Introduction

When designing interfaces, be it for web, tablet, or mobile, it’s important to know that everyone viewing that UI will interpret it differently. A user may have a visual, auditory, mobility, or cognitive disability that you as the designer need to take into consideration.

“Today, we need to design with one thought to the color blind, one thought to the photosensitive epileptic, and one thought to those who will magnify our screens. Today we need to write semantic HTML and make pages that can be navigated by voice, touch, mouse, keyboard, and stylus.”

While putting together these guidelines Micro Focus referenced many resources and design systems. Especially the World Wide Web Consortium (w3c.org), the leading source that sets guidelines for an all-inclusive web. W3C is used internationally, and one of their main initiatives is to provide “strategies, standards, [and] resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities.” The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) contained on W3C’s website is part of a series of web accessibility guidelines that have been published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and the W3C. These guidelines are meant to serve as a resource so that Micro Focus can be sure all products are accessible and “available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability.”

W3C has four basic principles of accessibility which are the success criteria for anyone who wants to use the web. Micro Focus aims to use these principles as the foundation of its accessibility in its products, and if any of these are not true, users with disabilities will not be able to use the product. A brief description of each, as written on their website, is below.

Perceivable

Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to comprehend the information being presented (it can’t be invisible to all of their senses)

Robust

Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to comprehend the information being presented (it can’t be invisible to all of their senses)

Assistive Technology​


Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications

“WAI-ARIA, the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite, defines a way to make Web content and Web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. It especially helps with dynamic content and advanced user interface controls developed with HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies…WAI-ARIA provides a framework for adding attributes to identify features for user interaction, how they relate to each other, and their current state. WAI-ARIA describes navigation techniques to mark regions and common Web structures as menus, primary content, secondary content, banner information, and other types of Web structures. For example, with WAI-ARIA, developers can identify regions of pages and enable keyboard users to easily move among regions, rather than having to press Tab many times.” 

W3C

Most people navigate the web with a mouse or trackpad, but many people with disabilities browse the web using a keyboard. Users who have physical impairments or who lack fine motor control to navigate and interact with web controls rely solely on keyboard navigation. When a user interacts with onscreen elements, they use their keyboard to focus on individual elements, one at a time, by keystroking through them. Because keyboard navigation users don’t have automatic feedback as they would with a mouse or trackpad, they rely on visual indicators that inform them where the keyboard focus (focus state) is on the page. Keep in mind that these users may have little or no use of their hands or even no hands at all. They may suffer from tremors which don’t allow for fine muscle control. Blind users may also use a keyboard for navigation, as well as some users without disabilities because of personal preference or efficiency.

To ensure products and interfaces are keyboard accessible the following guides should be met:

  • All links and controls in the interface can be accessed using the Tab key on the keyboard.
  • It is always visibility apparent which element has focus.
  • All interactive elements comply with the recommendations of the W3C’s Design Patterns for particular widgets. Each interactive element has specific requirements for how widgets should be operable with a keyboard. Please refer to their website to view the requirements for components like dropdown menus, carousels, and modal dialogs
  • Avoid using apps, plugins, widgets, or JavaScript techniques that trap the keyboard and don’t give the user a clear exit. Users should be able to get into and out of any UI without trapping keyboard users.

Testing your products and UIs by using your keyboard to navigate between all links, buttons, form fields, and other elements is a great way to validate that your products are keyboard accessible. As mentioned above, focus states, and the current focus should be easy to see. The order of the focused states on the screen should echo the visual layout with a natural flow between content. There are also some questions you can ask yourself while testing your products:

  • Can you access all features?
  • Can you operate all controls?
  • Can you tell where you are on the page?
  • Does the focus wrap within the entire page or modal dialog?

Structure


Responsiveness

“WAI-ARIA, the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite, defines a way to make Web content and Web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. It especially helps with dynamic content and advanced user interface controls developed with HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies…WAI-ARIA provides a framework for adding attributes to identify features for user interaction, how they relate to each other, and their current state. WAI-ARIA describes navigation techniques to mark regions and common Web structures as menus, primary content, secondary content, banner information, and other types of Web structures. For example, with WAI-ARIA, developers can identify regions of pages and enable keyboard users to easily move among regions, rather than having to press Tab many times.” 

W3C

Most people navigate the web with a mouse or trackpad, but many people with disabilities browse the web using a keyboard. Users who have physical impairments or who lack fine motor control to navigate and interact with web controls rely solely on keyboard navigation. When a user interacts with onscreen elements, they use their keyboard to focus on individual elements, one at a time, by keystroking through them. Because keyboard navigation users don’t have automatic feedback as they would with a mouse or trackpad, they rely on visual indicators that inform them where the keyboard focus (focus state) is on the page. Keep in mind that these users may have little or no use of their hands or even no hands at all. They may suffer from tremors which don’t allow for fine muscle control. Blind users may also use a keyboard for navigation, as well as some users without disabilities because of personal preference or efficiency.

To ensure products and interfaces are keyboard accessible the following guides should be met:

  • All links and controls in the interface can be accessed using the Tab key on the keyboard.
  • It is always visibility apparent which element has focus.
  • All interactive elements comply with the recommendations of the W3C’s Design Patterns for particular widgets. Each interactive element has specific requirements for how widgets should be operable with a keyboard. Please refer to their website to view the requirements for components like dropdown menus, carousels, and modal dialogs
  • Avoid using apps, plugins, widgets, or JavaScript techniques that trap the keyboard and don’t give the user a clear exit. Users should be able to get into and out of any UI without trapping keyboard users.

Testing your products and UIs by using your keyboard to navigate between all links, buttons, form fields, and other elements is a great way to validate that your products are keyboard accessible. As mentioned above, focus states, and the current focus should be easy to see. The order of the focused states on the screen should echo the visual layout with a natural flow between content. There are also some questions you can ask yourself while testing your products:

  • Can you access all features?
  • Can you operate all controls?
  • Can you tell where you are on the page?
  • Does the focus wrap within the entire page or modal dialog?

Color & Contrast

“WAI-ARIA, the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite, defines a way to make Web content and Web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. It especially helps with dynamic content and advanced user interface controls developed with HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies…WAI-ARIA provides a framework for adding attributes to identify features for user interaction, how they relate to each other, and their current state. WAI-ARIA describes navigation techniques to mark regions and common Web structures as menus, primary content, secondary content, banner information, and other types of Web structures. For example, with WAI-ARIA, developers can identify regions of pages and enable keyboard users to easily move among regions, rather than having to press Tab many times.” 

W3C

Most people navigate the web with a mouse or trackpad, but many people with disabilities browse the web using a keyboard. Users who have physical impairments or who lack fine motor control to navigate and interact with web controls rely solely on keyboard navigation. When a user interacts with onscreen elements, they use their keyboard to focus on individual elements, one at a time, by keystroking through them. Because keyboard navigation users don’t have automatic feedback as they would with a mouse or trackpad, they rely on visual indicators that inform them where the keyboard focus (focus state) is on the page. Keep in mind that these users may have little or no use of their hands or even no hands at all. They may suffer from tremors which don’t allow for fine muscle control. Blind users may also use a keyboard for navigation, as well as some users without disabilities because of personal preference or efficiency.

To ensure products and interfaces are keyboard accessible the following guides should be met:

  • All links and controls in the interface can be accessed using the Tab key on the keyboard.
  • It is always visibility apparent which element has focus.
  • All interactive elements comply with the recommendations of the W3C’s Design Patterns for particular widgets. Each interactive element has specific requirements for how widgets should be operable with a keyboard. Please refer to their website to view the requirements for components like dropdown menus, carousels, and modal dialogs
  • Avoid using apps, plugins, widgets, or JavaScript techniques that trap the keyboard and don’t give the user a clear exit. Users should be able to get into and out of any UI without trapping keyboard users.

Testing your products and UIs by using your keyboard to navigate between all links, buttons, form fields, and other elements is a great way to validate that your products are keyboard accessible. As mentioned above, focus states, and the current focus should be easy to see. The order of the focused states on the screen should echo the visual layout with a natural flow between content. There are also some questions you can ask yourself while testing your products:

  • Can you access all features?
  • Can you operate all controls?
  • Can you tell where you are on the page?
  • Does the focus wrap within the entire page or modal dialog?

Typography

“An accessible font is a font that will not exclude, nor slow down the reading speed of any … visitor, including those with blindness, vision loss, and reading disorders. Choosing the right font improves the legibility and readability … for everyone, helping [to] … reach a wider audience …”.


Siteimprove

Most people navigate the web with a mouse or trackpad, but many people with disabilities browse the web using a keyboard. Users who have physical impairments or who lack fine motor control to navigate and interact with web controls rely solely on keyboard navigation. When a user interacts with onscreen elements, they use their keyboard to focus on individual elements, one at a time, by keystroking through them. Because keyboard navigation users don’t have automatic feedback as they would with a mouse or trackpad, they rely on visual indicators that inform them where the keyboard focus (focus state) is on the page. Keep in mind that these users may have little or no use of their hands or even no hands at all. They may suffer from tremors which don’t allow for fine muscle control. Blind users may also use a keyboard for navigation, as well as some users without disabilities because of personal preference or efficiency.

To ensure products and interfaces are keyboard accessible the following guides should be met:

  • All links and controls in the interface can be accessed using the Tab key on the keyboard.
  • It is always visibility apparent which element has focus.
  • All interactive elements comply with the recommendations of the W3C’s Design Patterns for particular widgets. Each interactive element has specific requirements for how widgets should be operable with a keyboard. Please refer to their website to view the requirements for components like dropdown menus, carousels, and modal dialogs
  • Avoid using apps, plugins, widgets, or JavaScript techniques that trap the keyboard and don’t give the user a clear exit. Users should be able to get into and out of any UI without trapping keyboard users.

Testing your products and UIs by using your keyboard to navigate between all links, buttons, form fields, and other elements is a great way to validate that your products are keyboard accessible. As mentioned above, focus states, and the current focus should be easy to see. The order of the focused states on the screen should echo the visual layout with a natural flow between content. There are also some questions you can ask yourself while testing your products:

  • Can you access all features?
  • Can you operate all controls?
  • Can you tell where you are on the page?
  • Does the focus wrap within the entire page or modal dialog?
Questions? Drop us a line

helloux@microfocus.com

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