Accessibility Team Meeting Notes: June 26, 2020

These are the weekly notes for the AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). ( Team meeting that happens on Fridays. You can read the full transcript on our Slack channel and find the meeting’s agenda here.

At the beginning of the meeting, we welcomed three new contributors: @squarebraket, @sarahricker and @azhiyadev; the last two of them had volunteered to join the Accessibility Team in view of the WordPress 5.6 special release, when they will be in charge of the accessibility focus.

Discussion about the new GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. inserter

The first discussed item was the design difference between the preview of blocks and patterns in the Gutenberg editor and its impact on usability/accessibility.

@afercia pointed out in a comment to the umbrella issue about the inserter that two regression were introduced by recent pull requests: one is already closed, but the other issue (about the Block Inserter not constraining tabbing) is still open and should be solved in time to ship with 5.5. On the same topic, @joedolson underlined the fact that all panels should always constrain tabbing and that this should become a general pattern.

A lively debate about various aspects of usability/accessibility followed; topics discussed included:

  • consistency between the blocks panel and the patterns panel;
  • solving the double tab stop problem in the patterns preview;
  • removal of the expandable blocks groups;
  • limiting the number of patterns displayed in their panel.

Full discussion about the new Gutenberg inserter is available in Slack and a comment to the issue about accessibility improvements to the inserter will summarize the different points of view.

Discussion about alternate views for list tables

Ticket #49715 is one of the focus topic of the Accessibility Team for WordPress 5.5 release. With betaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. release approaching, the Team agreed to refresh the latest patch according to the suggestions in the last comment to the ticket, so that we can ship a sort of working “framework” to support alternate table view and iterate during next release. @audrasjb will take care of the refresh.

Related to the same topic, the Team decided to move ticket #48751 to the 5.6 milestone.

Discussion about the ‘Howdy menu’

Ticket #48894 is also one of the Team priorities for 5.5 release. Discussion had already taken place during the bug scrub: the Team decided to ship the feature as is and iterate during next release, unless there will be objections from the Design Team.

Open floor

A number of items were suggested for the open floor, but we didn’t have time to discuss all of them.

Accessibility improvements to the new ‘Plugins & Themes Auto-Update’ feature

After WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Europe Contributor DayContributor Day Contributor Days are standalone days, frequently held before or after WordCamps but they can also happen at any time. They are events where people get together to work on various areas of There are many teams that people can participate in, each with a different focus., no extra steps have been made to solve accessibility issues discussed during May 29, 2020 weekly team meeting. @ryokuhi will open a ticket to address them before or during beta. (Edit: ticket #50512 is now open)

Update on prefixes to admin notices

Following last week discussion, the commit to remove of the ‘Error:’ prefix from the admin notices (discussed in ticket #47656) was reverted. Ticket #50442 to add prefixes to all admin notices was also created.

It was noted that notices in Gutenberg don’t have any prefix, so, for consistency, prefixes should also be added to Gutenberg notices. @audrasjb offered to open an issue on the Gutenberg repository.

Also, a few options to improve the accessibility of notices where added to the original ticket: @afercia volunteered to open ticket #50486 to better address them.

Open topics

There was no time to tackle other topics: they will be addressed during next meetings. Future points to discuss are all related to the Gutenberg editor: