Accessibility (a11y)

Designing with accessibility in mind is critical for your application's success, and the legal responsibility of app-makers. We at Pega use the internationally-accepted WCAG 2 AA standards to evaluate an application (a standard now being used by Section 508, EN 301 549 and BITV). By user-testing the various ways a person interacts with our interfaces, we craft compliant, inclusive, usable workflows to meet any impairment or disability head-on.

Last updated: Aug 2017

Accessibility checklist

Making an application compliant to WCAG 2 AA standards can be difficult and confusing at first. To help, here’s a simple checklist for your applications:

  • HTML is semantic and well-structured. JS is error free.
  • Every interactive item can be accessed using only a keyboard in the expected order and without being trapped.
  • All forms, field items, links, page titles, and headers are properly and clearly labeled. (e.g. Not “click here”, but “the article on WCAG”; or not “Name” but “Your full name”)
  • All image tags must have an alt attribute set (also known as a tooltip in Pega). Images that are decorative (like an icon in front of a label in a button) can leave the alt value blank. All other images need a clear description. (e.g. Not “A picture of a girl”, but “A little girl on the beach smiling.”)
  • Any 'All caps' text that is not an abbreviation should be typed in its proper casing, then use CSS to adjust it.
  • All text has a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 (A sample contrast checking tool)
  • Don’t rely on color or visual position alone to convey meaning and information.
  • Users must be informed of any important notifications or document changes.
  • The application is understandable and usable with CSS disabled.
  • The language on the page and elements that differ from the page are set properly.
  • Keyboard users should have a quick way to access the various areas of the application.
  • Frames are named.
  • Plugins are linked on the page requiring them.
  • Anything with a timeout (except for live events) must allow a user to extend the time limit.
  • Don’t flash anything over 3 times in 1 second.
  • Don’t auto-play media unless the user set that option.
  • Time-based media (audio/video) must have an alternate way to understand the content. (i.e. a transcript or captions).
  • Finally, compliance != usable. Test your newly-compliant application with actual users.

Last updated: Mar 2017

Next: Internationalization