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    The Premier AT Conference

Mobile App Development Accessibility Guidelines

Description
Our presentation shares five key guidelines that any mobile app can follow to ensure their app is fully accessible and usable and how accessibility can be incorporated into the software development lifecycle. As mobile devices are getting bigger by the day and as the content that a user is interested in changes based on an individual's needs, it has become increasingly important for all mobile developers to rethink their guidelines for keeping their content accessible for all users. While it may feel cumbersome to understand all the accessibility paradigms for a product towards the end of its development cycle, it is very easy to integrate such a process in the development phase itself. Yahoo Mail redesigned the mobile apps, both Android and iOS keeping user feedback, ease of use, accessibility, and discoverability in mind, through a process that embraced a cycle for meeting ongoing accessibility needs of the product. The redesigned app works well with screen readers and also provides keyboard support. Apart from the app's redesign, the team also has integrated Yahoo Mail with virtual assistants like Google Assistant and Siri to make it easier for people with disabilities or others to access the product easily with voice commands. Thus, making it easier for accessing the app and the content inside. Our work emphasizes sharing process improvements to meet all the accessibility needs that a product may have. The related details have also been published in the Design for All, Institute of India, June 2020, newsletter. Accessibility, in the simplest terms, is the ability to access. Accessible design is a good design, or in other words, a design is good only when it is accessible. Making a product accessible is not just about making it CVAA compliant or not just doing it because the law requires us to do so. Instead, it helps improve the overall product, makes it better, demonstrates that we care for and value our users, and welcomes all users to use our product and make it a part of their daily routine. Keeping accessibility in mind right from the start and designing, building, and testing products for accessibility throughout the process ensures the product is accessible. While redesigning the new Yahoo Mail experience for its millions of active users, the team wanted to ensure the redesign is accessible, usable, easily discoverable, and highly customizable based on users' needs. Also, the newly designed app has support for various screen readers and can be accessed via keyboard and with virtual voice assistants like Google Assistant and Siri. Integrating an app with a virtual assistant increases user engagement and opens opportunities for a broader market. Integrating with App Actions makes the features more accessible, improves the app's discoverability, and increases user growth and engagement with the app. QA testing and addressing the accessibility defects and user feedback help keep the number of accessibility bugs to a minimum. The most significant achievement was the fact that we designed processes that work in all product development phases.  
Audience
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Disability Specific
  • Entertainment & Recreation
  • Media & Publishing
  • Research & Development
Audience Level
Beginning  
Session Summary (Abstract)
Our presentation shares guidelines that mobile apps can follow to make their apps accessible and how accessibility can be incorporated into the software development lifecycle. We will focus on how we use these principles to develop and deploy the Yahoo Mail application.  
Session Type
General Track  
Topics
  • Design
  • Development
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Mobile Technology
  • Web

Presenters

  • Mohit Goenka
    Yahoo
  • Nikita Varma
    Yahoo

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