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Accessibility in Angular

Accessibility in Angular Applications is all about designing software and websites with relatively large fonts, high contrast colors, big enough buttons to ensure different elements come with textual descriptions for screen readers, and everything is accessible with the keyboard.

Many angular developers put emphasis and prioritize architecture, performance, security, and maintenance but underestimate the importance of Angular accessibility in software.

Which Module Supports Accessibility in Angular

Elements of Designing

Accessibility Angular starts from the initial UI design phase and designers. Right from this stage, it is important to consider building color palettes to ensure that color contrasts align with accessibility standards. In order to ensure easy reading for users, it is important to select the right type of typography.

  • Simple animations and interactions for users with cognitive issues. This will lessen problems in reading and analyzing application content.
  • Responsive Design makes the application accessible on various devices that the users might use to access the website.
  • Design for High Contrast Users: Ensure accessibility of design for Windows’ High Contrast mode users. The Angular CDK provides a mixin cdk-high-contrast to style differently if needed for such users.

Effective Use of Semantic HTML

Several Angular accessibility matters can be resolved by using native elements with proper semantics. This helps in expanding the SEO of the application. Some rules to keep in mind are:

  • Semantic tags such as nav, aside, section, fieldset, header, footer rather than using div and span’s.
  • Correct order for headings (h1-h6).
  • Alt attribute on img element.
  • Utilize buttons for clickables. If a non-interactive element is used for the click event, allow adding key events for keyboard accessibility.
  • Form control with associate label
  • Avoid positive tabindex, as well as add captions for video and audio.

Focus Management

It is important to understand that the way of using the application is really important to enhance accessibility Angular because users who do not use a mouse (screen reader/keyboard users) need to be directed to a relevant place when an interaction occurs or when the route changes.

  • Force the focus on an element. Use the focus method of a DOM node. However, this can become complicated in advanced use cases.
  • Angular CDK provides services such as the FocusManager and the FocusTrap.
  • Focus Management also comprises confining the focus within a container, especially in modal dialogs and drawers. You want the focus to enter in components and not leave it till it closes.

Angular CDK provides FocusTrap class as well as cdkFocusTrap directive to trap the focus. Also, consider Skip Navigation to help users skip the navigation and go to the content directly.

Angular UI components

Maintained by the Angular team, the Angular Material library is a reusable UI component that aims to be fully accessible. The Component Development Kit (CDK) includes the a11y package for supporting various areas of Angular 2 accessibility.

  • LiveAnnouncer announces messages for screen-reader users using an aria-live region. See the W3C documentation for more information on aria-live regions.
  • The cdkTrapFocus directive traps Tab-key focus within an element. Use it to create an accessible experience for components like modal dialogs, where the focus must be constrained.

Native Elements

Some fundamental interaction patterns are considered important for accessibility in angular applications. Native HTML elements capture several standard interaction patterns for accessibility. Authoring Angular components, you should re-use native elements directly when possible, rather than re-implementing well-supported behaviors.

  • Create a custom element for a new variety of buttons, you can create a component that utilizes an attribute selector with a native
  • Applies to <button> and <a>, but can be used with other types of elements.
  • You can see examples of this pattern in Angular Material: MatButton, MatTabNav, MatTable.

Optimizing Interactions

Keyboard navigation is critical for users with motor disabilities.

  • Ensure the tab is in a logical order to assist users to navigate the website with effective use of the keyboard.
  • When considering Keyboard Navigation, it is important to be aware that the TAB key is not the only key to support, there are other keys that you have to account for.
  • Angular CDK provides ListKeyManager to seamlessly maintain keyboard interaction for different components such as menus, dropdowns, selects, list boxes, etc.

Tips to enhance Angular 2 Accessibility in Applications

Always keep in mind that there are a plethora of ways to enhance Angular Accessibility in Applications however, the documentation must be read beforehand for avoiding all types of mistakes later. So, read on to know about the smart ways to improve Accessibility Angular in no time:

  • Natural content flow
    Now since the content flow needs to be controlled, the use of tabindex, floats, flex boxes, as well as other features are helpful to enhance the natural tab order and user experience. Their Improper usage can lead to screwing up everything for the users.
  • No need to autofocus
    When users are reading on the screen, it is essential to let them tap on inputs whenever they need. Autofocus will leave them fully confused and with no context. Thus, if you use autofocus, mobile users may lose interest in the page.
  • Make Use of landmarks
    Landmarks are the collection of anchors that may be navigated by assistive technologies. They help users to skip some of the sections or point to a particular web page section easily. Some examples of these landmarks include header, footer, main, article, etc.
  • Unique title Provision
    A great page title is excellent for all screen reader users. However, as Angular applications are single-paged applications, they can get fixed with the help of Angular’s Title service. This service is fantastic to keep the title of the page using its hassle-free API.
  • Rigorous Testing
    Accessibility Testing is crucial to verify that everything is under control. There are two ways to test. Firstly, Manual testing involves testing each component manually for errors inaccessibility. These issues are not caught by the testing software and need human intervention for easy debugging. manual testing is often required since we can’t get all the issues using automated testing. Secondly, Automated testing, in this, errors are recognized by the testing software and save developer’s time. It is recommended to do automated testing before manual testing to skim through all vivid errors.
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