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Carlos Espada
Carlos Espada

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A11y tips: offer alternatives to any functionality

Using a mobile device allows us some interactions not available in the desktop version, such as rotating it, shaking it, using two fingers to zoom...

While offering many possibilities to enrich the user experience, it opens the door to new barriers for users with some type of disability.

For this reason, it is especially important to always offer alternatives to all these interactions so that we do not prevent anyone from enjoying them.

If your mobile version...

  • ... can be rotated, make sure that the same information can be accessible and work both in portrait and landscape, that your design is really responsive. There are people who may be browsing with the device fixed on a support and for whom turning it is really difficult or they cannot do it.

  • ... can update data by shaking the device, make sure you put a Reload button that allows you to do the same by clicking on it. There are people who may be browsing who cannot shake the device but can comfortably access a button marked in an accessible way.

  • ... you can zoom by sliding two fingers on the screen, add a + and - buttons to zoom in and out. Some people can't swipe with their fingers, but with the help of assistive technology, they can hit a properly marked button.

In all these cases, it is highly recommended to keep the original function, since it is very useful and takes advantage of the capabilities offered by mobile devices. It is not about impoverishing or making the use of our websites more boring, but about enriching it by making it more diverse by adding multiple ways to enjoy them.

To do this, it is enough to think of all users, not just the vast majority. After all, who hasn't ever broken an arm and found it difficult to use a website? We have the tools to keep moving forward without leaving anyone behind.

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