Over half of the world’s internet traffic now takes place over mobile connections. As the market share of people move towards mobile devices, we can guess that the focus on mobile is here to stay. It’s important to note that mobile environments can offer some extremely innovative accessibility solutions. This article will give you a quick list about why and what you can do next.
Differences between desktop and mobile
Here is our quick list of the differences between desktop and mobile to help you understand how the formats can be different.
Based upon device usage:
- Usually includes longer, more complex tasks to complete actions like form completion
- Actions, like form completion, can be done with quick, streamlined tasks
Based upon layout:
- Large screens provide detailed, aesthetically pleasing, and functional interfaces
- Controls, such as navigation bars, are often arranged across the top and sides of interfaces
- Limited screen sizing warrants features like collapsible menus and simple visuals
- Controls are often accessed through dynamic context menus layered over content, such as swiping to the right to reveal the navigation menu
Based upon interaction:
- Keyboard and mouse cursers are used for most user interactions, such as scrolling or using the keyboard arrow keys to navigate a web page
- Simple to complex touch-based gestures are used, such as swiping up and down to navigate a web page
Making mobile environments accessible
- Review the latest version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, a set of standards and success criteria that apply to any product. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is also considering how best to approach mobile specific accessibility guidelines.
- Develop a keen understanding of the features and limitations available on your platform. IOS and Android have robust, system level accessibility support built in. Additionally, mobile browsers support HTML5 and WAI ARIA.
- Create user stories including common scenarios for users living with disabilities. Work with users with disabilities and have them test your product, then translate those findings into product requirements.
Points to ponder
Noting the differences between desktop and mobile, designers and developers can apply both universal and platform-specific accessibility features to their products. Bringing accessibility to mobile environments allows users living with disabilities to enjoy the same innovative, streamlined mobile experience available to other users today.
Read more about mobile accessibility
Learn more about what WeCo’s Accessibility Team has to say about making mobile accessible and inclusive.
Review our Free Accessibility Library page on Mobile Accessibility Technical Requirements.
Learn about how Digital Accessibility by WeCo can help your team make your mobile product accessible! You can sign up for one of our upcoming events, consult our free accessibility library, or reach out to WeCo Client Relations with questions.