Making a Horizontal Scroll (as) Accessible (as possible)
- Date & Time
Tuesday, March 14, 2023 - 1:20 PM PST
Orange County 3/4
Our CVS Health Inclusive Digital Design team believes that including people with disabilities in user research leads to more inclusive, accessible, usable, and generally more delightful experiences for everyone. When it came to designing a horizontally scrolling component as part of our Design System, we wanted to ensure the voices of assistive technology (AT) users were included in our solution.
A horizontally scrolling component is a way of managing an overflow of related items in a single horizontal flow. From a product perspective, a horizontal scroll (or carousel, or slider) provides more opportunities to engage users by adding content to a section of the screen.
However, horizontal scrolls are knowingly frustrating obstacles for AT users. Working with the Design System team, we set out to understand accessibility barriers with horizontal scrolls, find ways to mitigate those problems, and identify the best (and worst) contexts to use horizontal scrolls. We interviewed a range of AT users, including screen reader, magnification, voice, and switch users.
From our research, it is clear that there are always better options available. From a user’s perspective, a horizontal scroll hides content, which it can be laborious to discover. Also, AT users generally try to avoid interacting with horizontal scrolls. Ultimately, since horizontal scrolls are likely to remain commonplace, we developed a detailed set of guidelines to minimize the barriers this component can create.
- Information & Communications Technology
- Entertainment & Recreation
- Research & Development
- Retail & Wholesale
- Audience Level
- Session Summary (Abstract)
Horizontal scrolls pose challenges for assistive technology users and hide website content from people with disabilities. Leveraging inclusive user research, we identify obstacles AT users face, and suggest design solutions and alternatives.
- Primary Topic
- Secondary Topics
- Digital Accessibility
- Session Type
- Erica McCoy
- Greg Weinstein
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