Blending Accessibility in UI Framework Documentation to Build Awareness
The lack of accessibility awareness among industry professionals is one of the reasons for rampant inaccessible websites and applications. This problem is exacerbated by the industry norm of having a single place dedicated to accessibility in the documentation of UI frameworks, which makes accessibility difficult for developers to discover and implement as part of their workflows. This paper presents the Blended Approach (BA), a novel approach and framework for improving accessibility awareness through documentation. Unlike the conventional practice, it recommends sprinkling and repeating short snippets on accessibility throughout the documentation while linking developers to detailed explanations on the dedicated accessibility page. Thus, BA places the topic of accessibility on an equal footing as other common programming concerns such as performance, security, and UX. As a case study, we applied BA to the onboarding tutorial of Flutter, a popular UI toolkit. The positive feedback we received in our evaluation with 11 professional developers suggests BA can be a viable and effective approach.