What's New in Android Accessibility (Google I/O '17)

[Music] all righty welcome everybody well that's right we are here to talk today about accessibility and great so my name is Patrick Clary I'm a product manager on accessibility here at Google and I'll be kicking things off we also have a great group of presenters from different areas across Google with me here today and there's a few things that I want you to take away with you as you leave today the first one is why designing for accessibility is really so important and benefits our users and this isn't just users with a disability or an accessibility need but I want to get across that this actually helps all users the second thing you'll learn about is accessibility on Android you'll hear about what's coming in Android oh and you'll see some awesome new demos of these things and then third is tips on user research for users who have an accessibility need you'll hear about this and you also see an inside look with a couple examples on things we've done at Google how we perform research on a couple of different products it's very exciting so first why accessibility so accessibility is something that you know is near and dear to my heart but I want to give you a few reasons why it's important and I'm speaking to the developer it's why it's important to developers to consider as well so here's a metric that I actually find very compelling right one-in-five just one in five people will have a disability in their lifetime this is just a staggering number so addressing accessibility can have a direct benefit on these users it's a huge benefit right it's actually a life-changing benefit so for these users it actually means the difference with connecting to friends family is really taking advantage of the technology that mainstream users really use and enjoy the second as I mentioned is that designing for accessibility really benefits all users and let me give you a couple example so first think about designing a product that's meant for a blind or a low vision user so when you're doing this you actually help users that might just have their eyes occupied so perhaps they're driving they're looking at another screen they're not looking directly at their Android device another example is designing for user that might have a motor impairment so an example would be a trimmer this is an impairment that affects their use of a touchscreen it makes it difficult for them to use the touchscreen so designing effectively for these users actually benefits mainstream users too for otherwise they just can't use their touchscreen maybe they're holding groceries maybe they're cooking but they can't use their touchscreen effectively now when you think about it this way designing for accessibility is really about designing for the widest possible range of abilities within the widest possible range of situations it's not really about designing for disabilities it's about designing for all users so where does Android fit in so in Android we have a series of settings api's and services for accessibility so settings these really allow users to customize how their device looks and feels right api's allow developers to build out their apps in ways that meet the needs of users who have accessibility needs it also allows us to build accessibility services so an accessibility service is a long-running privilege program that runs on your device that either changes the way users consume the contents of your device or it changes the way they interact with your device and we have a few here these are for that Google has developed talkback brailleback switch access and voice access so talkback and brailleback these are services designed for users who are blind or have low vision talkback is our screen reader what this allows users to do is basically interpret the content of their device through an audio stream so users will listen to what's on their device using talkback brailleback it's similar but instead of an audio stream the content goes to refreshable Braille display this is a little handheld Braille device where a user can scan their fingers across it and interpret the content on the screen we also have switch access and voice access these are two services that are targeted to users with motor impairments so for example as I mentioned users that have a tremor these are users that typically can't use a touchscreen so it's switch access and voice access we actually provide full Android control without ever having to touch the screen so with switch access users typically use an adaptive switch device you'll see an example of one of these later but this is a physical Hardware switch that a user might have mounted in front of them mounted to a wheelchair and they'll tap on the switch to linearly scroll through things on their on their device voice access actually allows users to control their device purely by voice so you'll issue voice commands that correspond to touch controls these are things like scroll up scroll down half Gmail go home etc so that's what we have in Android for a deeper look into the upcoming version of Android I'll hand it off to my end victor [Applause] hello Thank You Patrick my name is Victor sarin and I'm a technical program manager on the Android accessibility services team for Android Oh our major focus was to increase productivity for users of accessibility services in particular we looked at users who are blind and visually impaired and use talkback screenreader we're introducing accessibility API is to help developers who develop accessibility services for people with physical disabilities one such service you guys already heard about is called switch access last but not least we're introducing a new accessibility service which will help people with print and learning disabilities to read information on the screen but let me start with new features for talkback the first feature I would like to talk about is called accessibility volume behind the fancy words is an ability for someone who is blind or visually impaired or specifically loses talkback screen there to adjust the volume of speech independently from the volume of media for example when watching the YouTube video or listening to music we're doing this by introducing a new audio stream in oh we called accessibility stream as a developer of an accessibility service what that means to you is that you will have to request this feature when writing your accessibility service otherwise it is not available to you so let me show you how this feature works device and loss 3 home pixel overview overview setting oh I will just remove those guys that dismiss muted setting this misused open YouTube app YouTube issues showing items 1 to 2 207 the developer show TL DR o-69 developer show TL DR o-69 11k view so uses the advantage here to ask development online I'm trying to listen to talk Mike and Liston is talking back at me oh my god I came here as more button what I can do right now I can completely shut off the volume of the video and I can still hear total by a four button like this portable acid hero 24 is this single up next so this is essentially how this works so tobik user is now able to adjust the speech of the volume of the speech independently from media volume rc-135 is more detailed and links are on 100 expand tonight data is now available incidentally you also notice that there is now a new accessibility volume slider at the top of the screen so that again allows you if your visual user you can adjust this slider as well from the holy entree rewind pause video play video help home screen one of two so the next feature I would like to talk about a green all has to do with new gestures for talkback we many of the new Android devices use a fingerprint sensor at the back of their device so we decided why not utilize the fingerprint sensor for additional gestures to allow talkback users activate some of the favorite of their features so we are introducing in all ability for an accessibility service such as top web to utilize fingerprint sensor the gestures available to the user are swiping left right up or down these gestures are ensign able so the user can decide what talkback features each gesture will launch again as a developer of an accessibility service you will have to request a special flag in order to be able to take advantage of fingerprint gestures fingerprint gestures work again only on all devices I just wanted to point it out and let me show you how this works device unlocked 3:10 p.

m.

home screen one of Kim bot chrome camera so I'm going to attempt something very brave I'll take a selfie camera camera and I'll be using here prima gestures to do that photo gallery shutter switch to front camera switch to back camera one face right with 50% of screen very close hero faces shutter photo taken photo gallery one face center right this 50% of screen very slice hero home screen one of two free pen create very marking resemblance the other finger bring gestures on in Android Oh for accessibility the next feature I would like to talk about is multilingual support one of the things we realize that since Android has been used so much outside of the US we badly need to support international users and in our introducing ability for the Google text-to-speech engine to automatically recognize languages that are appearing on the screen and switch text-to-speech to speak in that particular language if you're a developer and you would like to trigger language automatic switching you can use locale spend you have to wrap your strings in locale spans to trigger that change but before you get excited let me show you how actually the language switching feature works device unlocked 311 home overview overview showing home home home screen captain boss fixed messages inbox inbox remember subject beautiful day remember to from Cara please may 11th for menu hi there come hi there [Applause] okay so my wife lovely wife likes to you don't pull little jokes with me well this in this particular case this is not a joke so send me a message if you days ago try to invite me for dinner and she does a lot of things in style so this particular case is no exception so she decided to send me a message in four languages because you know we're so cool right so let's see how talkback deals with this particular situation more menus hi there comment lost hi there good move I choose mwah smooching twizzle loses his penis polish Nevada inhibition for low signal kappa until the chokecherry my sister here she is on trial of two women one day kinky let's have dinner tonight okay yep thank you so that's you know likely both of us can speak all those languages I was able to understand what she said so the languages were French polish Ukrainian and Chinese just for your information so and the last feature I would like to talk about is the new accessibility shortcut for quite a bit of time users have been asking us for ability to turn off their favorite accessibility service regardless of which screen they're on so they wanted a shortcut key that they can press and the search service will toggle on and off for example if a blind person walked into the store that sold Android phones they wanted to be able to launch talkback and start exploring the phone to decide whether this is something they wanted to purchase or not well in all we're introducing this accessibility shortcut by default it's configured to launch talkback however it can be reconfigured to launch any of the available accessibility services on your device I want to point out that this works on any screen even after the exit setup wizard so once the shortcut is configured it will be available to the user at all time as a developer of an accessibility service you will have to request this feature at runtime when your service runs otherwise it is not available to you so it's only available to accessibility services and as you can guess the demo is going to be pretty simple so I'll show you how this works home all I have to do right now is press to home to volume keys at the same time and accessibility services off if I press them again top that on in bus that's it and that's when accessibility service accessibility shortcut works so as you can imagine I just scratched the surface there's much more coming up but I would like Maya to talk about these other exciting services and API thank you thank you for sure Thank You Victor for the lovely demos my name is Maya binary I'm a product manager on Android accessibility the next type of feature we're going to talk about our new API to framework to support new accessibility functionality we're adding continuous gesture API in Android nougat we added an API to allow profund to allow performing gestures on behalf of the user in Android oh we are extending this API to make it easier to perform continuous gestures what does it mean is that for example it will be easier for a user's using a wheelchair mouse or a hair tracker to perform gestures such as drag and drop text election answering phone calls and zooming in and out of maps the next feature I'm very excited about it's called the accessibility button in the navigation bar what we added here is a new button accessibility button to the right of the navigation bar to quickly invoke context dependent accessibility features let's give an example right now we have magnification so a user using magnification can triple tap to magnify the screen however some users might be challenging to perform the triple tap gesture in android oh we are adding an alternative to invoke magnification so let me show me let me show you how this works so I have that set ability button on the bottom right of the screen I can simply tap the button and if I tap anywhere on the screen I will magnify the content now I can move this around using two fingers and if I want to de magnify I will just press the accessibility button again back to the slide now this is optionally supported by developers for devices with software and the navigation bar and the button will be shown there only if there is an accessibility service or feature that supports it and is turned on the next set of feature are for people with print disabilities print disabilities of people will have difficulty of reading test those include people with dyslexia or sighted low vision a literal or even people who just want to learn a new language we recently launched a service called selective speak selective speech is part of talk about 5.

2 and what the service does is it vocalize content on the screen by allowing users to select elements to read now this service is available from lollipop mr1 and up now this is an example of how select to speak words you can see a floating action button then the user can either tap an element or select marquee select elements to read and the content will be read out loud in android oh we're adding additional functionality for select to speak including reading the old page at that controller to move backwards and next error adjust the speed we add also word level line lighting and we integrated this service into the setup wizard now let me show you how it works so I have here the accessibility button and if I long press on the accessibility button I can show that also I have a service which uses this button called select to speak I will select that one and if I will tap the button again then I will be shown a controller bar at this point I can drag and drop or move the controller bar on the screen now I can either support the functionality I already have for example I can marquee select or top an element map slap and it will be read out loud now what I can also have is continuous reading 69 degrees Fahrenheit Wednesday May 17th math clock Playstore from Drive also does one know we also have this Alexis Vicki can read the whole page and it can read all the whole sentences and I can go backward and forward with the sentences and also increase decrease increase and decrease the speech by pressing the plus and minus button let me show you how to work navigate up select to speak setting Quinn select to speak is on you can have specific items on your screen to eat first half the MN you can have a specific item items like Hector an image drag your fingers off for free to collect multiple item item caps have to play button to hear everything thank you and this is Celeste to speak available in Android oh and we talked back five points to know the next section is about testing we'd like to make androids more accessible for everyone and developer or a crucial part of this mission you can develop better experience for people with disability but a lot of it has to do with how you test your app for accessibility in the next section I'm going to talk about manual and automated testing for accessibility now let's start with manual testing the first thing that you want to do is you want to get familiar familiar set yourself and understand how the experience work with Android accessibility services specifically we talked back in switch access so download talkback turn it on and cover your eyes and try to go through the experience in your app you would like to notice whether you are your app is representing correctly the content for talkback for example maybe you have unlabeled bottles or maybe you're missing perfect description or maybe you have controllers which are hard to interact with pay special attention for issues that may impact you efficiently well you are performing common Slone now if it works well we talk back which will also like it will also likely work well with Braille back and select to speak because what you are doing is you're actually testing your app output you are testing whether you are representing correctly your content to the accessibility service then the next thing that you want to test if you want to test with switch access as Patrick mentioned switch access is a service targeted for user with motor impairments who have difficulty interacting with their device in that case the user connects something which is called an adaptive switch this is an example of an adaptive switch now the adults which can contain two buttons less or more and in that case the user can map one button for a next operation and one for an enter now if you don't have an adaptive switch you can just connect an external keyboard and map your keyboard buttons to specific activities in switch access now after you do that you want to go through comments flow and you want to note where the switch access interacts correctly with your app UI now if it works well with which access it will also likely work well with all voice access because what you are doing at that point you are testing your app input we switch access and talkback you are testing both your app output and input now testing switch access and with switch access and talkback is the best way for you to understand the experience that you're providing for users with different names yeah but there but this is not all so there are multiple other features available on the platform including magnification and large text to facilitate accessibility testing we also provide a which is called accessibility scanner accessibility scanner is a standalone app which you can download free from the Play Store and the APIs targeted for app developer for app developer and QA tells QA testers and it suggests way for you to improve the accessibility of your app how you can use it just download it turn it on and then you will see a floating action button on your screen bring the UI you are interested in into the foreground press the button and then accessibility scanner will analyze the UI and will show some suggestion of how to improve your accessibility and in this example it shown examples for improving your tech contrast we ship this app and merge it March last year and we're very happy to announce that in the last year accessibility user used accessibility scanner to find over 1 million opportunities for improving their app accessibility definitely check it out and download accessibility scanner from the Play Store and obesity about automated testing we also created accessibility testing framework to allow you to perform automated testing accessibility testing framework is an open-source library that provides that provides runtime evaluation on real Android UI for structs we need to graded this testing framework into two into two common test framework called robolectric and espresso if you are already using those testing framework you can simply turn on accessibility test functionality within those framework and then you might see some of your tests fun start failing because they could have an improved accessibility lastly we launched a new section about accessibility on developer.

android.

com and this can help you guide to better understand how to implement accessibility in your app specifically we have a page about testing your app accessibility in general we recommend a balance between manual testing and automated testing for making your app accessible with this page the page summarize how you can develop an holistic test strategy does improve both manual and automated testing but with all these testing there is no better way than interacting with actual user and conducting user research and for that Astrid and Melissa are going to tell you all about that [Applause] Thank You Maya I mastered rubber and I work on user experience research for accessibility engineering at Google and I'm Melissa Bernhardt and I'm a UX researcher on Android so what is actually UX research and why do we need it imagine you have a dream of opening a bar I mean how many of us haven't had it at some point in our lives you have these cool design ideas for the interior of your bar you know exactly what you want to serve on your drinking menu and you really know that the music you're going to play is what you basically have at home and you play yourself almost basically while you're building your bar you're imagining how perfect a bar could be if it would just be the perfect place for someone with exactly the same taste like yourself basically your users they are just like yourself right chances are unfortunately that your bar might be empty and your business idea might be failing like over 50% of all bars and restaurants are failing within the first year of the existence and I'm pretty sure that all the owners of these bars and restaurants really wanted to create a good experience and really made choices that they would have taken themselves and this brings us up to the importance of user experience research and design for restaurants and bars but also for technology development because unfortunately the failure rate among startups is at 90% which is much higher and actually the one wrong restaurant at the same time research shows that if you are testing your own assumptions and your user needs often and early your chances increase so much more that you will end up with evaluated app and satisfied users which brings us very close to the definition of actual and objective UX research which really is all about changing your own perspective to that of your users to understand their needs including all the accessibility needs user research focuses on understanding user behaviors needs and motivations through various research techniques it is the process of understanding the impact of design on an audience now that we have a common understanding of the concept of UX research what does it actually entail Europe's research is a set of research methods that can help you during the whole process of your product development cycle UX research methods such as field studies interviews or competitive analyzers are very well suited in the beginning of your product development work because they are especially useful in order to understand how to acknowledge usage works and how new innovative fields work once you have decided what you built and you have a first prototype research methods such as usability studies participatory design exercises or remote research actually really useful for you to understand what works and what doesn't work in the hands of your users and lastly once your product is out there in the market you really want to understand how it's doing right research methods such as cognitive walkthrough is a bill M cognitive walkthroughs no research methods such as block analyzers diary studies as well as remote testing really help you at that stage of your product development to understand how the app is doing in the market and if people really like it and with that I hand it over to Melissa who has a very concrete example for you from our recent accessibility Android development on Oh okay thank you aspirin so today I'd like to show you exactly how accessibility research has informed the design process for Android let's take the example of settings we want all users to be able to easily access and understand settings that are relevant to them including users with accessibility needs here we have a screen shot of the accessibility settings page for Android n when planning for Android oh we had some assumptions about this page firstly we felt that it was a bit unorganized making it difficult for users to find what they need secondly we questioned whether or not categories like services and system had any real meaning to users so we turn to research to check our assumptions and make more informed design decisions we use two research methods usability studies and intercepts and is Astro just mentioned these methods are well suited for the design develop stage so we started with usability studies in these studies we invited people with visual impairments to our offices and prompted them to interact with the accessibility settings page you just saw now we immediately observe some issues specifically the participants could not always find the settings we asked them to find and even when they did they weren't always sure what those settings would do now our approach to this research was iterative so we learn things in one study adjust the design and then retest the adjusted design in the next study but we wanted to hear from a wider more diverse audience so we went to a conference in January we attended the assistive technology Industry Association conference in Orlando Florida with just a clipboard pen paper and phone we approached conference attendees and asked them for ten minutes of feedback on our latest design these intercepts allowed us to gather a lot of feedback in a relatively short timeframe in just two days we talked to 15 people with visual cognitive and motor impairments as well as 80 professionals and educators as a result of this research we verified a lot of our assumptions and fine-tuned our design and here's a sneak peek at the accessibility settings page for Android Oh on the right you'll see that we're introducing categorizations by utility so instead of categories like services and system you'll find categories like screen readers and display also we've added colorful icons to make Android services pop lastly below each setting we've included a short description to explain what the settings does now accessibility research help guide this design approach and it can help you too so if you want to build products for the widest possible audience and genuinely improve people's lives consider incorporating accessibility research into your current process I promise you don't need fancy equipment or a big budget to get started think creatively about how you can talk to users with accessibility needs maybe you attend a conference like we did maybe you reach out to a local organization or university or maybe you have a friend with dyslexia or color blindness who would be willing to try your app and give you 15 minutes of feedback try to include one person with accessibility needs in your next research study and see what you learn the difference between zero and even a little bit of data is astounding and with that I will hand it back over to Astrid [Applause] thanks Melissa those of you working on consumer facing apps hopefully already mark your calendars now to conduct some accessibility research as soon as you're back in the office those of you who work on developer facing applications might be wondering but what about my target group well the good news is they can also benefit from UX research and we have an example of our very own accessibility scanner app about how the UX research really helps us to develop a better application we tested accessibility scanner with designers test engineers developers and product managers we did early-stage prototyping with some paper mocks in addition to that we also tested the name itself yes you heard correctly accessibility scanner was not born with that name we had a long list of options but rather just following our own intuition or preference we asked our users in interviews because we wanted to understand which name would be most memorable and what people are associating with each of the options thanks to UX research we also made some visual and interaction design changes to the application one of the visual design changes entails that we do not use colors anymore to distinguish the kind of issues being detected having a diverse sample of users really helped us there because the color blinds participants of our study clearly signaled to us that they felt liked out of the experience if you use color because they could not necessarily distinguish the elements based on that factor we also improve the overall flow of the application by making it easy to just click on any element of detection and then get a short description of the issue this way the application became especially useful and usable to those Meucci accessibility testing and on that note I will hand it back to Patrick with our final thoughts and look on what's next all right Thank You Astrid so I hope everyone's inspired to go home no work look at your own products look Li your own apps think about accessibility the benefit that it can have on these users along those lines I have a few challenges to the developers in the audience so the first one is familiarize yourself with accessibility services and these api's that were mentioned so when you go home turn on talkback turn on switch access put yourself in the shoes of these users and run through your apps do you want things you uncover the second is to download accessibility scanner right download it's very easy you can get it you can test your app very easy to find some low-hanging fruit some quick and easy ways to improve the accessibility of your app and finally think about performing user research with users that have an accessibility need so find a family member a friend someone in your community go to a conference sit with them as they use your app and I bet you'll be surprised with things you learn we have a few other really interesting things happening at Google i/o for accessibility so we have a couple other sessions designing for the next billion users and pragmatic accessibility tomorrow and Stage five we also have a sandbox just back here this is your chance to come talk to us learn more about accessibility see these demos you know speak to a Google or one-on-one and get more information we also have the on Thursday at 6:30 we have the Google Play Awards and there'll be an awesome award for the best accessibility experience so I recommend you check that out so with that I'd like to thank you and make sure you keep in touch you can use our Twitter handle at Google access thank you [Music].

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