#299 accepted
Virgil Dupras

Improve usability for users with disabilities

Reported by Virgil Dupras | January 21st, 2012 @ 08:37 PM

From email:

I just discovered moneyGuru, and it seems to be quite a useful app. But I wonder if you've given any thought to making this app accessible to users with disabilities, particularly blind users.

So far I've only tried the Mac version of the app, though I'll probably also try it on Windows soon. I'm aware that you use Cocoa for the Mac version, and Qt for Windows and Linux. So to get you started, here are my suggestions for making a Cocoa app accessible.

Mac OS X has a built-in screen reader called VoiceOver, which you can turn on and off with Command+F5. VoiceOver has an excellent tutorial, that should get you up to speed quickly.

There's one basic thing you can do that will go a long way: label all graphical buttons. I'm pretty sure you can do this in Interface Builder.

For custom controls that draw their information and UI directly, adding accessibility will take more work. Though I've developed a Cocoa app before, I never had to implement a custom control, so I can't offer much guidance there.

I notice that there's a bar graph on the main screen. For that, your best bet is to make the same information available in a standard table view, if you don't already.

Of course, there's always a cost-benefit trade-off to do when working on something that only benefits a minority of users. So you might be interested to know that, for several years now, Quicken has only been marginally accessible with Windows screen readers, and I don't know if there's any accessible personal finance software on other platforms. So you have the potential to reach an underserved market here. And, though I guess you'd have to trust me on this, I can give you some publicity in that market if you can make moneyGuru accessible on at least one platform. I'm talking about hundreds, or potentially thousands, of new customers.

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • Virgil Dupras

    Virgil Dupras January 24th, 2012 @ 10:35 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “accepted”

    I'm developing a strange habit of opening tickets that can never be closed (like #122 ) because the task of improving usability will never be over. Well, this kind of ticket can be good reminders of the progress that was made by spanning multiple tickets of lesser scope, which is what I'm going to do right now:

    1. #300 Add labels to buttons.
    2. #301 Accelerator keys in Qt menus.
  • Virgil Dupras

    Virgil Dupras January 25th, 2012 @ 06:10 PM

    While working on #300, I played with VoiceOver a bit and here's a few things I've noticed:

    1. The filterbar isn't detected by VO at all.
    2. The charts aren't seen by VO either, but that I could already guess.

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