What is accessibility?

In the world of digital technology, accessibility ensures that all users— from people with permanent disabilities to those with temporary and situational challenges— can perform work as efficiently as possible, with or without assistive technologies.

So, why is accessibility important? Designing flexible applications allows users to work in any environment, on any device, with any browser at any time. Accessibility ensures that each user, no matter their ability level, is set up for success with your application.

Cosmos aims to target the international WCAG 2.1 AA standard for accessible software, striving to provide patterns and components built with accessibility in mind. But Cosmos also pushes for accessibility beyond compliance—we understand that accessibility has the power to improve user experience and satisfaction for all users, while making applications more human-centered, natural, and contextual.

The Cosmos design system aims to offer the following accessible features:

  • Clear language and error messaging for clear instructions, user messages, and CTAs
  • Well-labeled controls for clear labels to help users complete tasks with more confidence and fewer errors
  • Accessible information hierarchy so information is presented in a structured way that’s easy to understand
  • Accessible color contrast for ample color contrast to make text and figures easy to read
  • Screen reader-compatible so applications are compatible with screen reader applications like JAWS, VoiceOver, NVDA and Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • Keyboard navigable so users can work in an application using only a keyboard

Cosmos will continue to evolve and offer new and improved accessibility out-of-the-box.

You can take additional steps to ensure anything you design within Cosmos follows accessibility standards.

Use clear labels

  • Ensure labels are associated with fields by positioning labels above associated input fields
  • Use simple, clear language—ensure language is descriptive text, not technical terms. Avoid using abbreviations unless they’ve been defined

Configure themes in an accessible way

  • Ensure colors and fonts meet accessibility standards
    • The color contrast ratio of content should be a minimum of 4.5:1
    • Font sizes for body text should range between 14-16px
    • Sans Serif fonts can be used to improve the legibility of text

Present content clearly

  • Structure content with a clear information hierarchy, so content makes sense for screen reader users or users of other assistive technology
  • Include only the most essential information needed to complete a task

Learn more about accessibility on the Pega Community Blog:

Finally, reduce unintentional bias with AI using Pega’s Ethical Bias Check.