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Accessible Mobile Experiences Guidelines? Standards? Anybody? Katja Forbes, Perceptive UX OZeWAI, December 1 st  2011  © 2...
Hello Alice. Welcome to Wonderland.
The journey begins…. <ul><li>If you do a web search for “Mobile Accessibility Standards” you’re going to be disappointed. ...
What standards apply to mobile? <ul><li>A few years ago there was a research project which looked at exactly that.  </li><...
Since June 2009 this has happened… <ul><li>iPhone 3Gs with VoiceOver, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s with Siri all released </li><...
What is the ‘mobile wonderland’ today? <ul><li>We have: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile smart phones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><...
‘ Mobile wonderland’ is also made up of… <ul><li>4 very different operating systems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apple iOS </li>...
So what else? <ul><li>We have: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Native Applications or ‘apps’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hybrid Apps ...
Help!
<ul><li>This is really hard. </li></ul>
1. Stay focussed on accessibility. <ul><li>If we try to design for all these different operating systems then we just end ...
What’s the mobile experience? <ul><li>“ Mobile, by definition, is disabling. Poor light, small keyboards, glare, touch, et...
Vision <ul><li>Remember not all people who are visually impaired are blind. The needs of partially sighted people or peopl...
Hearing <ul><li>A range of visual alerts </li></ul><ul><li>Easy volume control </li></ul><ul><li>Visual display of any act...
Dexterity <ul><li>Hands free actions </li></ul><ul><li>Predictive text </li></ul><ul><li>Minimise input </li></ul><ul><li>...
Speech <ul><li>Text </li></ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul><ul><li>Instant messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia messaging </l...
Cognition <ul><li>Choice between audio, visual or vibrating alerts when a call </li></ul><ul><li>Keys provide audio, visua...
And remember our older citizens <ul><li>Our Australian population is aging. </li></ul><ul><li>Our respected elders (people...
What’s on offer? <ul><li>Apple is demonstrating a very serious commitment to accessibility. </li></ul><ul><li>The experien...
Who’s next? <ul><li>Android is demonstrating a very seriously fractured approach to accessibility. </li></ul><ul><li>There...
Some can do better… <ul><li>With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft didn’t even try. </li></ul><ul><li>Windows Phone 7 (WP7), did ...
And lastly…. <ul><li>Blackberry mean well </li></ul><ul><li>They have accessibility feature matrices on 11 devices </li></...
2. Guidelines must be technology agnostic <ul><li>Mobile technology is fractured, changing and incredibly diverse  </li></...
So if there is no mobile web? <ul><li>A good accessible and responsive design should solve most of our problems. </li></ul...
Guidelines work for responsive design <ul><li>Everything is flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Showing and hiding content must be ...
Where am I going with this? <ul><li>The majority of what we have in WCAG 2.0 still holds true for what we’re trying to do ...
Oh please remember colour! <ul><li>This is pretty basic! </li></ul><ul><li>Colour contrast </li></ul><ul><li>Using colour ...
Colour-blindness and mobile games <ul><li>&quot;It's one of the easiest disabilities to avoid prejudicing if you catch you...
Colour-blindness and mobile games <ul><li>Enemies you need to distinguish between are often are red and green . </li></ul>...
Let’s talk about text to speech <ul><li>An app or mobile site is not a book </li></ul><ul><li>People listen to enough to o...
Labelling with text to speech in mind <ul><li>There are a lot of buttons in apps helping to navigate around.  </li></ul><u...
Mobile video? Make sure its captioned <ul><li>There is a lot of video available on mobile and its one of the most consumed...
What are the captioning options? <ul><li>Just go for open captions that are always visible which aren’t ideal. </li></ul><...
There’s more than one way to do things <ul><li>Inform events in multiple ways. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t just have one way o...
Supporting dexterity challenges <ul><li>Make sure the touch targets are big enough for people with dexterity challenges. <...
Test, test, test <ul><li>If you have a smart phone, you have a screen reader. Test your designs. There is no excuse. </li>...
So, to sum up… <ul><li>‘ Mobile Wonderland’ is extremely diverse and complex to navigate </li></ul><ul><li>We have to stay...
Thank you! <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Contact me via  www.perceptiveux.com   </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter:  @luckyk...
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Accessible Mobile Experiences. Guidelines? Standards? Anybody? - OZeWAI 2011

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[For people with hearing loss, a full transcript of the audio for each slide can be found in the slide notes.] With the rise and rise of smartphones and apps in the marketplace, on multiple operating systems, with vastly different devices, creating consistent, desirable and, most importantly, accessible experiences is becoming a Herculean challenge! Focussing more on the user experience than technology, this is the story of one persons journey through the wonderland of mobile accessibility on the hunt for a cohesive set of guidelines and standards. It shares the questions raised, some answers found and a few ideas of how we can meet the challenges in the future.

Completely suitable for beginners! There is no assumed knowledge.

Published in: Technology, Design
  • @HBSLEW Thanks for your great comment. I heartily agree with all of it. Guidelines should be able to take into account the peripheral assistive technology as well and also support it's inclusion in future standards development around accessible design of mobile devices. I hope the GARI project will include that and I will email them to see what sort of response it prompts. Thank you for the extra pieces of information around dexterity and speech as well which I will be sure to include as I take this work forward.
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  • I think the speaker has done a wonder job of framing the problems and presenting the current state of the industry.

    Fragmentation of the industry and the competitive nature of the industry that prevents handset manufacturers from collaborating unless regulated to do so are part of the challenges of developing standards. At the same time studies have shown that all consumers are looking for a better user experience and standards would improve that situation.

    I would like to point out that hardware interface standards are also required to support third party alternative input and output devices. The iPhone for example support an informal guideline that allows blind users to interface the device to braille displays, but this is not broadly supported by other handset manufacturers.

    Voice recognition is not an all encompassing solution, many users with dexterity issues, especially those with no use of their hands and arms, have to use alternative keyboards and mice interfaces to control desktop computers effectively. No equivalent exists for mobile devices as the handset manufacturers can not agree on a standard to support the interface of third party assistive devices or even consumer peripheral devices. Freedom Input, for example, makes a line of third party keyboards for mobile devices for consumers, but their keyboards use a proprietary protocols to interface their keyboards to mobile devices and the keyboards are not suitable for many users with dexterity issues.
    It is also important to note that some users with dexterity issues also can not speak and need to use alternative and augmentative communication devices to communicate and therefore can not use speech recognition solutions.
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Accessible Mobile Experiences. Guidelines? Standards? Anybody? - OZeWAI 2011

  1. 1. Accessible Mobile Experiences Guidelines? Standards? Anybody? Katja Forbes, Perceptive UX OZeWAI, December 1 st 2011 © 2011 Copyright Perceptive UX, All rights reserved
  2. 2. Hello Alice. Welcome to Wonderland.
  3. 3. The journey begins…. <ul><li>If you do a web search for “Mobile Accessibility Standards” you’re going to be disappointed. </li></ul><ul><li>There are no universally accepted accessibility standards for mobile. </li></ul><ul><li>With Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) either you did do it or you didn’t. Mobile is much more vague. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What standards apply to mobile? <ul><li>A few years ago there was a research project which looked at exactly that. </li></ul><ul><li>Map the Mobile Web Best Practices to WCAG 2.0! </li></ul><ul><li>Last updated in Jun 2009 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Since June 2009 this has happened… <ul><li>iPhone 3Gs with VoiceOver, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s with Siri all released </li></ul><ul><li>Android: Donut, Éclair (x2), FroYo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Honeycomb 1.1…some more Honeycombs and an Ice cream Sandwich! </li></ul><ul><li>Windows phone 7 and 7.5 Mango </li></ul><ul><li>iPad 1 and iPad 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Galaxy tab, Blackberry Playbook, HP Slate… </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is the ‘mobile wonderland’ today? <ul><li>We have: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile smart phones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tablets such as iPad </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kindle Fire and other e-Readers? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. ‘ Mobile wonderland’ is also made up of… <ul><li>4 very different operating systems: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Apple iOS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Android (whatever yummy thing is installed on your device) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows Phone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blackberry </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. So what else? <ul><li>We have: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Native Applications or ‘apps’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hybrid Apps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>HTML 5 Apps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Touch Tablet specific apps..... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile web (maybe…) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Help!
  10. 10. <ul><li>This is really hard. </li></ul>
  11. 11. 1. Stay focussed on accessibility. <ul><li>If we try to design for all these different operating systems then we just end up designing for mobile diversity, not for accessibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Use it but don’t get overwhelmed by the technology </li></ul><ul><li>Design for the human capabilities, not the device </li></ul>
  12. 12. What’s the mobile experience? <ul><li>“ Mobile, by definition, is disabling. Poor light, small keyboards, glare, touch, etc. ” – Henny Swan, Senior Accessibility Specialist at the BBC </li></ul><ul><li>A smart phone or tablet is basically “pictures under glass ” – Bret Victor, Former Apple Engineer </li></ul><ul><li>People do choose their devices based on what accessibility features they offer </li></ul>
  13. 13. Vision <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Aural or tactile feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Tactile markers to orientate fingers </li></ul><ul><li>Adjustable fonts </li></ul><ul><li>Colour is critical </li></ul><ul><li>Voice recognition to complete tasks </li></ul>
  14. 14. Hearing <ul><li>A range of visual alerts </li></ul><ul><li>Easy volume control </li></ul><ul><li>Visual display of any activity such as missed, received and dialed calls, messages successfully sent or received </li></ul><ul><li>Captioning video is really really vital! </li></ul><ul><li>2 way video conferencing can be useful if ‘signing’ is a preferred language </li></ul>
  15. 15. Dexterity <ul><li>Hands free actions </li></ul><ul><li>Predictive text </li></ul><ul><li>Minimise input </li></ul><ul><li>Voice recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Any key answer or voice answer (e.g Nuance Voice control) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Speech <ul><li>Text </li></ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul><ul><li>Instant messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia messaging </li></ul><ul><li>Predictive text…again </li></ul>
  17. 17. Cognition <ul><li>Choice between audio, visual or vibrating alerts when a call </li></ul><ul><li>Keys provide audio, visual and tactile feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Popular functions such as placing a call can be controlled by repeating pre-recorded voice commands </li></ul><ul><li>Help menus designed to anticipate the information being sought </li></ul><ul><li>Keypad shortcuts to make every step quick and efficient </li></ul>
  18. 18. And remember our older citizens <ul><li>Our Australian population is aging. </li></ul><ul><li>Our respected elders (people aged 65 to 84 years) are expected to more than double between now and 2050 </li></ul><ul><li>Our really venerated elders (people 85 and over) is expected to more than quadruple </li></ul><ul><li>Older people are most likely going to have to manage with a bit of all the disabilities </li></ul>
  19. 19. What’s on offer? <ul><li>Apple is demonstrating a very serious commitment to accessibility. </li></ul><ul><li>The experience is consistent and predictable but has mostly been concentrated on the visually impaired experience. </li></ul><ul><li>VoiceOver, their text to speech solution </li></ul><ul><li>Assistive Touch, helping motor impaired people </li></ul><ul><li>Siri, fun for everyone </li></ul>
  20. 20. Who’s next? <ul><li>Android is demonstrating a very seriously fractured approach to accessibility. </li></ul><ul><li>There are around 45 handset and tablet manufacturers running on various versions of the OS. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not inbuilt and there is no consistency </li></ul><ul><li>As at June 2011, 131 accessibility apps </li></ul><ul><li>BUT! At least they’re trying really hard! </li></ul>
  21. 21. Some can do better… <ul><li>With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft didn’t even try. </li></ul><ul><li>Windows Phone 7 (WP7), did not include the accessibility components that were part of earlier Microsoft mobile operating systems. </li></ul><ul><li>WP 7.5 Mango moved towards more accessible features with voice recognition and some text to speech </li></ul>
  22. 22. And lastly…. <ul><li>Blackberry mean well </li></ul><ul><li>They have accessibility feature matrices on 11 devices </li></ul><ul><li>It’s mostly about the hardware </li></ul>
  23. 23. 2. Guidelines must be technology agnostic <ul><li>Mobile technology is fractured, changing and incredibly diverse </li></ul><ul><li>85% of people expect mobile experience to be AT LEAST AS GOOD as desktop . - Josh Clark </li></ul><ul><li>So lets get out of these woods and go check out some trees! </li></ul>
  24. 24. So if there is no mobile web? <ul><li>A good accessible and responsive design should solve most of our problems. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Responsive’ means design and development should respond to the person’s behaviour and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. </li></ul><ul><li>If a website is already accessible via the desktop then its most likely to be mobile friendly as well. </li></ul><ul><li>And we can use the guidelines we already have right? </li></ul>
  25. 25. Guidelines work for responsive design <ul><li>Everything is flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Showing and hiding content must be ‘perceivable’ </li></ul><ul><li>A guideline? Do we have a winner? </li></ul><ul><li>Yes! WCAG Guideline 1.3: Adaptable! Come on down! </li></ul>
  26. 26. Where am I going with this? <ul><li>The majority of what we have in WCAG 2.0 still holds true for what we’re trying to do in mobile device wonderland. </li></ul><ul><li>The fundamental principles of WCAG 2.0, perceivable, operable, understandable and robust, still apply here. </li></ul><ul><li>Lets look at another example of how. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Oh please remember colour! <ul><li>This is pretty basic! </li></ul><ul><li>Colour contrast </li></ul><ul><li>Using colour to convey meaning </li></ul><ul><li>What works here from WCAG? </li></ul><ul><li>Guideline 1.4 Distinguishable: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background. </li></ul>
  28. 28. Colour-blindness and mobile games <ul><li>&quot;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. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Colour-blindness and mobile games <ul><li>Enemies you need to distinguish between are often are red and green . </li></ul><ul><li>Puzzle games rely on colours to differentiate same-shaped objects. </li></ul><ul><li>Careful selection of colour for buttons is important. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Let’s talk about text to speech <ul><li>An app or mobile site is not a book </li></ul><ul><li>People listen to enough to orientate themselves and then move on. </li></ul><ul><li>There are different modes </li></ul><ul><li>Text to speech doesn’t just read </li></ul><ul><li>Not just for visually impaired. People with dyslexia also use text to speech to read digital written content. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Labelling with text to speech in mind <ul><li>There are a lot of buttons in apps helping to navigate around. </li></ul><ul><li>The language used in labelling is really important. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be bossy. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t double up. </li></ul><ul><li>Use native controls </li></ul>
  32. 32. Mobile video? Make sure its captioned <ul><li>There is a lot of video available on mobile and its one of the most consumed types of content. </li></ul><ul><li>People who are deaf or have hearing loss want to access all this content accessibly, which is tough on mobile devices. </li></ul><ul><li>WCAG 1.2.2/1.2.4 Captions (Prerecorded/Live): Captions are provided for all prerecorded/live audio content in synchronized media </li></ul>
  33. 33. What are the captioning options? <ul><li>Just go for open captions that are always visible which aren’t ideal. </li></ul><ul><li>Add closed captions to M4V movies playable on various Apple devices </li></ul><ul><li>Add subtitles to M4V files targeted for iTunes and the iPhone. </li></ul><ul><li>Add closed-description tracks to movies playable using iTunes, the iPhone and iPod touch </li></ul>
  34. 34. There’s more than one way to do things <ul><li>Inform events in multiple ways. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t just have one way of achieving a task </li></ul>
  35. 35. Supporting dexterity challenges <ul><li>Make sure the touch targets are big enough for people with dexterity challenges. </li></ul><ul><li>Window Phone 7 actually does have something to offer here with its ‘big tile’ user interface. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose smart defaults </li></ul><ul><li>Use alternate methods to input information </li></ul>
  36. 36. Test, test, test <ul><li>If you have a smart phone, you have a screen reader. Test your designs. There is no excuse. </li></ul><ul><li>Test with real people who have real accessibility needs </li></ul><ul><li>Iterate and test again! </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from your mistakes and make your next try better. </li></ul>
  37. 37. So, to sum up… <ul><li>‘ Mobile Wonderland’ is extremely diverse and complex to navigate </li></ul><ul><li>We have to stay focussed on accessibility, not mobile diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Our guiding principles must be technology agnostic </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s use what we already have and adapt as we learn more </li></ul>
  38. 38. Thank you! <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Contact me via www.perceptiveux.com </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @luckykat </li></ul>

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