Tesco Hudl 2, part 3: the grocery app

Today, I’m going to see how easily I can use the Tesco Hudl2 to order from the Tesco grocery app using TalkBack – this is by no means a complete accessibility assessment as any app should be accessible to a pan disability audience and TalkBack is primarily aimed at those who are blind. It’s important to look at what adjustments you require as an individual and look at the features above to see if the Hudl2 can meet them.

I am a sighted user so whilst using TalkBack I was able to see what was on the screen as well as hearing what TalkBack was telling me. To being, I Searched for bread, if I accidently click the picture of bread – I get a message telling me ‘button 48 unlabelled’. I have to precisely select the text for it to read out the product to me. When I select the add button to enter an item into my basket it reads out ‘add button’, but there is no spoken confirmation that the item has in fact been added, or how many items are in my basket.

Booking a delivery slot is tricky. If I click on the times at the side of the table it reads ‘9 hundred to 10 hundred’, which really could mean anything. Each time I select a slot within the table it tells me the cost, but there is no correlation with the time or date until I select it, go to the bottom of the screen to ‘book a slot’, select slightly to the left for it to read the date and time to then confirm or reselect. So, I do not know what I am selecting without lots of guess work and trial and error.

Screenshot of the Hudl2 grocery app delivery slots

When I finally guess at the time slot I want it takes me to the checkout where I am prompted to log in. Unfortunately, as this automatically inserts my email and goes into the password box, the form label isn’t read out to me. There is a form label, but I have to swipe away to go back into the form field to know what is expected of me. The radio buttons ‘for selecting how I want my groceries to be packed doesn’t work either, so it is set on the default ‘with bags’.

The other issue I found on pages with a lot of information, like the checkout page that needed scrolling down, they weren’t particularly easy. The process was very much trial and error, to the point of frustration. I could not get past reviewing the available ecoupons. As soon as I turned off TalkBack this issue went away.

The Tesco grocery app was not accessible with TalkBack. For fairness I tested this on my iPad mini to see if the issues I encountered were exclusive to Android and the Hudl2. I actually found the experience to be worse for some items: I could not change a delivery slot more than once, I got no speech to tell me what time I had booked, and was unable to confirm with ‘book this slot’. As soon as I turned VoiceOver off this worked. I got to the next step (with VoiceOver disabled) and found the radio buttons that didn’t work on the Hudl2 for selecting ‘with’ or ‘without bags’ did work with the iPad, and I could also scroll through both pages of the checkout allowing me to complete my order. All in all, I felt drained and defeated by the end.

Summary

This is a budget tablet and it does work very well. It has some basic accessibility features built in, which could be improved by including control over colour contrast. However, as the Hudl2 is £129 compared to the iPad mini which starts at £249, the 73p needed for the colour app isn’t going to break the bank.

The online support from Tesco staff was great. It’s such a shame this wasn’t replicated in stores. It’s great have a tech squad in place, but let’s train them to know not only about accessibility, but also to show someone the basics of getting online. Maybe they could run workshops like 02 and other organisations do to embrace digital inclusion and to show people the basic features and how to order their groceries online, and set it up for them. It just makes good business sense. Once someone is set up, the ease and simplicity means they won’t need to look elsewhere. And, right now, Tesco are the only food retailer with a tablet preloaded with their apps.

Tesco's Hudl2

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