit of a light bulb moment for me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Is there any sort of compromise there though?

Vicki Weinberg:

So for example, I'm just thinking of my products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Could I put child wearing Tiny Chipmunk white towel with blue motif, for

Vicki Weinberg:

example, some, um, that wasn't very good.

Vicki Weinberg:

That was off the top of my head.

Vicki Weinberg:

What I'm trying to say is for people who are like, no, but I need to

Vicki Weinberg:

have my brand name in my alt text.

Vicki Weinberg:

Can you do that?

Vicki Weinberg:

As long as it actually gives a clear description of what

Vicki Weinberg:

the product is, is that

Jodie Greer:

absolutely.

Jodie Greer:

And actually I would encourage that because the reason you've

Jodie Greer:

got that image, there that's exactly the context you're showing.

Jodie Greer:

You're not just showing a child wearing a random bamboo headedtowel.

Jodie Greer:

Well, you want to show in a child wearing a Tiny Chipmunk bamboo headed towel.

Jodie Greer:

Right.

Jodie Greer:

So that is exactly what you're showing.

Jodie Greer:

So you can put, you know, exactly what you've just said with the

Jodie Greer:

Tiny Chipmunk logo on the, on the hood, blah, blah, blah, in blue.

Jodie Greer:

Um, yeah, that, because that's why it's there the real

Jodie Greer:

intention of the contextual text.

Jodie Greer:

It's a literally provide the same experience for

Jodie Greer:

someone who's looking at it.

Jodie Greer:

And if that's why it's there, that's what you want to put in any way.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And presumably that was also going to still help out with your SEO anyway,

Vicki Weinberg:

because let's say use that same example.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you've got the words, Tiny Chipmunk and bamboo and baby and towel, it's given a

Vicki Weinberg:

clear description of what you're looking at, but then those words are possibly some

Vicki Weinberg:

of your keywords are in there as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's just rather than a random string of words, they actually make some sense.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, I think it just really hit the nail on the head Vicki it is

Jodie Greer:

just that it is thinking a little bit differently as to how you place the word.

Jodie Greer:

So you do make them sort of logical, I guess, you know,

Jodie Greer:

make them isn't a sentence.

Jodie Greer:

So that, that context is there for someone who needs it, but certainly

Jodie Greer:

you can still use them for your SEO.

Jodie Greer:

You know, it's like killing two birds with one stone.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's good point.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that'd be some reassurance people.

Vicki Weinberg:

It was actually the people who've spent time, you know, getting their

Vicki Weinberg:

images, you know, SEO friendly.

Vicki Weinberg:

Hopefully they won't have to do too much work so that their

Vicki Weinberg:

screen reader accessible as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and before we move on from the things you can do, is there anything in

Vicki Weinberg:

terms of your actual product listing, the actual descriptions for your product

Vicki Weinberg:

that we need to take into account.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, I would just say make it really clear, like, quite literally, as

Jodie Greer:

I say, you know, one of that description, but also if you've got multiple options

Jodie Greer:

okay I'll go back to my santa example.

Jodie Greer:

Right.

Jodie Greer:

So if you've got multiple options, you know, making it really clear that.

Jodie Greer:

Depending on how your drop down or your selection process works.

Jodie Greer:

But you know, Santa 1 is Santa with a reindeer outside of, you know,

Jodie Greer:

Santa's house Santa 2 is, um, I think the more descriptive you make, it

Jodie Greer:

just really does improve the whole experience for everybody, not just

Jodie Greer:

people that rely on accessibility.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think I might, I don't know if I shared this example, with

Vicki Weinberg:

you Jodie, but I was looking.

Vicki Weinberg:

To buy something recently and it was like a fabric and all of the drop-downs

Vicki Weinberg:

are named like red Berry and green Sage, but then there were like a few

Vicki Weinberg:

red options and a free green options.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I couldn't work out well, which is the red Berry and which

Vicki Weinberg:

is the green Sage in which.

Vicki Weinberg:

Where was, I think just having the pictures labeled of this is this and this,

Vicki Weinberg:

this or something in the text, but in the end, like you said, I just clicked away.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that seller unfortunately lost that purchase just because I had

Vicki Weinberg:

no idea what I was purchasing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that was with me having the benefit of being able to see the pictures and read

Vicki Weinberg:

the descriptions well and I still could not work out what, it was, I was buying.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think that that's really good advice that everyone will benefit from.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, absolutely.

Jodie Greer:

And obviously, you know, I say obviously, but to me, I truly believe this.

Jodie Greer:

I don't think people obviously do this with any sort of intent

Jodie Greer:

or certainly no negative intent.

Jodie Greer:

they just aren't aware of, of what the impact can be, but for their

Jodie Greer:

business, that is a significant impact how many other people

Jodie Greer:

clicked away from that fabric.

Jodie Greer:

So by raising this awareness, I'm really hoping, I'll see.

Jodie Greer:

Yes, we can enable people to be more inclusive, but also their face it, we can

Jodie Greer:

also enable people to do more business.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, because it might, it hopefully it'll make

Vicki Weinberg:

it easier for everyone to buy.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

So thank you for those tips about selling on your own website.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, lots of us, I know also sell on third-party marketplaces now.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't expect you to be an expert in every third party marketplace,

Vicki Weinberg:

Jodie, cos there's lots out there.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but do you have any advice or thoughts about things we could do when

Vicki Weinberg:

we're selling on Etsy or Amazon or eBay?

Vicki Weinberg:

Wherever it might be, because I know that to varying degrees, these platforms are

Vicki Weinberg:

going to have this kind of thing built in.

Vicki Weinberg:

Like, so I remember we looked together and we found that on Etsy, you can add alt

Vicki Weinberg:

text, for example, on Amazon you can't.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I know there's going to be limitations, but is there anything we can do?

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't know if it's in the text just to make the buying

Vicki Weinberg:

experience easier on those sites.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah.

Jodie Greer:

I guess you kind of have to use what's open to, obviously I'd love to see all

Jodie Greer:

of these platforms fully accessible.

Jodie Greer:

We'll make all of the components accessible, but we are where we are.

Jodie Greer:

So I think if, for instance, if we pick on Amazon, um, I've not personally

Jodie Greer:

listed anything on Amazon and I know you're the expert there, Vicki but,

Jodie Greer:

um, When it comes to what, you know, if you can't put stuff against images and

Jodie Greer:

let's face it, sometimes people have like 10 images for one product anyway.

Jodie Greer:

So that probably wouldn't be quite so simple, but if you do make it so that

Jodie Greer:

literally all the detail, and you might feel like you've already got all the

Jodie Greer:

detail, but if you closed your eyes and couldn't see those pictures and

Jodie Greer:

just read the detail, does it tell you everything about the product someone

Jodie Greer:

would need to know to be confident and comfortable purchase in it?

Jodie Greer:

So I guess that's one thing.

Jodie Greer:

Um, and no one wants to read a novel, obviously when they

Jodie Greer:

read in about a product.

Jodie Greer:

And you can probably tell me this, Vicki, I guess, in that there's also

Jodie Greer:

a limited character number that you can put in for a description anyway,

Vicki Weinberg:

There is which I think creates another challenge because I

Vicki Weinberg:

know that you and I had spoken about, you could actually add an image

Vicki Weinberg:

description in the body of the text possibly, but on Amazon, again, due to

Vicki Weinberg:

the character limitations, that also isn't an option, which isn't great.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but I guess on other marketplaces or third party websites, you

Vicki Weinberg:

might be able to do that.

Vicki Weinberg:

That could be a little work around.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah.

Jodie Greer:

I mean, so that you certainly, I work on, I guess really it's maybe

Jodie Greer:

thinking a little bit differently as to how you describe it.

Jodie Greer:

Cause sometimes I know people get quite imaginative with their descriptions

Jodie Greer:

because of course they want to stand out against competition and so on.

Jodie Greer:

Um, Yeah.

Jodie Greer:

Makes sense.

Jodie Greer:

Right.

Jodie Greer:

So I'm not knocking that, but if you've only got limited space for your texts,

Jodie Greer:

maybe just think a bit smarter about it.

Jodie Greer:

So I'm not losing that imaginative piece, but also include in all the

Jodie Greer:

detail, because even for me, sometimes for instance, I'll look on Amazon and

Jodie Greer:

I'm looking on a bath mat and I want to know how big it is and actually

Jodie Greer:

I can't find that in the whole body.

Jodie Greer:

And then I realize on the fourth image in the image, it

Jodie Greer:

also shows me the dimensions.

Jodie Greer:

So that's not very helpful.

Jodie Greer:

So even for me, often I'll fail to click away and then I'll think, oh,

Jodie Greer:

actually let me double check the imagery.

Jodie Greer:

Um, if I can't do that, I have no option, but to just choose someone, who's put the

Jodie Greer:

details I need into their actual text.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, thank you for that.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I guess the key thing is to make sure that without, as you say, writing

Vicki Weinberg:

a novel, all of the key information, someone might need to make a purchase

Vicki Weinberg:

like colour and size and okay I guess it really depends on what your product is,

Vicki Weinberg:

but all of the key information needs to be somewhere in the main body of text,

Vicki Weinberg:

because we can't assume that everybody can see your graphics, your images, your

Vicki Weinberg:

infographics, or whatever, additional.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, absolutely.

Jodie Greer:

I mean, even if you think about, um, I suppose I've already

Jodie Greer:

mentioned we've had Christmas.

Jodie Greer:

So obviously a lot of people have been buying gifts, but people buy

Jodie Greer:

gifts all year round, of course.

Jodie Greer:

And even if you think about, if somebody, for instance is color blind and they want

Jodie Greer:

it to purchase a scarf for someone, well, they're quite like a few of the designs,

Jodie Greer:

but they're not sure what colors they are.

Jodie Greer:

So even if you can see the picture.

Jodie Greer:

I'm not sure which one I want to select because I quite like the

Jodie Greer:

one that's got the dolphins on it, but don't know what color it is.

Jodie Greer:

So I don't know if it's their thing.

Jodie Greer:

Um, and I've been told they really liked blue and purple for instance.

Jodie Greer:

So I don't want to assume it's blue because it's

Jodie Greer:

water-based how do I know that?

Jodie Greer:

And I only know that if it's actually in that content, because as I say,

Jodie Greer:

even, and that's a lot of people as well, even if I was color blind, that

Jodie Greer:

will stop me purchasing the product because I don't want to get it wrong.

Vicki Weinberg:

So that's actually something I think

Vicki Weinberg:

everyone can also take away.

Vicki Weinberg:

Is that when you setting up products on like, all of the marketplaces

Vicki Weinberg:

I've worked on certainly, you can name the different options.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it sounds like just by naming the option, Blue dolphin rather than just

Vicki Weinberg:

blue or just dolphin as an example would be super, helpful to everybody.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, definitely.

Jodie Greer:

All of that stuff helps.

Jodie Greer:

It really is about being as descriptive as you can be without the novel.

Jodie Greer:

Um, just so that everyone knows what they're seeing, what they're getting, um,

Jodie Greer:

and people can make an informed choice.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's perfect.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So let's move on slightly from product descriptions, product pages, and talk a

Vicki Weinberg:

bit about social media, because I think most of us are on some social media

Vicki Weinberg:

platform or another, what are some of the things we can do on social media,

Vicki Weinberg:

whether we're talking about our products or not just to be a bit more inclusive.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, no, worries.

Jodie Greer:

So I'm going to go to alt text again, right?

Jodie Greer:

So describing your images is still really important.

Jodie Greer:

There are some caveats to a point.

Jodie Greer:

And the reason I say that is to have the alt text sitting behind the image.

Jodie Greer:

A lot of the time you have limitation.

Jodie Greer:

So I'll give you an example on LinkedIn.

Jodie Greer:

I can do that from the laptop.

Jodie Greer:

I can, I can post now and I can put the alt text against that.

Jodie Greer:

If I use my mobile to post I can't and if I use a scheduler to post, um,

Jodie Greer:

certainly the scheduler I use, I can't, but what I do instead and actually

Jodie Greer:

this is quite nice because even if people don't use a screen reader, it's

Jodie Greer:

good practice anyway, is I put image description or the image shows and I

Jodie Greer:

explain what it is at the end of my posts.

Jodie Greer:

Um, because again, if you had low vision for instance, but you, you know, you've

Jodie Greer:

never mastered, screenreader use, then you also get the same information.

Jodie Greer:

So that can be really helpful anyway, so definitely alt text is important.

Jodie Greer:

Um, one of my other things, um, that I'm really quite hard on is,

Jodie Greer:

um, capital camel case hashtags.

Jodie Greer:

So what does that mean?

Jodie Greer:

That means a capital letter at the start of every word in your hashtag, um, and

Jodie Greer:

I'll say every word because sometimes people think it won't mean the first word,

Jodie Greer:

for instance, but by having a capital letter at the start of every word, it

Jodie Greer:

makes it so much clearer for everyone.

Jodie Greer:

So for instance, um, people with dyslexia, not just kids with dyslexia,

Jodie Greer:

but a lot of people with dyslexia find it really hard to separate the words

Jodie Greer:

I don't personally have dyslexia.

Jodie Greer:

I find it hard to separate the words with long hashtags.

Jodie Greer:

Um, but also to screen reader users, when it's got the capital letters at

Jodie Greer:

the start of each word, it actually does know they are separate words.

Jodie Greer:

So even the word is, would have a capital.

Jodie Greer:

I, um, so that's really important.

Jodie Greer:

And honestly, once you see them, if you can see it for yourself, it's so

Jodie Greer:

much more obvious what you're saying.

Jodie Greer:

So it's just a nice experience anyway.

Jodie Greer:

And I know I'm on the workshop.

Jodie Greer:

I did recently someone asked the question, if you do that, are you still included

Jodie Greer:

in like, you know, the pool then what the correct term is of all these hashtags?

Jodie Greer:

So, you know, if I.

Jodie Greer:

Hashtag Tiny Chipmunk, but I did a capital T and a capital C, I'm not going to be

Jodie Greer:

in, you know, we've all those that were all in lowercase and absolutely you

Jodie Greer:

are, you will see that with a predictive and when it's a readily used hashtag

Jodie Greer:

it will pop up, but you can definitely use your capital letters and you can

Jodie Greer:

just do it better than other people did.

Jodie Greer:

So that's a really good thing to do.

Jodie Greer:

Um, and another thing I was talking about this, I think it was actually

Jodie Greer:

with you Vicki recently talking about emojis and emojis, right.

Jodie Greer:

And a lot of us love emojis.

Jodie Greer:

I'm a bit of an emoji fan and basically they do some great stuff

Jodie Greer:

because they can give us literally some kind of emotion to a post.

Jodie Greer:

They can make you smile and all that stuff.

Jodie Greer:

However less is definitely more with emoji.

Jodie Greer:

So for instance, And I was guilty of this in the past.

Jodie Greer:

If I was going to put like, you know, five laughing face emojis in a row, because

Jodie Greer:

I found something really funny, um, visibly that gives that exact message.

Jodie Greer:

You know, it tells you that it's hilarious.

Jodie Greer:

But if I'm with a screen reader user, and this may not be the

Jodie Greer:

exact alt text behind them, but.

Jodie Greer:

You'd read this little message and then you would hear laughing face emoji,

Jodie Greer:

laughing face emoji, laughing face emoji, but you can imagine that like

Jodie Greer:

five times it kind of kills the message.

Jodie Greer:

So just think about that as well, because sometimes people have got, you know,

Jodie Greer:

a laughing face and a kiss emoji, then something else then something else.

Jodie Greer:

And if you're getting all of those read out to you, yeah, more than sort of two

Jodie Greer:

or three, I guess, especially if they're different, um, would just be too much.

Jodie Greer:

And I can imagine how frustrating it would probably be.

Jodie Greer:

You'd probably stop reading.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I really can see that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for explaining that.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think funny enough, after I heard you talk about that, I was on Instagram

Vicki Weinberg:

and I don't know if it was a blip, but there was like, I think it was a period

Vicki Weinberg:

of, I don't know, let's say 24 hours where I wasn't seeing people's emojis.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't know why, but obviously in the emoji description and it took me a

Vicki Weinberg:

while to work out what was happening.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I'd read someone's post.

Vicki Weinberg:

It'd be a bit of text.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then it would say like winking face in like.

Vicki Weinberg:

Sort of ellipse things and then there'd be a bit more text.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm assuming that was what you would get if you were using a screen reader.

Vicki Weinberg:

And there were a couple of posts I was reading and you'd actually

Vicki Weinberg:

read, then it would be whatever description, whatever, lots of emoji.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it, it made it actually for me, even though I was reading it, it actually

Vicki Weinberg:

made it quite hard to read because you'd read a bit of text, then it

Vicki Weinberg:

would be like winking face kiss face, wherever, maybe like three emojis.

Vicki Weinberg:

Back to the text and it made it quite disjointed.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and I've got a bit, I'm a fan of emojis as well, but since sort of having

Vicki Weinberg:

that realization, I've definitely sort of used them a lot more sparingly because

Vicki Weinberg:

it was, it really brought it home.

Vicki Weinberg:

I don't know why this happened.

Vicki Weinberg:

It was literally like it was in my family for, I think just for

Vicki Weinberg:

like a day, this sort of happened.

Vicki Weinberg:

I wasn't seeing emojis and I just thought, wow.

Vicki Weinberg:

Really makes it clear what other people or how other people are viewing

Vicki Weinberg:

things, which I think sometimes there's a really good thing to see.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah.

Jodie Greer:

It's actually the very actual things really pull it.

Jodie Greer:

Right.

Jodie Greer:

And you've literally had the same experience as someone who uses a

Jodie Greer:

screen reader would have essentially.

Jodie Greer:

And it does, it does open your eyes, cause there's loads that we learn all of

Jodie Greer:

the time from other people's experiences.

Jodie Greer:

But that is interesting.

Jodie Greer:

I've not, I've not seen that happen myself, but it's actually quite

Jodie Greer:

cool because it literally wouldn't have been just you for those days.

Jodie Greer:

Right.

Jodie Greer:

It would have been probably everyone it's quite nice that people have been

Jodie Greer:

able to see what it's really like.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I just found it fascinating.

Vicki Weinberg:

And coming back to the hashtags as well, which I, by the time this episode is

Vicki Weinberg:

going out, Jodie, I want to say that I'm only using camel case hashtags.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's something that I'm really trying.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, cause what's, what's frustrating, actuallyI find is when you type

Vicki Weinberg:

your hashtags, it automatically, the predictive thing puts it all in lower

Vicki Weinberg:

case, but I've definitely been in a situation I wish I could think of a

Vicki Weinberg:

good example or a funny example here.

Vicki Weinberg:

I might Google some later where I've read a hashtag and I thought it said something.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then I'd be like, oh no, what it actually says is because where

Vicki Weinberg:

it all blends together, you sort of have to guess, which is a new word.

Vicki Weinberg:

And like maybe before this goes out, I'll try and find some examples

Vicki Weinberg:

that I can share with people.

Vicki Weinberg:

But you've probably seen the same where you think.

Vicki Weinberg:

Why did they use that hashtag that you realize, oh, what

Vicki Weinberg:

they're trying to say is because

Jodie Greer:

there are some funny ones out there.

Jodie Greer:

Um, I can't think of one off the top of my head, but I probably wouldn't

Jodie Greer:

mention them here anyway, because of what they look like, they really crude.

Jodie Greer:

And then you think that's not even contextually.

Jodie Greer:

It doesn't make sense.

Jodie Greer:

And then if you try again, you're like, oh, you mean, because

Jodie Greer:

again the words aren't separated.

Jodie Greer:

Why?

Jodie Greer:

Um, and that you can avoid the embarrassment with camel case hashtags.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And like I said, by the time this goes live I'm only going to use

Vicki Weinberg:

camel case hashtag, so you can come to my link and come to my Instagram

Vicki Weinberg:

and check on me and see what camel case hashtags look like as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

So there we go.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm giving myself some accountability now.

Vicki Weinberg:

So one final thing before we finish up, Jodie is obviously

Vicki Weinberg:

we've talked quite a lot today.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I know, thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

I do really appreciate that.

Vicki Weinberg:

You've tried to keep it really top level and really simple for people as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

We've not gone into masses of detail cause I know we probably could.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I do think everything you've talked about today is actionable.

Vicki Weinberg:

What's the key thing you want people to take away from this?

Jodie Greer:

Yeah.

Jodie Greer:

Um, I guess my my message would be to take it a step at a time.

Jodie Greer:

What's really important is some people, of course, they want to do this stuff

Jodie Greer:

anyway, because it's good for business, but a lot of people will certainly

Jodie Greer:

want to do this because they feel like they've literally excluded people.

Jodie Greer:

And I think my main message would be, you know, don't feel bad.

Jodie Greer:

Don't kick yourself.

Jodie Greer:

Um, none of us are born knowing this stuff.

Jodie Greer:

So it's about taking it.

Jodie Greer:

As I say, one step at a time, doing the things you can do and also.

Jodie Greer:

You know, you need to be practical.

Jodie Greer:

So for instance, you can start now and you can start implementing these small

Jodie Greer:

changes, which will make big differences with all your kind of future posts and

Jodie Greer:

with all your, um, you know, future, um, listings and all that sort of stuff.

Jodie Greer:

But for instance, especially for small business owners, you may not have

Jodie Greer:

a lot of support to do this stuff.

Jodie Greer:

Going back over all of your products may not um, Make sense to you, or

Jodie Greer:

you may just feel like you literally don't have time to do that right now.

Jodie Greer:

Now, if you're going to keep them listed, there's going to be updates

Jodie Greer:

and things to make, and you can do the accessible pieces then as well.

Jodie Greer:

So just don't feel the pressure, I guess I would say I'd love the world to be

Jodie Greer:

fully accessible right here right now.

Jodie Greer:

But I think having the positive intent, you know, wanting to do more to make

Jodie Greer:

people being, you know, make people included, um, and to make sure that

Jodie Greer:

people's experiences with your products with your sites are a positive one

Jodie Greer:

that's something to be applauded.

Jodie Greer:

Right.

Jodie Greer:

So that's something to kind of congratulate yourself on

Jodie Greer:

from all different avenues.

Jodie Greer:

So I think, yeah, don't beat yourself up.

Jodie Greer:

Take steps now.

Jodie Greer:

Um, start being really inclusive and then, yeah, just be proud of that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's.

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, that's a really good message to end on because it is really tempting

Vicki Weinberg:

because I know when I heard you talk the first time, it was all new to me

Vicki Weinberg:

and you just start making a mental list of all the things you haven't done.

Vicki Weinberg:

So it's really nice to reframe it and think, okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

But.

Vicki Weinberg:

W, you know, these are the things I can do going forward.

Vicki Weinberg:

And like you say, you don't have to sort of redo your whole website or

Vicki Weinberg:

your whole product catalog or whatever.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think even if you just start today with making some small changes going

Vicki Weinberg:

forward, if we all do that, I think that will make a big difference.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah, definitely.

Jodie Greer:

I think it'll be good stuff.

Jodie Greer:

And I will be checking on your hashtags Vicki!

Vicki Weinberg:

Do, because like I said, Jodie, I mean, I'm not perfect.

Vicki Weinberg:

I try it, you know, I try and remember to do, and sometimes

Vicki Weinberg:

I do and sometimes I don't.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but I think, yeah, I'm trying to remind myself that I am trying.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's better than sort of not, you know, a few months ago, I didn't

Vicki Weinberg:

even have a clue that that's what I could be doing or should be doing.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I think even just having the awareness is, is a step forward.

Jodie Greer:

One thing that might be useful for you to include when you

Jodie Greer:

put this episode out, actually, you know, I mentioned about color contrast.

Jodie Greer:

Um, if I send you a link to a free very simple contrast analyzer that I use.

Jodie Greer:

Um, maybe that's something that'd be really helpful for people because if

Jodie Greer:

they want to double-check imagery they're creating, or even maybe something, if

Jodie Greer:

they're rebranding that kind of stuff, um, it, it's just an easy way of doing it

Jodie Greer:

and it's literally done with two clicks.

Jodie Greer:

Once you download it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, that'd be so helpful.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do send that over and I'll make sure that's in the show notes.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I also have the link to your website and all your social media channels

Vicki Weinberg:

and everywhere people can find you.

Jodie Greer:

Excellent.

Jodie Greer:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for being here for sharing all of this.

Vicki Weinberg:

And as I said, for keeping it light and practical as well, because

Vicki Weinberg:

like I, yeah, I fully appreciate this is a massive topic, so yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think we've only just touched the surface and maybe we'll have to have you

Vicki Weinberg:

back a future date to talk about sort of other areas of inclusivity inclusivity.

Jodie Greer:

Yeah.

Jodie Greer:

Happy to, um, yeah.

Jodie Greer:

If your listeners want some extra advice or whatever, please do reach out.

Jodie Greer:

Um, and yeah, well done for taking steps.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening all the way to the end of this episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you enjoyed it, please do leave member of you that really helps

Vicki Weinberg:

other people to find this podcast.

Vicki Weinberg:

Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes and

Vicki Weinberg:

do tell your friends about it too.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you think that they also might enjoy it, you can find at vickiweinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

There you'll find links to all of my social channels.

Vicki Weinberg:

You'll find lots more information.

Vicki Weinberg:

All of the past podcast episodes and lots of free resources too.

Vicki Weinberg:

So again, that's www.vickiweinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

Take care, have a good week and