Mobile
Accessibility
Strategy

Ted Drake, Intuit Accessibility
TechShare, Delhi India
This presentation was created for th...
Mobile
Accessibility
Usability
Strategy

Ted Drake, Intuit Accessibility
TechShare, Delhi India
The secret behind Intuit’s...
Prior to working at Intuit, I worked within the Yahoo Accessibility Lab to help teams make
their mobile applications acces...
Yahoo’s Fantasy Sports applications also placed greater emphasis on design than structure.
The content was largely built o...
Yahoo Sportacular also had it’s share of problems.
Yahoo is currently moving from these hybrid/HTML applications to native...
Evolution

I shifted from Yahoo to Intuit a couple years ago and the mobile application philosophy was significantly differ...
QuickBooks iPad screen shot
I have consistently found the products released by Intuit have a high level of accessibility
B...
GoPayment for iPad screen shot
GoPayment for iPhone was the first accessible mobile payments option, as it had an
alternati...
Building Strategies
•
•
•
•
•

Task Specific
Native Elements
Shared Components
Respect the device
Fresh Start
Task Specific

Intuit creates task specific instead of monolithic applications.
For instance, there are apps for checking on...
“Good mobile apps focus on a few
important tasks. Resist the temptation to
make all the features of your main site
into th...
Native Components

Apple, Android, and other platforms have worked very hard to create inherent accessible
functionality.
...
Shared
Components

When the native components are not adequate, Intuit’s Central Technology Group manages a
set of compone...
Mint’s
Interactive
Charts

Mint, a money management application, is famous for it’s dynamic, interactive charts. Other app...
Testing

Testing is done both on actual devices and with automation, such as Calabases and Android Lint. 
Intuit’s product...
Education
Intuit has a bi-weekly meeting for mobile developers and product managers. This helps distribute best practices,...
Contact
•
•
•
•
•
•

T: @ted_drake
W: last-child.com
Y: 7mary4responding
S: 7mary4
L: DrakeT
E: Ted_Drake@Intuit.com

Cont...
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Developing a mobile accessibility strategy

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Intuit's mobile applications have high ratings within the app stores. The quality also extends to a relatively high level of accessibility. This presentation shows how Intuit's strategy for building high quality mobile applications also leads it to building accessible applications. The secret is a dedication towards user-centered design and high usability.

Find out how this can be included in your company's mobile (accessibility) strategy.
This presentation was created for the TechShare conference in Delhi, India.

Here is an accessible version of this presentation: http://www.last-child.com/mobile-accessibility-strategy/

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Developing a mobile accessibility strategy

  1. 1. Mobile Accessibility Strategy Ted Drake, Intuit Accessibility TechShare, Delhi India This presentation was created for the TechShare conference in Delhi, India Feb. 2014 It shows how Intuit’s mobile strategy has encouraged accessible mobile applications. Photo: Acrobat on a tightrope, drummer below from the San Diego Museum of Art http://www.flickr.com/photos/asianartsandiego/4837920109/
  2. 2. Mobile Accessibility Usability Strategy Ted Drake, Intuit Accessibility TechShare, Delhi India The secret behind Intuit’s mobile accessibility strategy is that it has little to do with accessibility and everything to do with user experience and user-based design. Photo: Acrobat on a tightrope, drummer below from the San Diego Museum of Art http://www.flickr.com/photos/asianartsandiego/4837920109/
  3. 3. Prior to working at Intuit, I worked within the Yahoo Accessibility Lab to help teams make their mobile applications accessible. Yahoo’s emphasis, at that time, was on building WOW experiences that were consistent across platforms. This led to heavily customized code that was largely inaccessible. A great example was the short lived LiveStand application. While this had good intentions, it was largely an accessibility black hole.
  4. 4. Yahoo’s Fantasy Sports applications also placed greater emphasis on design than structure. The content was largely built of HTML with divs instead of semantic tags. Everything on the page was treated as disconnected text strings.
  5. 5. Yahoo Sportacular also had it’s share of problems. Yahoo is currently moving from these hybrid/HTML applications to native code.
  6. 6. Evolution I shifted from Yahoo to Intuit a couple years ago and the mobile application philosophy was significantly different. There’s a consistent pattern within technology. As a new platform is introduced (iOS, Android), engineers will work within the constraints, but begin looking for loopholes to differentiate their product. Moving too far from the technology core leads to unexpected expenses in performance, accessibility, and usability. This is where strategies (r)evolve within the custom vs. native programming.
  7. 7. QuickBooks iPad screen shot I have consistently found the products released by Intuit have a high level of accessibility BEFORE I get involved. Why do they require a much lighter hand than the previous Yahoo products? What is the secret to Intuit’s mobile application strategy?
  8. 8. GoPayment for iPad screen shot GoPayment for iPhone was the first accessible mobile payments option, as it had an alternative card swiper that was based on the dock instead of the earphone jack. They currently offer a card scanning option.
  9. 9. Building Strategies • • • • • Task Specific Native Elements Shared Components Respect the device Fresh Start
  10. 10. Task Specific Intuit creates task specific instead of monolithic applications. For instance, there are apps for checking on tax return status, keeping track of donations, preparing a payroll check, etc. Even the QuickBooks app has clearly defined task goals for each screen and some functions are sliced off as separate apps. Photo Jax Beach Pier by Rob Bixby http://www.flickr.com/photos/scubabix/9733614245/
  11. 11. “Good mobile apps focus on a few important tasks. Resist the temptation to make all the features of your main site into the ones that are most critical for mobile.” -Luke Wroblewski (Mobile First) Luke Wroblewski’s Mobile First proposal ushered in the world of mobile design and taught designers how to abandon the idea of transforming existing web sites to fit into a mobile device. http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1028
  12. 12. Native Components Apple, Android, and other platforms have worked very hard to create inherent accessible functionality. Using native components significantly reduces the amount of work needed to make your application accessible. Intuit’s apps tend to use native components, as they are built to accomplish tasks. Native components don’t require an additional learning curve and users are able to use the application quicker.
  13. 13. Shared Components When the native components are not adequate, Intuit’s Central Technology Group manages a set of components that are shared across the company. This allows the team to build high quality components that are tested for security, performance, usability, and accessibility.
  14. 14. Mint’s Interactive Charts Mint, a money management application, is famous for it’s dynamic, interactive charts. Other apps wanted to use these charts, but did so by forking the Mint code and modifying them for their use. We had many variations of the forms and none were accessible. Our CTO group took the Mint charts and made a universal set, fixing the accessibility, and now this version is being used across Intuit. Further, changes can be made in one code set and propagate across the products.
  15. 15. Testing Testing is done both on actual devices and with automation, such as Calabases and Android Lint.  Intuit’s product development also relies heavily on user testing, including users with disabilities. Intuit has a mobile device library that allows anyone within Intuit to check out a mobile device for testing. This has significantly lowered equipment cost and makes it much easier to test applications on an assortment of phones. This can be important as phone manufacturers may break accessibility, such as the Samsung keyboard. photo: Page from a manuscript on puppetry from San Diego Museum of Art http://www.flickr.com/photos/asianartsandiego/ 4838596692/
  16. 16. Education Intuit has a bi-weekly meeting for mobile developers and product managers. This helps distribute best practices, discoveries, and new shared components. Intuit also has an annual mobile gathering and has supported mobile development conference. Photo: Darbar scene from the San Diego Museum of Art http://www.flickr.com/photos/asianartsandiego/4837755043/
  17. 17. Contact • • • • • • T: @ted_drake W: last-child.com Y: 7mary4responding S: 7mary4 L: DrakeT E: Ted_Drake@Intuit.com Contact info http://twitter.com/ted_drake http://last-child.com http://youtube.com/7mary4responding http://www.slideshare.net/7mary4 http://www.linkedin.com/in/draket/

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