For anyone working directly with customers, you know many of the best suggestions for improving your product or service come from customer requests.
It could be a customer support call, a tweet, or a support form message.
How about adding alternative text to Buffer?
As a user of any product or service, you learn that if you don’t ask for something, you’re not likely to get it.
And as I learned earlier this month, sometimes that ask has to happen three times.
Will There Be Transcripts?
When I read the announcement of a new design podcast coming out soon—a storytelling type of podcast that would follow in the style of public radio—I was excited.
The podcast was being produced by a well-known designer, now working at Adobe, who I’ve followed for years.
I didn’t notice any mention of it, so I asked: will there be transcripts of the podcast?
Reply, Rather no Reply
I waited, but never heard back whether transcripts would be added to the podcast.
Transcripts for podcasts are still uncommon.
Many podcasters aren’t aware of the benefits of podcasts, including expanding their audience to people who:
- Are deaf or hard of hearing
- Speak a language different from a podcaster
- Work in a quiet or noisy environment
- Prefer text over audio
In addition, transcripts allow search engines to index the podcast, making it findable on the web.
A few days later, I asked again: would the podcast be published with a transcript?
Again, no response.
Third Time’s a Charm
On my third attempt to find out whether the podcast would have transcripts, I changed my approach.
And mentioned that I understood their goal was to reach a wider audience.
Which wouldn’t happen if the podcast wasn’t available with transcripts.
Within six hours, I heard back from Adobe.
Not the response I had wanted, transcripts weren’t available.
But they replied they were working on a solution to offer transcripts for all episodes.
I thanked them for their quick response, telling them I looked forward to reading the transcripts.
The next day, Adobe replied back to me with the good news that the transcript for the first episode was available.
Good news! We have the transcript for episode 1 ready: https://t.co/ufvSX6UJxj. Transcripts for all subsequent episodes will be available on the Gimlet Creative site. Feel free to take a look! ^YS
— Adobe (@Adobe) October 11, 2018
I replied, thanking them for such a quick response that would make their design podcast available to everyone.
And quickly shared their podcast and transcripts to my 5,000+ Twitter followers.
Over the years, I’ve learned that when it comes to web accessibility, sometimes you don’t get the answer you expect when you ask questions.
Or any answer at all.
That may mean changing your approach, asking for more background.
Or reaching out to someone else, for the third time.
I’m thrilled Adobe acted on my request and took the steps to add transcripts to their new design podcast.
Accessibility win for everyone!