The MWF engineering and design teams have worked diligently to deliver a framework that meets all Microsoft Accessibility Standards. The MWF teams continue this work with every new version, collaborating and testing with teams within Microsoft to ensure that the Microsoft Web Framework is MAS compliant and can deliver the best experience for all users.
Ensure All Site Content is Accessible
While the framework has been designed to be accessible it is the site and/or content owner's responsibility to ensure that the content and design choices meet the Microsoft Accessibility Standards.
One thing to consider is proper usage of heading tags. It is recommended that headings be semantically structured using one
h1 heading on a page, with 2nd degree headings (
h2) and 3rd degree headings (
h6) nested inside the
h1 heading. Assistive technologies rely on the correct usage of heading tags to determine the structure and hierarchy of the content. More info on the proper usage of headings can be found on the heading component page.
POUR on the Content
While designing a site and composing the content, a good rule of thumb to follow is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAGs) guidance that all content must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust (POUR). If this is not the case, your site will not be usable by people with disabilities.
Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
- This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented
- It can't be invisible to all their senses
User interface components and navigation must be operable.
- This means that users must be able to operate the interface
- The interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform
Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
- This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface
- The content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding
Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
- This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance
- As technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible
Elements to consider
For text, the main success criterion is on the contrast of text at rest. On interaction (tab, focus, hover, etc.) of interactive elements we provide proper contrast through additional visual cues.
- Color contrast
- Text size
- Heading hierarchy
- Grouping of information for readability
- Photography descriptions and ALT tags
- Decorative vs informative icons
- Video requirements
- Audio requirements
- Roles and attributes
Developing with accessibility
Inclusive design and universal usability aim to leverage technology to deliver a great experiences for all people whatever their abilities, age, economic situation, education, geographic location, and language.
Accessibility focuses on people with auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual impairment disabilities.
Great experiences goes beyond look and feel and gets to the heart for how different users consume information over the Internet. Weekly accessibility reviews are held in an attempt to build the first fully accessible web framework.
- Plan for accessibility up front
From the beginning of our planning and development process, we carefully considered accessibility for each component and feature. Our strategy for web accessibility covers many areas beyond content and visual design to include considerations for marketing, development, quality assurance, and acceptance testing.
It was important to start early in our process to reduce the risk of making short term decisions that become expensive to change later.
To help form our accessibility strategy we took advantage of the guidance in the document Strategic Planning for Web Accessibility published by W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
- Integrate accessibility throughout the development lifecycle
Accessibility is best approached as an integral and ongoing activity, integrating accessibility throughout the project from early planning to final deployment.
- Incorporate both automated and manual accessibility assurance
Use a combination of automated scanning and manual testing in the overall quality assurance process. We run weekly accessibility reviews help build the first accessible web framework.