Monthly Archives: June 2017

Semantic HTML: The Unbearable Rightness of Being

This is the fourth post in a series on accessibility from Shopify’s UX team. We’re publishing posts every two weeks. Check out the introduction.

Using valid, semantic HTML is one of the most impactful ways to make your site more accessible. Writing semantic HTML means using the HTML element with the most specific, correct meaning for your task. For example, if you’re building a button, use a <button> element. With CSS and JavaScript you could make just about any element, e.g. a <div>, look like a button, but it won’t be a button.

This being is the reason semantic HTML is important for accessibility. Browsers have different behaviour depending on what an element is, not what it looks like. These differences can have a big impact on user experience.

How semantic HTML affects users

Consider this example (also available as a CodePen):

<div class="btn" onclick="alert('something')">do something</div>
<a href="#" class="btn" onclick="alert('something')">do something</a>
<button type="button" class="btn" onclick="alert('something')">do something</button>

 

 

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The a11y Monthly: get rid of your tables (or fix them) 

While the original intended use of HTML tables was tabular data, tables are also used as aids for page layout. This was especially true some years ago when browsers hardly supported CSS. Tables were necessary to overcome limitations in visual presentation. Today, there is much more flexibility in controlling page layout using CSS. Does it still make sense to use layout tables? From an accessibility perspective, are layout tables good or bad? Any myths and misconceptions to debunk? At Yoast, we’ve decided to get rid of the few layout tables still used in our plugins.

We’re working hard on making the web and our products as accessible as possible for everyone. We believe every single individual on this planet has a right to accessible web content and we have to lead by example. Since so much of our work goes on behind the scenes, we’re publishing this monthly series of blog posts to keep you posted on this important part of our work.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: The a11y Monthly: get rid of your tables (or fix them) • Yoast Dev Blog

Accessibility features in macOS and iOS that everyone should try

iphone mac pixabayIf you’re someone who doesn’t have any specific reasons to go there, you may have never explored the Accessibility settings on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. While it’s true that those settings are there primarily for people who have special physical needs to modify how a device’s interface works, the fact is, many people who don’t consider themselves in need of any sort of accommodation can find something of value in these settings.

Accessibility has become a place where Apple buries some specific, nitpicky details about how its devices behave–and that’s why you should take a stroll through those settings sometime just to see if they solve problems you didn’t even realize were solvable. Here are some of my favorites:

Curated by (Lifekludger)
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How Design for Accessibility Drives Innovation for All

Comcast recently made a big splash in the world of assistive technology by launching the industry’s first voice-enabled television user interface, or “talking TV guide,” which gives blind and visually impaired customers the ability to independently explore and navigate thousands of shows and movies.

Comcast’s vice president of accessibility Tom Wlodkowski, who is blind, said the new interface “is as much about usability as it is about accessibility.”

Eminently more usable than navigating a complicated channel grid, voice command also comes in handy for people with sight.

Think about the multitaskers who don’t have their hands free to manipulate a remote control – the laundry folders, the moms who’re nursing babies, the social media surfers.

Aging populations also benefit greatly from voice user interfaces.

What Accessibility Has To Do With Usability

Realizing that products designed for accessibility end up making life better for everyone else, Comcast launched an accessibility lab to drive research and development. I heard Wlodkowski give an inspiring presentation about accessibility and innovation at the 2016 Forge Conference and it got me thinking about how the desire to address disability drives innovation forward.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: How Design for Accessibility Drives Innovation for All | Bresslergroup

Learn How to Use ChromeVox Next Screen Reader [Videos]

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www­.lireo­.com – When Chrome 56 was released in January 2017, people were excited with the new features, including:

 

One of the new features I think many people may have overlooked in Chrome 56 was the new ChromeVox…

Key Takeaways from the Videos

  • Turn on (and off) ChromeVox Next by holding down the CTRL + ALT keys and pressing the Z key
  • The search key on the Chromebook keyboard is the ChromeVox modifier key (often called ChromeVox in the commands). It’s used in combination with other keys to help you navigate pages.
  • In Learn Mode (press ChromeVox + O + K), you can hear the name of each key you press (or if you’re pressing multiple keys for a command, you’ll hear the command name)
  • Close a browser tab using CTRL + W
  • Temporarily silence speech by pressing CTRL
  • You can navigate a page linearly, using jump commands, or with ChromeVox menus
  • Access the new ChromeVox menus feature using ChromeVox + . (period)
  • If you enable Sticky Mode (double-tap the search key quickly), you don’t have to use the search key for your commands (turn Sticky Mode off by double-tapping the search key quickly)

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Learn How to Use ChromeVox Next Screen Reader [Videos]

The 7 Factors that Influence User Experience 

User Experience (UX) is critical to the success or failure of a product in the market but what do we mean by UX? All too often UX is confused with usability which describes to some extent how easy a product is to use and it is true that UX as a discipline began with usability – however, UX has grown to accommodate rather more than usability and it is important to pay attention to all facets of the user experience in order to deliver successful products to market.

There are 7 factors that describe user experience, according to Peter Morville a pioneer in the UX field who was written several best-selling books and advises many Fortune 500 companies on UX:

  • Useful
  • Usable
  • Findable
  • Credible
  • Desirable
  • Accessible
  • Valuable

Let’s take a look at each factor in turn and what it means for the overall user experience:

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Read full article at Source: The 7 Factors that Influence User Experience | Interaction Design Foundation

Government accessibility standards and WCAG 2

This posting summarizes some detailed research into the state of government accessibility standards around the world, as of March 2016. Usually these evolve fairly slowly, although the Jodhan vs. Attorney General of Canada case may change that (governments don’t like being successfully sued by their citizens).

This table shows government accessibility standards, and relevant legislation, in 18 territories:

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Government accessibility standards and WCAG 2

How major technology companies are improving accessibility for people with disabilities

The year 2016 saw an increase in focus on accessibility features to allow people with disabilities to access technology. The Microsoft Event that saw the launch of the Surface Studio on October 26, and the Apple event a day later on October 27 which saw the launch of the new Macbook Pro laptops, both opened with a video showcasing the efforts by the two companies at making their products more universally accessible. Earlier in the year, during the Facebook F8 conference, Facebook demonstrated a a new API with features for making user interfaces built using the React library more accessible to visually impaired users.

For the visually impaired, touchscreens are scary because they are devices where all controls defer to the screen. Nirmita Narasimhan, a Policy Director at The Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in Bengaluru has contributed to policy decisions by the Indian Government to help the visually impaired better use technology. One of these measures was allowing the blind to convert ebooks to any format that would allow them to read it. Narasimhan believes that accessibility to new technologies can improve greatly for the visually impaired if major app distributors such as Apple and Google take efforts to make sure the same application works for blind users as well.

 

Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source