One of our promises at Wire is to provide the most secure and user friendly communications platform. Today, we’re proud to announce the first phase in our latest efforts to bring data privacy to a broader group of people through accessibility improvements to our UI. We love user feedback, and these improvements were partially inspired by our users’ inputs and our commitment to following accessibility standards. These changes are currently available for Wire Web, macOS, Linux, and Windows desktop. But, like other great ventures, we will be releasing changes in phases as the year progresses – including changes for our mobile versions of Wire.
So let’s get into what this is, what it’s based on, and tease what’s on the way in future phases. We’re basing our accessibility improvements on two major standards: the German BITV and international WCAG guidelines. These guidelines aim to expand services to 5 main groups with disabilities: the visually impaired, blind, those with motor impairments, the hearing impaired, and the cognitively affected (e.g., those with dementia, attention difficulties, different ways of learning like ADHD). For the Wire platform that means improving users’ ability to find and participate in conversations through improved focus, easier navigation, and better message button interactions. It’s now easier to toggle between statuses, change your user info, and select setting changes.
For our visually impaired, blind, and on-the-go (because sometimes it’s nice to have someone read to you) users we’ve started screen reader improvements. We’ve made improvements to the alternative text that the screen reader uses, but there are still some more to go. We’re hard at work defining additional components, so stay tuned for more updates.
Wire is committed to expanding our user scope to as many groups of people as possible. While we’re both proud of our first step and eager to start sharing it with you, there is still a lot more work to do. We’ll keep you updated as Wire’s Accessibility Phase 2 is released. But for now, enjoy Phase 1.
Help us improve
This is just the start of many improvements we have planned to make calling on Wire smoother and easier for you. In order to ensure that we’re going in the right direction, we rely on your feedback to guide our roadmap and to build the security-focused features you need. Please take our most recent survey or share any suggestions you have.
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