Guidelines to how we approach accessibility in our product.
We are committed to making a product that is accessible for a majority of users. We value empathy and responsibility, which means that we feel accountable for designing for people with a wide range of usability needs. We are committed to following the lead of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), who wrote a research-based guide for accessibility, called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (V 2.1). The above guidelines include accommodations for blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and combinations of these, and some accommodation for learning disabilities and cognitive limitations. We will start transitioning to a fully accessible product by solving needs for the most prolific disabilities:
✅A contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for visual representations of text (usable for people with 20/40 vision and better)
✅Color is not the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.
✅A simple, straightforward, consistent layout
✅Subtle animations (See animation guidelines)
✅Full borders around inputs (not just a bottom line)
✅Persistent text labels for all inputs
✅Visual focus indication for keyboard focus.
✅Plain language and avoiding figures of speech, idioms, and complicated metaphors.
✅Line spacing (leading) of at least space-and-a-half within paragraphs.
✅Header elements follow a standard hierarchy and only one H1 per page.
✅Links are communicated with an underline or chevron, unless text is explicit about clickability ('read more', 'edit')
✅Content is still readable when zoomed 200%
1. What does this mean for developers?
Right now, these guidelines are focused on design, but should start a discussion about how we code components for accessibility too (if that isn't already happening). 2. Is teal/turquoise gone forever? Definitely not. Although teal/turquoise is a hard color to work with for buttons and links, it won't be completely disappearing. We just have to figure out the right way to use it. 3. Do people with low vision or photosensitivity even work in tech? It doesn't matter (but yes). We aren't making accessibility decisions to serve those who currently work with marketing software - we want to lead the way in inviting people of various needs to be a part of the tech industry. 4. Are there exceptions to following the guidelines? Right now, the our only exception is that when we offer customization, users can pick a non-accessible option. A current example is allowing the user to choose different top bar colors for each of their workspaces. 5. Are there legal implications for not following the guidelines? The answer is vague at best. Many countries have laws about accessibility for public sector websites/apps and laws about discrimination against people with disabilities, but most have not been interpreted for general web products yet. Check out the laws that affect accessibility here.