A step toward a more digitally inclusive world
If you were blindfolded and I asked you to check your account balance in your banking app, do you think you could do it? One in five Australians currently experience some form of disability, including more than 357,000 individuals who experience low vision, a figure expected to rise to 564,000 in the next decade.
When we started rebuilding the UBank iOS app, our product owner gave us the task to “ensure it was accessible“. We wanted to create an app experience that was accessible for all. That means whenever we’re evaluating a design, we discuss how it works with accessibility features such as colour contrast, VoiceOver and Dynamic Type, to name a few. From a developer’s standpoint, this is fantastic. It means all the hard questions are dealt with upfront, before any development has even begun. We’re solving Accessibility from the beginning, rather than trying to do it at the end of the process.
Our team created code to check the colour contrast of labels and buttons, which sparked the creation of our very own UBKAccessibilityKit. Once we had the colour contrast checks completed, more and more internal feature requests were being made: How can I check the colour matches the designs? How can I check if punctuation is in the accessibility label? At this point, having the code in the main app was no longer manageable.
The Accessibility Kit was built to solve an internal problem of testing accessibility for non-developer team members. The publicly available tools that were on the market were limited in scope, functionality and usability. This Kit allows all iOS app contributors spanning developers, designers, testers and product owners, to check colours, swap colours on backgrounds and labels, check accessibility labels, values, hints, traits, button sizes and more. If you’re running the Kit in your app on iOS 13, you can take a screengrab that will create an accessibility report PDF of that view, which you can quickly share with your team.
When a team member floated the idea that maybe this Kit could be open sourced, I laughed it off, saying something like “you’re dreaming”. But hand on heart, the UBKAccessibilityKit has been one of the best projects I’ve worked on in my career. I’m very happy to say it’s now the first publicly available tool of its kind! The UBKAccessibilityKit is available open source on Github. If you’re an iOS developer, I urge you to add the framework to your app and start testing for accessibility issues. Oh, and don’t forget to star the project 😀
#a11y #accessibility #accessibilityforall #iosdevelopers #ubank
Github repo http://github.com/nAB/UBKAccessibilityKit/
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