Nowadays, mobile applications represent the principal means to enable human interaction. Being so pervasive, these applications should be made usable for all users: accessibility collects the guidelines that developers should follow to include features allowing users with disabilities (e.g., visual impairments) to better interact with an application. While research in this field is gaining interest, there is still a notable lack of knowledge on how developers practically deal with the problem: (i) whether they are aware and take accessibility guidelines into account when developing apps, (ii) which guidelines are harder for them to implement, and (iii) which tools they use to be supported in this task. To bridge the gap of knowledge on the state of the practice concerning the accessibility of mobile applications, we adopt a mixed-method research approach with a twofold goal. We aim to (i) verify how accessibility guidelines are implemented in mobile applications through a coding strategy and (ii) survey mobile developers on the issues and challenges of dealing with accessibility in practice. The key results of the study show that most accessibility guidelines are ignored when developing mobile apps. This behavior is mainly due to the lack of developers' awareness of accessibility concerns and the lack of tools to support them during the development.

The making of accessible Android applications: an empirical study on the state of the practice

Di Gregorio, Marianna;Di Nucci, Dario;Palomba, Fabio;Vitiello, Giuliana
2022

Abstract

Nowadays, mobile applications represent the principal means to enable human interaction. Being so pervasive, these applications should be made usable for all users: accessibility collects the guidelines that developers should follow to include features allowing users with disabilities (e.g., visual impairments) to better interact with an application. While research in this field is gaining interest, there is still a notable lack of knowledge on how developers practically deal with the problem: (i) whether they are aware and take accessibility guidelines into account when developing apps, (ii) which guidelines are harder for them to implement, and (iii) which tools they use to be supported in this task. To bridge the gap of knowledge on the state of the practice concerning the accessibility of mobile applications, we adopt a mixed-method research approach with a twofold goal. We aim to (i) verify how accessibility guidelines are implemented in mobile applications through a coding strategy and (ii) survey mobile developers on the issues and challenges of dealing with accessibility in practice. The key results of the study show that most accessibility guidelines are ignored when developing mobile apps. This behavior is mainly due to the lack of developers' awareness of accessibility concerns and the lack of tools to support them during the development.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4803491
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