Adobe is partnering with IAccessible to create a more inclusive Universal Editor for the Adobe Experience Manager. As a Wysiwig content authoring tool, the Universal Editor presents a unique challenge when it comes to accessibility. These types of tools are difficult to make accessible and usable for assistive technology users, especially when it comes to the design canvas on which users can drag and layout elements for a web page.
Partnering with IAccessible:
To address this challenge, Adobe turned to IAccessible for their expertise in creating accessible and usable designs. Early in the development process, IAccessible reviewed each new iteration of the Universal Editor design, providing feedback from real users with disabilities and identifying any accessibility or usability issues. They also conducted research on existing industry solutions for similar problems and collected input from users to prototype suggested designs.
Innovative Solution for the Selection Tool:
One specific problem that arose was the Selection Tool, which allowed users to select and modify elements on the canvas with a mouse. However, this tool was completely unusable for keyboard-only and screen reader users. IAccessible worked with screen reader users and design experts to propose an innovative keyboarding paradigm that would make the tool accessible and efficiently usable for screen reader users, while still retaining any existing patterns familiar to these users and overcoming the known problems of existing solutions.
Designing with People with Disabilities in Mind:
The goal of this collaboration is to create a product that is designed with, rather than for, people with disabilities. By incorporating input from users with various disabilities at every stage of the development process, Adobe aims to create a truly inclusive content editor that meets the needs of all users.
In conclusion, the partnership between Adobe and IAccessible has allowed for the creation of an innovative and inclusive Universal Editor, addressing the challenges of accessibility and usability for assistive technology users. This project serves as a prime example of the importance of designing with people with disabilities in mind, rather than designing for them.