Archive for accessibility
On Wednesday 24th May 2017, it was great to see the digital community come together to learn and be inspired by this year’s Camp Digital event in Manchester. Many great talks were given on topics of usability, design and accessibility, but the one session that stood out for me was the workshop I took part in, given by Molly Watt and Chris Bush, about using and understanding assistive technologies.
Chris Bush kicked the workshop off by giving us an insight into the vast number of people that suffer from a long-term illness or disability, equating to around 15% of the UK’s population. With this striking figure in mind, the question ‘Why design for inclusion?’ was proposed. To help us understand why, Chris introduced Molly Watt, who began by sharing her story on why she is so passionate about this subject.
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Join SimpleUsability on Tuesday 17th June for a half day training session on mobile accessibility testing.
Jon Gibbins, Technical Director at DigInclusion, one of the UK’s leading accessibility consultancies, will present an introduction on testing standards for mobile platforms with some additional specific testing tips on iOS and Android platforms.
Jon will explore what tests are needed in addition to WCAG 2.0 guidelines and will discuss Ideas on UX personas to bring to life the testing results.
Who is the course suitable for?
The course is open to individuals from any type of organisation.
Attendees will know what tests are affected by mobile technology and the additional considerations separating this from standard desktop testing, for example, how to take screen shots or demonstrating issues identified for reporting.
This course will not go into detailed coded solutions but basic coding knowledge would be advantageous.
When? Tuesday 17th June, from 9am to 1pm
Where? SimpleUsability, 1st Floor, Marshall Mills, Leeds, LS11 9YJ
Cost £95 + VAT
How to book
There are only 12 places available. Please email email@example.com or call on 0113 350 8155 if you have any questions or would like to book.
More about DigInclusion
DigInclusion is about making the best use of digital technology, either directly or indirectly, to improve the lives and life chances of all citizens, particularly the most disadvantaged, and the places in which they live.
I spent a large part of the Christmas holiday showing my mum how to set up and use her brand new Android tablet. She’s gone from never using a computer before to owning a mobile device she can browse from the sofa or take to her favourite café, and she’s delighted that she can finally buy cheap rail tickets and bag a bargain on eBay.
Most of the tools that improve her internet experience were first developed for people with disabilities: screen magnifiers, voice controls, alerts that make the mobile vibrate alongside a visible message. But mobile sites and apps aren’t always designed to work with these tools, meaning that people who have impairments (either because they are elderly or disabled) can’t use them.
It’s easy to forget what a large audience there is for assistive technology. Over 11 million people in the UK have some form of disability and half of them are over pension age. Many of the UK’s 6 million carers are trying to juggle a job alongside their care commitments. That’s a big group of people who are looking for ways to make life easier. Something as simple as a shopping delivery or online bill payment helps people achieve important things, like managing independently in their own home.
Wondering why someone would bother with a smartphone if they don’t see or hear so well? Thanks to the work put in by phone developers, more people than ever can use them. On Android and Apple phones, apps such as Talkback and Voiceover (both screen readers) come bundled with the phone. Other assistive apps are free or cost very little to download on the App Store or Play. Tools like this can be easier to learn than expensive software like Jaws, and they have all the benefit of being portable too. It isn’t usually the device that’s the accessibility barrier these days – it’s the design of the websites and apps that run on them.
So, how do you make your existing mobile site or app accessible to people with diverse needs, across a range of different mobile devices?
The most complete way to do this is to run an accessibility audit, make any changes raised in the audit, then run accessibility testing with real users.
But while you’re thinking about that, here are three of the most common accessibility barriers to check first:
- Does the content resize and reflow in portrait as well as landscape view? If it does, users can easily enlarge text to make it easier to read. Using flexible layouts and images also means your work looks as good on tablets and desktops as it does on phones.
- Do buttons and form fields have a meaningful name? (Use accessibilityLabel in iOS or contentDescription in Android to achieve this.) A page of links that reads ‘button, button, button’ doesn’t help people do what they need to do.
- Do alerts attract attention in more than one way? Set up your popups so they are read out as well as displayed on screen, and help users keep track of what’s going on.
Because of the restricted screen space, the best mWeb sites and apps are simpler than the desktop version. In turn this makes it far easier for people with impairments to order that pizza, book that train ticket or do their weekly shop online, without having to wait for help. The big benefit for developers is that a simpler site is easier for everyone to use.
Who doesn’t prefer (and go back to) a site that makes it quick and easy to do what you want?
For further information on how we help organisations improve their mobile accessibility through audits and testing, drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0113 350 8155.