Microsoft talks more about making great websites, this time the focus is on HTML5 and UIA

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While many people are moving in mass to more touch-enabled or voice-assisted ways of computing, there is still a significant group of individuals that developers creating new and innovative experiences need not forget.

With that in mind, the Windows team is offering some information about how it built a more accessible user experience with HTML5 and UI Automation. In a semi-lengthy post on its Microsoft Edge Dev Blog, the Edge team walk through several new accessibility features that it tapped into to give its users great experiences when using the browser in Windows 10.

In this post, we’ll walk through some concrete examples of how our new architecture improves the end user’s experience, and specifically how markup defines the experience of navigating with assistive technologies like screen readers. Our examples focus on Narrator, but any screen reader using UIA will be able to take advantage of these improvements.”

Reading over the 2,500-word post, developers will find information on an upcoming refresh to the HTML5 Accessibility platform and can access a version of  the update in preview form on GitHub. The refresh improves criteria for mapping to the accessibility API, keyboard accessibility, and accessibility of error states. Developers will also find information on how Microsoft plans to improve its accessibility experience with HML5 semantic elements, code examples on JSFiffle, relating landmark navigation using elements in HTML5, as well as enabling a the new F12 Accessibility Tree view.

F12 accessibility tree view
F12 accessibility tree view

The list of old, new, and soon to be incorporated accessibility features are presented at length in the post. Developers interested in improving their experiences by using HTML5 and UIA should have a gander at the blog.

The Windows team is also planning to offer the listed features to “all Windows 10 customers with EdgeHTML 14” that will be included with the Windows 10 Anniversary update scheduled for later this summer.