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Accessibility Tips & Resources for Creating Guru Cards

We believe that the knowledge you need to do your job should find you. This applies to users of all cognitive and physical abilities. Here are some tips and resources we've used to make Guru as accessible as possible to everyone.

General text formatting guidelines

Consider the following guidelines when authoring Guru Cards to make them more accessible. Guru has many built-in tools (like formatting) that make these guidelines easy to follow.

  • Use pre-built text formatting (H1, paragraph, numbered lists, etc.) when possible

    • These are built with rigid structures on purpose. Don't try to customize them.

  • Always left-align text to increase readability and orderliness

  • White space helps people skim and read better. Some ways to add more white space to increase readability include:

    • Add sub-headlines

    • Vary length of items in a list

    • Vary sentence lengths

    • Use proper punctuation (built-in white space)

  • Avoid the following when possible:

    • Underlined text (implies a link)

    • Colored text

    • All-caps text

    • "Clutter marks" (colon, semi-colon, hyphen), which imply "heavy reading ahead"

Creating perceivable content

Creating content that's perceivable by everyone is one of the core principles of accessible writing. This means that information should be presented in ways that make it possible for everyone to see, hear, or otherwise perceive, regardless of a disabilities.

  • Provide text alternatives for any non-text content (for example, a detailed caption for a video in a Card)

    • If important information is only presented in non-text formats, consider how someone with a disability would access it

    • Avoid using emojis to portray meaning that isn't otherwise identified (for example, don't use the Slack logo emoji in place of the word "Slack"—put them side-by-side, if you really need the emoji

  • Use descriptive text to link to other places

    • Any link with the text "click here" is automatically inaccessible

  • Any time-based media might need additional accessibility supplements

    • For example, a recording with a transcription of a live webinar

Creating understandable content

Creating content that can be read and understood by the intended audience is another core principle of accessible writing.

  • Always write in plain language. A good test is: "could a 13-year-old easily read, understand, and use this information?"

  • Be predictable. Keep items in the same order, avoid switching between words that mean the same thing (i.e. "knowledge" vs. "information"), and start Cards with a summary where necessary.

  • Make sure CTA buttons are extremely clear, so users know where they are going next

Overall, we should always be aiming to make writing clear, predictable, and accessible to everyone—regardless of disability.

Resources:

FAQs:

Is the font you use in guru accessible?

The font we use in our Guru application is accessible. We use Proxima Nova which is one of the better fonts for accessibility due to it having a lower stroke contrast. Our Design Team has been working to make sure the color palette is accessible as well. Many of those updates have been rolled out to the app and the extension.

how is accessibility prioritized in guru's product roadmap?

Accessibility best practices influence both our language and design in our product and on our website. This may include edits to colors, copy, UI, and more. We're in the process of completing an ADA Audit that will give us a better picture of areas we need to address. The aim is to bring the application up to Level AA compliance as set by WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria.

Sources:

These tips are curated for Guru from Contented's Certificate in Accessible Writing course.

More about guru and accessibility:

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