Accessible Mobile Experiences

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Dec 10, 2013 (3 years and 8 months ago)

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Accessible Mobile Experiences

Guidelines? Standards? Anybody?

Katja Forbes, Perceptive UX

OZeWAI, December 1
st

2011

Hello Alice. Welcome to Wonderland.

2

The journey begins….


If you do a web search for “Mobile Accessibility
Standards” you’re going to be disappointed.



There are no universally accepted accessibility standards
for mobile.





With Web Content Accessibility
Guidelines (WCAG) either you did
do it or you didn’t. Mobile is much
more vague.


3

What standards apply to mobile?


A few years ago there was a research project which
looked at exactly that.



Map the Mobile Web Best Practices to WCAG 2.0!




Last updated in Jun 2009



4

Since June 2009 this has happened…


iPhone 3Gs with VoiceOver, iPhone 4 and iPhone
4s with Siri all released



Android: Donut, Éclair (x2), FroYo, Gingerbread,
Honeycomb, Honeycomb 1.1…some more
Honeycombs and an Ice cream Sandwich!



Windows phone 7 and 7.5 Mango



iPad 1 and iPad 2



Galaxy tab, Blackberry Playbook, HP Slate…



5

What is the ‘mobile wonderland’ today?

6


We have:



Mobile smart phones



Tablets such as iPad



Kindle Fire and other e
-
Readers?

‘Mobile wonderland’ is also made up of…

7


4 very different operating systems:



Apple iOS



Android (whatever yummy thing
is installed on your device)



Windows Phone



Blackberry

So what else?

8


We have:



Native Applications or ‘apps’



Hybrid Apps



HTML 5 Apps



Touch Tablet specific apps.....



Mobile web (maybe…)


Help!

9


This is really hard.

10

1. Stay focussed on accessibility.


If we try to design for all these different
operating systems then we just end up
designing for mobile diversity, not for
accessibility.



Use it but don’t get overwhelmed by the
technology



Design for the human capabilities, not the
device

11

What’s the mobile experience?


“Mobile, by definition, is disabling. Poor
light, small keyboards, glare, touch, etc.



Henny Swan,
Senior Accessibility Specialist at the BBC



A smart phone or tablet is basically
“pictures under glass



Bret Victor, Former Apple
Engineer



People do choose their devices based on
what accessibility features they offer

12

Vision


Remember not all people who are visually impaired are
blind. The needs of partially sighted people or people with
low vision can be different. We have an aging population
many of whom have degenerating eyesight.



Aural or tactile feedback



Tactile markers to orientate fingers



Adjustable fonts



Colour is critical



Voice recognition to complete tasks



13

Hearing


A range of visual alerts



Easy volume control



Visual display of any activity such as
missed, received and dialed calls,
messages successfully sent or received



Captioning video is really really vital!



2 way video conferencing can be useful if
‘signing’ is a preferred language



14

Dexterity


Hands free actions



Predictive text



Minimise input



Voice recognition



Any key answer or voice answer (e.g
Nuance Voice control)



15

Speech


Text



Email



Instant messaging



Multimedia messaging



Predictive text…again



16

Cognition


Choice between audio, visual or
vibrating alerts when a call


Keys provide audio, visual and tactile
feedback


Popular functions such as placing a call
can be controlled by repeating pre
-
recorded voice commands


Help menus designed to anticipate the
information being sought


Keypad shortcuts to make every step
quick and efficient


17

And remember our older citizens


Our Australian population is aging.



Our respected elders (people aged 65 to 84
years) are expected to more than double
between now and 2050




Our really venerated elders (people 85 and
over) is expected to more than quadruple



Older people are most likely going to have
to manage with a bit of all the disabilities


18

What’s on offer?


Apple is demonstrating a very serious
commitment to accessibility.



The experience is consistent and
predictable but has mostly been
concentrated on the visually impaired
experience.



VoiceOver, their text to speech solution



Assistive Touch, helping motor impaired
people



Siri, fun for everyone

19

Who’s next?


Android is demonstrating a very seriously
fractured approach to accessibility.



There are around 45 handset and tablet
manufacturers running on various versions
of the OS.



It’s not inbuilt and there is no consistency



As at June 2011, 131 accessibility apps



BUT! At least they’re trying really hard!



20

Some can do better…


With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft didn’t
even try.



Windows Phone 7 (WP7), did not
include the accessibility components that
were part of earlier Microsoft mobile
operating systems.



WP 7.5 Mango moved towards more
accessible features with voice
recognition and some text to speech



21

And lastly….


Blackberry mean well



They have accessibility feature matrices
on 11 devices



It’s mostly about the hardware


22

2. Guidelines must be technology agnostic


Mobile technology is fractured, changing
and incredibly diverse



85% of people expect mobile experience
to be AT LEAST AS GOOD as desktop
.
-

Josh Clark



So lets get out of these woods and go
check out some trees!


23

So if there is no mobile web?


A good accessible and responsive design should
solve most of our problems.



‘Responsive’ means design and development
should respond to the person’s behaviour and
environment based on screen size, platform and
orientation.



If a website is already accessible via the desktop
then its most likely to be mobile friendly as well.



And we can use the guidelines we already have
right?


24

Guidelines work for responsive design


Everything is flexible



Showing and hiding content must be
‘perceivable’



A guideline? Do we have a winner?



Yes! WCAG Guideline 1.3: Adaptable!
Come on down!



25

Where am I going with this?


The majority of what we have in WCAG 2.0
still holds true for what we’re trying to do in
mobile device wonderland.



The fundamental principles of WCAG 2.0,
perceivable, operable, understandable and
robust, still apply here.



Lets look at another example of how.

26

Oh please remember colour!


This is pretty basic!



Colour contrast



Using colour to convey meaning



What works here from WCAG?



Guideline 1.4 Distinguishable: Make it easier
for users to see and hear content including
separating foreground from background.



27

Colour
-
blindness and mobile games



"It's one of the easiest disabilities to
avoid prejudicing if you catch your
mistake. Deaf gamers need subtitles,
motor
-
problem gamers need limited
-
input
games with difficulty levels, blind gamers
need completely bespoke games, autistic
gamers can't deal with non
-
abstract
games, but we just need you to think
about your colour palette.”

Games industry
writer Dan Griliopoulos, who is colour blind.

28

Colour
-
blindness and mobile games



Enemies you need to distinguish between
are often are red and green
.



Puzzle games rely on colours to
differentiate same
-
shaped objects.




Careful selection of colour for buttons is
important.

29

Let’s talk about text to speech


An app or mobile site is not a book



People listen to enough to orientate
themselves and then move on.



There are different modes



Text to speech doesn’t just read



Not just for visually impaired. People with
dyslexia also use text to speech to read
digital written content.


30

Labelling with text to speech in mind


There are a lot of buttons in apps helping
to navigate around.



The language used in labelling is really
important.



Don’t be bossy.



Don’t double up.



Use native controls



31

Mobile video? Make sure its captioned


There is a lot of video available on
mobile and its one of the most
consumed types of content.



People who are deaf or have
hearing loss want to access all this
content accessibly, which is tough
on mobile devices.



WCAG 1.2.2/1.2.4 Captions
(Prerecorded/Live): Captions are
provided for all prerecorded/live
audio content in synchronized
media

32

What are the captioning options?


Just go for open captions that are always
visible which aren’t ideal.



Add closed captions to M4V movies
playable on various Apple devices



Add subtitles to M4V files targeted for
iTunes and the iPhone.



Add closed
-
description tracks to movies
playable using iTunes, the iPhone and iPod
touch

33

There’s more than one way to do things


Inform events in multiple ways.



Don’t just have one way of achieving a
task

34

Supporting dexterity challenges


Make sure the touch targets are big enough
for people with dexterity challenges.



Window Phone 7 actually does have
something to offer here with its ‘big tile’
user interface.



Choose smart defaults



Use alternate methods to input information




35

Test, test, test


If you have a smart phone, you have a
screen reader. Test your designs. There is
no excuse.



Test with real people who have real
accessibility needs



Iterate and test again!



Learn from your mistakes and make your
next try better.

36

So, to sum up…


‘Mobile Wonderland’ is extremely
diverse and complex to navigate



We have to stay focussed on
accessibility, not mobile diversity



Our guiding principles must be
technology agnostic



Let’s use what we already have and
adapt as we learn more



37

Thank you!

38


Questions?




katja@perceptiveux.com





With many thanks to:


Henny Swan


Michael Lockrey


Diana Watts


Michael Caulfield