Da Vinci Code Trail - not big or clever
Imagine for a moment that you can't use a mouse or other pointing device. Maybe you're a screenreader user. The reason is immaterial, but you're dependent on your keyboard or voice recognition software to use your computer. You're also a big fan of the Da Vinci Code (the book that is - the chances of someone being a fan of the film and a keyboard user are too tiny to contemplate).
When Sony Ericsson and O2 announce "The Da Vinci Trail",
an entire site of phone offers, content and secrets from The Da Vinci Code, you're pretty damned excited. Apparently you can get free downloads, win a car, and best of all
take on the challenge of The Da Vinci Code Trail for your chance to win The Da Vinci Code experience of a lifetime. And to top it all, the Da Vinci Code Trail website is Segala certified - see the press release on the Segala site (if you didn't receive the same unsolicited email I did from them) for the full details.
Ah, life is sweet. You visit the site, select the html version over the Flash version (feeling a little like a second class citizen, but that's okay, at least the content is accessible), download some stuff, enter a competition to win a car (even though the markup on the competition entry form is still horribly broken, 48 hours after I reported it), and prepare for the big one, the Da Vinci Code Trail itself.
As you may have already guessed, that's when it all goes pear-shaped. See, the good folk at Sony Ericsson and O2 have seen fit to provide a pretty accessible alternative to some of the content on the site, like the downloads and the car comp (about 8 pages in total), but the Trail itself is a multi-stage Flash game, wholly unusable with anything other than a mouse, for anyone other than a sighted user.
I contacted Segala about this bizarre situation - after all the whole campaign is called "The Da Vinci Code Trail", and all that free audio book, download and win a car competition stuff is only secondary to the main competition - and this is the reason they gave for the Segala certification not including the Trail itself:
The Flash game on the site is actually hosted on Sony Ericsson's domain and was developed independently.
Normally I wouldn't bat an eyelid at this sort of setup, but in this case Segala, O2 and Sony Ericsson are shouting about this half-arsed effort at accessibility as:
a great example of how organisations who are now starting to take accessibility more seriously are not building sites that might just look good and have some really great interactive features but that don't comply with accessibility requirements.
No-one should be under the impression that the discriminatory Da Vinci Code Trail website is acceptable, and it certainly isn't anything to shout about.