iOS

Developer notes

  • A loading icon communicates that a screen or page is loading. The screen reader is informed by hearing “loading” or anything similar, to understand that they should wait to continue
  • The screen reader user should not have to swipe to the icon. It should be dynamically announced
  • Screen reader focus on the icon is optional
  • If the screen takes a long time to load, the announcement for loading may happen again

Name

  • Programmatic name describes the purpose of the icon

  • UIKit
    • You can programmatically set the visible label with setTitle().
      • The loading icon title will overwrite the loading icon accessibilityLabel.
    • If a visible label is not applicable in this case, set the loading icon accessibilityLabel to the label of your choice.
      • To do this in Interface Builder, set the label using the Identity Inspector
    • To hide labels from VoiceOver programmatically, set the label’s isAccessibilityElement property to false
    • To hide labels from VoiceOver using Interface Builder, uncheck Accessibility Enabled in the Identity Inspector.
  • SwiftUI
    • If no visible label, use view modifier accessibilityLabel(_:)

Focus

  • The screen reader user should not have to swipe to the icon to announce “Loading”

  • UIKit
    • If VoiceOver is not reaching a particular element, set the element’s isAccessibilityElement to true
      • Note: You may need to adjust the programmatic name, role, state, and/or value after doing this, as this action may overwrite previously configured accessibility.
    • To move screen reader focus to newly revealed content, use UIAccessibility.post(notification:argument:) that takes in .screenChanged and the newly revealed content as the parameter arguments.
    • To NOT move focus, but dynamically announce new content: use UIAccessibility.post(notification:argument:) that takes in .announcement and the announcement text as the parameter arguments.
    • UIAccessibilityContainer protocol: Have a table of elements that defines the reading order of the elements.
  • SwiftUI
    • For general focus management that impacts both screen readers and non-screen readers, use the property wrapper @FocusState to assign an identity of a focus state.
      • Use the property wrapper @FocusState in conjunction with the view modifier focused(_:) to assign focus on a view with @FocusState as the source of truth.
      • Use the property wrapper @FocusStatein conjunction with the view modifier focused(_:equals:) to assign focus on a view, when the view is equal to a specific value.
    • If necessary, use property wrapper @AccessibilityFocusState to assign identifiers to specific views to manually shift focus from one view to another as the user interacts with the screen with VoiceOver on.

Announcement examples

  • “Loading”

Android

Developer notes

  • A loading icon communicates that a screen or page is loading. The screen reader is informed by hearing “loading” or anything similar, to understand that they should wait to continue
  • The screen reader user should not have to swipe to the icon. It should be dynamically announced
  • Screen reader focus on the icon is optional
  • If the screen takes a long time to load, the announcement for loading may happen again

Name

  • Name describes the purpose of the icon

  • Android Views
    • android:text XML attribute
    • Optional: use contentDescription for a more descriptive name, depending on type of view and for elements (icons) without a visible label
    • contentDescription overrides android:text
    • Use labelFor attribute to associate the visible label with the control
  • Jetpack Compose
    • Compose uses semantics properties to pass information to accessibility services.
    • Example specification of contentDescription in compose: modifier = Modifier.semantics { contentDescription = "" }

Focus

  • The screen reader user should not have to swipe to the icon to announce “Loading”

  • Android Views
    • importantForAccessibility makes the element visible to the Accessibility API
    • android:focusable
    • android=clickable
    • Implement an onClick( ) event handler for keyboard, as well as onTouch( )
    • nextFocusDown
    • nextFocusUp
    • nextFocusRight
    • nextFocusLeft
    • accessibilityTraversalBefore (or after)
    • To move screen reader focus to newly revealed content: Type_View_Focused
    • To NOT move focus, but dynamically announce new content: accessibilityLiveRegion(set to polite or assertive)
    • To hide controls: importantForAccessibility=false
    • For a ViewGroup, set screenReaderFocusable=true and each inner object’s attribute to keyboard focus (focusable=false)
  • Jetpack Compose
    • Modifier.focusTarget() makes the component focusable
    • Modifier.focusOrder() needs to be used in combination with FocusRequesters to define focus order
    • Modifier.onFocusEvent(), Modifier.onFocusChanged() can be used to observe the changes to focus state
    • FocusRequester allows to request focus to individual elements with in a group of merged descendant views
    • Example: To customize the focus events
      • step 1: define the focus requester prior. val (first, second) = FocusRequester.createRefs()
      • step 2: update the modifier to set the order. modifier = Modifier.focusOrder(first) { this.down = second }
      • focus order accepts following values: up, down, left, right, previous, next, start, end
      • step 3: use second.requestFocus() to gain focus

Announcement examples

  • “Loading”