MyQ X Web Accessibility Walk-through
MyQ has taken its user-oriented approach one step further and focused its development power on bringing the MyQ X printing solution to the broadest user base possible.
Following the strict Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG) and ticking off numerous items from their optimization checklist, MyQ obtained certification that confirms the AA-level of accessibility for MyQ X’s web UI. Watch the story behind this important MyQ X integration and see what our dear guest, blind driver Petr Haluska, has to say about using MyQ's accessible UI.
You probably remember the version we launched a couple months back. This release contains lots of new features and one of the main game changers was actually making MyQ web UI accessible. At MyQ it's always been a part of our core to design products that's usable to everyone. And we found in the market that we have people with some disabilities with some visual impairments and some challenges to using and interacting with the web and in our application as such.
We started our research process solid research uses how to interact with the web understanding what is the need out there when it comes to users with some impairments which makes it difficult for them to use web applications and that's how the project started we then approached a very reputable company in Germany called TWIN CUBES and they actually specialize in web accessibility for users with disabilities in accordance with their WCAG which is specifically designed for users and giving us guidelines on how to develop the web interface to be more accessible to all users with all disabilities. And we spent many hours by consultation with them the guys there were great they were very open they exactly understand what we need, and they helped us to read every step they helped us testing the software making the recommendations making how to make the software better and actually compliant towards the accessibility.
The total project consumed for about half a year and I believe we succeeded because on the very end the company has the consultant company has performed the tests, they included the third party consultants or third party testers who actually tested the environment and we received a certificate. We managed to achieve a WCAG 2.1 double A accreditation as well as the BITV accreditation which actually makes our software one of the very few manage print providers or manage print software out there that actually choose this type of accreditation and it also allows us to now being able to put a product out there that can actually help users with disabilities. It was a very complex task WCAG is designed for initially more designed towards web pages because you've got a lot of different layers and complexity in these layers within our web application. It's not just a simple web page where you click it takes you to the next section with us there are actually settings you need to get feedback as you change the settings as the user uploads a print job as the user changes color he changes simplex duplex from a user perspective the we also had to make sure that our software are also accessible for administrators you need to consider that out there might be some people with disability that's actually administrators that would like to be an administrator of the MyQ software. So then it becomes even more complex because now you need to make sure that that user can fully navigate that web application the microweb application and fully understand how to configure even complex settings complex policies and so forth now once you did these improvements you also need to make sure that not only it complies with web accessibility but at the core of the product that the initial settings that you made to make it more enhanceable for the user that it doesn't affect the actual product itself an actual operation of the product in the code in the background so with this very complex task but i think it was well worth it if you if you look at what we are able to offer our users with disability now and then also the BITV and the WCAG acquired action that we got with it.
But then we found out that we can actually carry on let's see how the software is used by the people who have some obstacles to enter normal office and working environment. So we decided to find out some someone who can actually help us with that who has such experience we got an opportunity to meet this incredible guy Petr Holuška he's involved in lots of projects he organized the car races he's working on some simulator for the cars helicopters and so on for the people who actually cannot see.
When I heard about this for the first time he was actually making these this car races I said how this is possible that the blind person is driving the car and driving so fast! It's amazing. I said that would be great cooperation with that guy because he's open-minded we started to communicate we provide him the remote access to the MyQ Web UI he was able to test play with this environment using the tools he's normally using he said yeah it's working quite nice I still need to explain some parts but because he's not a MyQ user he's never seen MyQ before so we decided okay let's come here let's come to the office. We can, you know, make some tests we can explain you how the stuff works you can try to print you can try to scan copy whatever you need.
Later, Peter came to our office we had four hours together where we tried to set up the environment for him the way we tried several scenarios he should be now able to print via his laptop through the mic due to the device then take a patch get to the printer get the prints out but also login and then again perform another actions to copy or scan the document to his mailbox he was using his actually narrator which was telling him what the content of the screen so he was able to to operate to use his keyboard and operate what he needed. Then we moved to the device and we needed to face actually cannot see anything what is located on the screen panel and the last part we wanted to test was the using the mobile app. We made this application accessible so every field every part is described well Peter was very excited about that because I said so I don't need to operate the device I don't need to stand at the device I don't need to place any stickers and so on as you know you can actually do anything from your phone.
To be honest we were shocked sometimes or are very surprised because at that moment we realize how is it for the people who are having such visual impairments how is it for them to work in the office these people have to be independent they need to have the software which is kind of friendly to them and since he started to use it there were many ideas coming out just in a few seconds where we see him working with that we should improve that would be better there is I would say quite a long list now how to improve MyQ and we did a very good job until now the web UI is ready for readers to use it's ready for Microsoft Cortana which is integrated in the system so it can quite nicely read the content on the web UI of the screen so the user feels comfortable. We actually invited also a tester for this session the tester is actually confirming that the software is working well before we actually officially release that, and it was one of his first experience to meeting someone who is completely blind and cannot actually operate the MyQ web environment without seeing any line or any button and it was also a great experience for him.
So I would say it was great experience meeting Peter testing our software here it actually confirms what we have done previously that would be developed work I would say there is still some space where we can fine tune because it was actually the first time people are facing the experience of the let's say blind tester someone who is giving us the feedback directly even he didn't need to talk because we've been watching what actually he's doing some actions he was able to perform very easily but some actions require some more effort I believe we can improve it a little bit more to face him even better experience. So for us it's also a great achievement that we can now make sure that users that's maybe blind or got some visual impairment something like that can now use our product and feel confident in using it so overall it's been a great experience and we also look forward to continuing on this path and make sure that our future products and our future releases also comply with these standards so that we can make sure that our users have a excellent experience when using the MyQ product.
The whole idea of this is making the software personalized for the users and we don't want to distinguish between the users who are actually blind and we can use the software so we are actually going in the same railways of the personalization but we are making this software more accessible to anyone so in these terms we support the equality we would like to allow any employee working in the office using the printing device to be able actually to perform any action without asking anyone to help with him or without excluding them from some part of workflow or processes so people like Peter should be able to use their printing device mobile phone and PC without any limits same as any other employees in the company.