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Google is helping developers make more accessible apps

It'll scan any screen and offer UI improvements.
Nick Summers, @nisummers
March 24, 2016
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Designing apps is hard, especially when you're trying to cram a new feature into an already crowded interface. Even the most popular apps can become cluttered, making them difficult to use for people with poor eyesight or hand-eye coordination. To help, Google has developed an Android app called Accessibility Scanner, which can analyse any screen and pull out elements that should be improved. Recommendations can include larger text and "touch targets" -- buttons, menus and anything else required for navigation -- different colour choices and stronger contrast.

Once you've installed the app, you'll see a circular blue button hovering on your screen. A single tap will trigger a scan, while a long-press allows you to move the button to a new location. The analysis will then be presented as a gallery, with a different screen dedicated to individual problems. These are then collected as a list which can be shared via email.

As the app's Play Store description explains, "designing for accessibility can allow (developers) to reach a larger audience and provide a more inclusive experience." While the tool is meant for app creators, Google stresses that it could be used by anyone. If you've been struggling with a particular app, or think other people would benefit from a redesign, this could be an effective way to prove your case to a developer.

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