Rene Van den Heuvel, Global Product Expert, Axiell:
To make something accessible means to make it usable by all people, include those with a disability. You’ve probably heard of web accessibility which is a standard of usability that public websites are required to establish and maintain by law. Most commonly, websites need to comply with the WCAG standard that is governed by the World Wide Web Consortium. Though WCAG guidelines were created specifically for individuals with impairments, the mandated website enhancements benefit all users by making websites more user-friendly. Accessible websites are easier to navigate, have tooltips on all links and images, offer improved contrast so they are more readable in bright light, and include robust zoom features to enlarge smaller elements on screen.
These days, the need for accessibility is no longer limited to public websites. Compliance regulations have been extended to back-office applications as well, facilitating a more inclusive work environment. In the latest release of Axiell Collections, version 1.11, we have made big improvements to the application’s accessibility, making it compliant with WCAG level AA. Some of these changes will be immediately visible while others are less conspicuous.
One of the first things you will notice, is the higher contrast of the screen design. Background colors are lighter, fonts are sharper and slightly larger, screen lay-out has improved with more space around fields and less clutter. The Record details view has seen a significant improvement in scaling to different screen sizes, making data entry on smaller screens as well as on large screens equally enticing.
Other look and feel changes include larger buttons, more space for field names in drop down lists so the full field names can be shown, and a few terminology changes that caused confusion (e.g., for repeatable fields, the button now says “add row” instead of “add field” which was technically not correct). The scroll bar that appears on the standard search form when you’ve selected a lot of fields, now no longer scrolls the buttons, only the searched fields.
A particularly helpful improvement is the automatic adjustment of the result view that lists the results of your search. The number of records displayed is now dynamically adjusted to what fits in the screen. This is different for everyone as screen resolution is a factor as well as the level of browser zooming. This means you will no longer see or need a vertical scroll bar to scroll within the list of records for each page, nor will you see unused space in case of high-resolution screens. The record list is adjusted dynamically even if you zoom in or out from your browser.
If you have grid views configured in a record detail screen for linked fields, the size of this grid is now adjustable by dragging the lower right corner of the grid to the desired dimensions. The number of rows that show in the grid is immediately adjusted. These settings are stored in the user profile which makes them personal changes to the user interface.
Lastly, Axiell Collections has been made to work with Text-to-Speech apps that read aloud what’s on screen and indicate where the user is in the application.
While release 1.11 has seen a lot of accessibility changes, big and small, we plan on implementing more of these changes in future releases based on your feed-back. If you have suggestions, please submit them in the Ideas Portal.