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Accessibility for people with disabilities

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We’ve made great strides in recognising the need for inclusion, diversity, and neurodiversity within our workforce. Despite these ideals, digital products often fall short. 

THE GOAL

Conduct a qualitative study with visually impaired Grab users to understand mobility, social skills, and tech proficiency, aiming for authentic representation and inclusive design.

This study would also lay some ground rules for future research practices at Grab.

TEAM

Head of Research, Product Designers, team Blackbox, and me.

MY ROLE

  • I volunteered to interview 4 iOS users aged 45-65 who used Voiceover. This was my first-time interviewing users with special needs, and it was an eye-opening experience filled with lots of learnings.

  • Collaborated with designers and researchers to gather insights on usability and accessibility of booking a ride or making a food order with Grab.

  • Identified critical touch points for consistency and predictability.

 

  • Synthesised findings into themes using affinity diagram, focusing on screen reader compatibility, labelling, interactions, navigation, and usability.

Affinity Map

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FINDINGS

Based on the research findings and fundamental challenges faced by visually impaired Grab participants, I crafted an AI-illustrated storyboard to depict ways to overcome some of these critical digital barriers.

Designing for accessibility:

Navigating the world through touch and sound

(Created using Adobe Firefly Beta)

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Overlapping products/ features: When the product was first rolled out, it served our users well. However, over time, other teams added features on top of ours, creating an incoherent and less-than-ideal experience we weren't aware of. This exercise taught us the importance of keeping a continuity check between sections and features on a screen. 

  • Use null (empty) alt text when text describing the image is already on the page (alt="") or when we don't want the screen reader to announce it.

  • Provide the HTML document with a language attribute so that screen readers will read it with the correct accent and pronunciation. For example: <html lang="en">. 

Armed with these insights, we began reevaluating our app from the standpoint of a voiceover or a screen reader. Implementing these changes could involve a comprehensive overhaul spanning several months, but this initial step was promising nonetheless.

Thank you to my designers, the Head of Research, and team Blackbox for this precious experience!

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