Desktop vs Mobile Accessibility for Purchase Transactions
A device with a keyboard and browser, is my preferred way to purchase and complete transactions. Most often that means my Windows 10 laptop.
Going through a browser is a “more” consistent experience with a screen reader, than with mobile and apps.
Apps are RARELY consistent. I’m having an app developed, and the developer friend, using Ionic, has discovered how simple changes in the programming can
greatly improve the experience on mobile with a screen reader.
We blind users, whether on Android or IOS, we all have to swipe SOOOOOOO much to hear everything on the screen, especially apps providing very visual information,
and typically it’s not even available to the screen reader, and thus not available anywhere for us to access, because that info has only been accumulated in the app environment.
Completely blind professionals use their wrist and fingers to swipe with our cane everywhere we need to go in the physical world, but the path that we
swipe in is only about 4ft in front of them, not the entire environment that someone sighted could move through easily.
The path is generally known by the low vision/completely blind individual because they’ve walked it with someone, someone has explained the route, or they used magnification accessibility on the device to carefully look at something like Google Maps and street view.
A blind user is given little to no path through a mobile app and website, so they are left swiping and tapping on the screen to figure out where they need to go,
essentially having to explore the ENTIRE lobby of a convention center to eventually find the front door. You might never find it, never make the purchase, or be able to use the automation Software/systems that you’ve heard about that is helping simplify other’s sighted lives.
Swiping on a screen is just more repetitive motion that I prefer not to attempt constantly on a screen. A keyboard is so much less physical arm and hand movement.
For this reason, I even carry a Bluetooth keyboard paired with my Google Pixel3 everywhere I go.
I’ve never enjoyed talking into my phone to send messages, because the mic environment, and software don’t always work well together. Also, editing a message once it’s been spoken out is a real pain to do without vision and only a touch interface.
I use my keyboard to “more” consistently navigate through the screens of an app, and even determine if the app will work with TalkBack, the screen reader on Android.
I don’t know if there’s a way to share my Pixel’s screen and sound on Zoom, but I’d LOVE to demonstrate the insane accessibility nightmare apps are.
I understand that many would point to the iPhone and Apple products and ask why I’m not using these devices since the accessibility is “better”.
I challenge those who say blind users should “just” use Apple.
I’ve asked what is the killer feature that Apple’s screen reader has that TalkBack, NVDA, Chromevox, etc don’t have, that would compel me to switch.
I admit that Apple may have a “better” experience for blind users, however, how is 1 “best” option a “choice”?
I’ve tried MANY apps, and had to uninstall them because the accessibility was so BAD. App devs may never hear from a low vision or blind user because of these issues.
Most developers certainly don’t take the time to put on a sleep shade and turn on a screen reader and attempt to navigate through their app or website without vision.
Be My Eyes on IOS and Android is working with Google, Microsoft, and others to build accessibility help desks via audio/video to be able to communicate with that company about accessibility issues that exist on their platforms.
Amazon has a disability customer service number for the shopping side of things, but their apps are inconsistent. I randomly can’t type in an edit box on the Amazon Shopping app with my Bluetooth keyboard, and am left having to type on a screen with one finger and typing one letter at a time.
My wife and I use LastPass because I want to “attempt” to be more secure online. However, not being able to communicate with them, except through their support email or online help forum is very frustrating when trying to explain an accessibility issue that could be addressed, but accessibility isn’t priority.
LastPass pops out boxes that appear at the bottom of the screen according to the navigation with the screen reader. If you didn’t know it was
there, you’d conclude that the function or link doesn’t work, or you have to run ALL the way through the page to discover it.
Why should I have to swipe or navigate with hotkeys through all the text on the screen to find the settings area, if I just selected to go there via a
link, button, or “clickable” something?
Why should I have to know that “on this page” I have to press CTRL + End to find what I’m looking for at the bottom of the page?