Building accessible web apps with Vaadin

Mikael Sukoinen
Mikael Sukoinen
On May 25, 2022 5:41:22 PM

Blue background with a computer display screen.

Accessibility in web application development is about removing barriers that could prevent people from accessing or using a digital product, such as a website or mobile app. With an estimated one billion people experiencing some form of disability, and the digital transformation from office to home office forced by the global pandemic, accessibility is more important than ever.

We at Vaadin strive to make web apps accessible for all. We thoroughly test the web components in our design system to ensure compatibility with assistive technologies, such as screen readers, and we comply with the latest accessibility standards and regulations. We want to help you build web apps that are highly usable, by everyone.

How can you build accessible web apps?

A design system with components that are designed, and tested, with accessibility in mind provides a solid foundation for building accessible web applications. Yet it doesn’t guarantee that the finished app is accessible. Although we test our components both automatically and manually, all apps built with them require real-life evaluation to ensure that they are usable by their targeted users.  To help build with accessibility in mind, read our article or watch our video with basic tips for improving accessibility.

If you prefer a quick overview, our handy infographic provides a checklist of factors contributing to the accessibility and the overall user experience of your development project.

Sign up for our upcoming webinar about building accessible web applications with Rolf Smeds, the accessibility advocate and product owner of the Vaadin Design System.

Accessibility and the law

There are many laws and regulations that are enforced to ensure accessibility in both the public and private sectors. In our webinar last week, Accessibility Standards and Legislation, we took a deep dive into the laws and regulations so you don’t have to! You can now watch the webinar on-demand if you missed it.

Accessibility and business

Accessibility, inclusivity, and usability contribute to the success and adoption of a business application. The laws and regulations may also pose a legal risk if your user interface fails to comply. You can read more about accessibility in modern enterprises in our article on the topic.

How do we ensure accessibility?

Accessibility has always been a priority at Vaadin. Our components are designed with keyboard usability, screen reader compatibility, and the WCAG 2.0 standard in mind. We welcome you to follow the progress of our accessibility improvements in this public GitHub roadmap. The Ready for testing column is a good place to start. If you encounter a new issue, we kindly ask that you report it using this template.

You may test all the fixed components on our dedicated accessibility playground, where you can compare the difference before and after an implemented fix.

What's next?

Our project board shows the improvements that are planned and implemented in upcoming Vaadin releases. In the meantime, you can develop your application with the latest version of Vaadin for a solid, accessible foundation. Browse our latest Design System documentation for all the web components

And don’t forget to join our webinar next month about building accessible web applications. Register now!

Mikael Sukoinen
Mikael Sukoinen
Mikael has a passion for writing text, code and music. He’s currently utilising his skills to explain difficult concepts in plain language at Vaadin Ltd.
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