Next up: Gmail
Alex Gawley, Director, Product Management
- We now have extensive support for ARIA labelling
- Manual testing for new features
- Automated tests for regressions (tests addition of new features to make sure it doesn’t break old features)
We didn’t spend a lot of time on the navigation model until recently.
- Complete redesign to inbox and conversation view navigation
- Clearer model for regions of the UI
- Navigation labels
- Main – inbox and conversations
- Use of arrow keys, N/P and Enter to navigate between and within regions
- Rational model for managing focus
Alex gave a short demo of how this works now.
- Focus is given to 1st message in the inbox
- Jumped into navigation section (inbox, sent, trash, etc.)
- Jumped back to “thread list” (using the 1st message list in the inbox)
- Used “N” and “P” keys to jump to messages within a thread
- Anytime in the main view, you can jump into navigation area by pressing the left arrow
Near term plans
- Incorporating accessibility design and testing earlier in the development process (ie new compose).
- Integration testing to prevent regressions
Long term plans:
- Building in accessibility for all next-generation Gmail interfaces from the outset.
BIG QUESTION: does this require use of Chromebook hardware?
Min and Kenji of Chrome OS team: Chrome OS and Chromebooks
Leans on speed, simplicity and security of ChromeOS
Boot in under 8 seconds, hassle-free, maintenance-free. Just sign in with Google account…all your stuff is “in the cloud.” Idea here is that your stuff is not tied to a specific machine, which is particularly important for people with disabilities who have settings “just so.”
Reviewing features of Chromebook, walked through setup:
- Accessibility is built-into OS at setup; spoken feedback provided via ChromeVox.
- Select language, keyboard, network.
- Select a picture ID
SHARABILITY: Kenji then walked through how different people can use a Chromebook by logging on with his account in “guest mode,” enabling accessibility features.
Min then asked for detailed feedback via the “Chromebook accessibility trusted test program.” This is a program where Google will provide a Chromebook to qualified “trusted testers” on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each participant will be provided with a Chromebook, with the expectation that users will be active testers.
Apply for Chromebook Accessibility Trusted Tester Program: www.chromebook.com/accessibility
Program application is open until March 15
This program is available for individuals, not large organizations or federal, state, or local government organizations.
Getting started now. TV Raman introduced himself and is giving a brief overview of the session today. Who’s here?
Alan Warren: VP, engineering
TV Raman, Lead, Google Accessibility
Some of the things that’ll be talked about today:
- Docs Suite
- What Google is doing in the field of accessibility, including all aspects of the Google platform including Chrome and Android.
Head of docs division is here, will discuss where accessibility fits in
AM: Chrome OS, Apps
Afternoon: Android platform will be discussed after lunch.
Alan touched on how Google Apps were developed as very simple tools to begin with, and how accessibility support was a bit spotty to begin with. However, it’s now a key focus. He mentioned how this is built into their testing coverage now.
TV Raman talked a bit about the “broad scope” of things – how Google’s apps are a platform accessed via a web browser. As such, mobile is important part of their strategy (Android). Google is know for innovating in the web space, but the key question is: who does innovation for blind users? As we innovate for sighted users, we will innovate for blind users as well.
A lot of work is being put into the Chrome OS (because it’s viewed as a platform) to provide additional support for blind users. The only way to make accessibility better is to make it simplify it at every level. Raman believes that we can reach accessibility with THIS generation of web technology.
“Every user is different, and we need to build a customizable interface that works for everyone.”
Getting a lot of high-level discussion right now to orient for the day. There seems to be a lot of focus on blind users here.
It’s my first dat at #CSUN13, and I’m glad that I arrived early. I’m sitting in the back of the “FORD A” room, because that’s the only place I can find an open power outlet. My 17-inch MacBook Pro chews through the battery if I keep the screen too bright. I must remember to bring a power strip next time to make more friends 🙂 The presentation room Google is in is a bit smaller than I expected, and I’ve been told that it’ll be standing room only. Seeing as Google has at least 10 people in the room right now, I think that’s an accurate statement.
It’s an all-day session, so I expect to post a lot of (hopefully useful) tidbits here. Did I mention this is my first attempt at a live blog? You’ll have to excuse any typos, poor grammar, or bad language. I tend to write what I’m thinking at the time.
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