Pinterest is finally making accessibility a priority to people who are blind or have low vision. On Wednesday, it announced steps to ensure that the blind and visually impaired are not left out.
The following updates were released Wednesday for iOS and the web, with Pinterest saying in a blog post that Android will be added soon, and adding that the majority of Pinterest is now accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired:
Screen reader support: People with total or partial vision loss can receive spoken feedback, making it easier for them to sign up for Pinterest, browse and save content.
Clear focus indicators: People with visual and other disabilities can now navigate Pinterest without mice or trackpads, using keyboards or other devices to see which part of the site they are focused on.
Increased color contrasts: Pinterest made text easier to read by setting it against colored backgrounds, which is especially helpful for users with sensitivities to bright colors or low vision.
Strong type hierarchy, sizing and bolding: Pinterest enabled support for dynamic font sizes, enabling users to change the size of text they see via its default accessibility feature.
Head by lead designer Long Cheng, Pinterest partnered with San Francisco non-profit Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired to develop the updates.
According to Co.Design, Cheng sat down with a range of people who are blind, or have low vision to play with the app. He found many had trouble using the platform, navigating between pins, and even simply creating accounts.
Pinterest also had not properly managed its metadata to allow its UI to work with accessibility features like VoiceOver for iOS and TalkBack for Android. The publisher noted, for example, that pinned recipes spoken by the feature were missing ingredients.
Finally, Pinterest compiled a set of accessibility best practices for engineers and designers, as well as a new user interface library with accessible components, and it said accessibility checks are now in place during its internal development and design process in order to ensure that icons and components for any new feature are clearly labeled.
Pinterest says it’s made “significant progress” updating the iOS and web versions of the platform, and that it’s “working on bringing these changes to Android soon.”