Multiple ways of inputing and accessing information on the web is standard in accessibility but with the proliferation of mobile, tablets, touch, games consoles, kiosks (you name it) things are changing.
Where we were lucky if websites were designed with keyboard only users in mind it’s necessary to think beyond keyboard and mouse to include voice, movement, gestures, touch, switches, device motion, heartbeats (yes)…the list is, well, infinite. Not least because it will evolve and never end.
For me this is nothing new and something that accessibility has understood and been tackling for decades. With the proliferation of devices however there is now a convergence where access technology, with all its wonderful ways of providing means of input, is now converging with the mainstream. What we traditionally thought of as ‘assistive technology’ is now becoming something that many of us use dependent on context and device, or simply for fun, rather than solely by need.
Luke Wroblewski did a talk at dConstruct this year on Infinite Inputs discussing input types and how our interfaces have to adapt. He only mentions accessibility once (which is a good thing), but the whole piece covers inclusive design and innovation perfectly. Have a listen: Infinite Inputs.
Many thanks to Iain Griffin of Four-I’s who invited me to do a podcast on mobile accessibility and the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines. In it we discuss how they evolved, how we are working with the guidelines at BBC and some of the principles and approaches to mobile accessibility for web products and native apps.
Have a listen to the mobile accessibility podcast over on the Four-I’s site.
I was interviewed by E-Access Bulletin about how we went about developing the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines. You can read the story behind the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines over at the E-Access site as well as a blog post on the BBC Internet Blog.
To download a PDF or Word copy of the guidelines visit the BBC standards and guidelines site for mobile accessibility.
Watch this space for some updated mobile guidelines coming soon and for a walk though of mobile accessibility below are slides I presented on an Introduction to Mobile Accessibility at AccessU earlier this year.
Finally, after a long road of writing, editing, approving and everything else you can imagine I’m happy to say that a draft version of the BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines is finally published.
Continue Reading Draft BBC Mobile Accessibility Guidelines
Below are a handful of observations from user testing on mobile websites and applications I’ve seen recently. All users had some form of disability including people with limited mobility, sight impairments, cognitive impairments dyslexia or hearing loss. Testing was carried out using Android or iOS with blind users accessing using the TalkBack or VoiceOver screen readers respectively. For obvious reasons I can’t share with you any details about the products.
Continue Reading User testing observations with disabled mobile users
If you have a disability, are a mobile user and have 5 minutes to spare please take a moment to fill out this online survey on mobile accessibility hosted on the The Paciello Group (TPG) site.
The data gathered will be a useful insight into mobile usage and help us inform mobile accessibility strategy and development.
Obviously the more people filling it in the better to please pass this on to any other mailing lists, blogs or lists you might feel appropriate.
Big thank you to TPG and Kevin Chao for kick starting this.
Update February 1st, 2013
The preliminary results are in and available on the TPG website. It looks like more analysis is to come but I’d say there are few surprises.