WaSaBi Part 3: Accessibility

We talk a lot in our blogs and podcast about inclusivity. It’s something I really, really want us to achieve as a company. The more I research, the more I think about our actual software, The Machinery. How is this inclusive? How can we make it accessible to all? No two developers are alike, even if they are working on the same project with the same goals. We would love to make sure that everyone can use The Machinery and be fully engaged with all of its features.

I used to get really annoyed in my younger days, as a video game marketer, that I had to have a targeted demographic and that I had to design campaigns for what the developers would consider the average user. I felt that we were always missing out on new gamer acquisitions because of these one-sided campaigns. When I moved into the game technology sector, I still felt that the companies I worked for didn’t spend enough time trying to gain more customers by being inclusive and accessible. Also, where was the intersectional component to our strategies and software development with gender norms, socio-economics, religion, and culture differences that needs to be taken into consideration to be inclusive.

Now working with Tobias, Niklas, and Karl, I challenge them on making any of our tech accessible. How do we include those with low vision, blindness, hearing impairments, cognitive impairments, motor impairments, or situational disabilities? Are there any other physical and cognitive impairments or concerns people have that aren’t being recognized and addressed? Are there Global Accessibility issues that we aren’t aware of that we can fix?

We are currently in our closed beta stage and I would love for developers everyone try out The Machinery and not only report bugs, but let us know if the engine isn’t adaptable with your needs. If we are missing the mark on something that we can change in the UX or even in a full feature. The one thing I can admit, is that I don’t know a lot about what to do, other than making sure we can be compatible with assistive tech that’s out there. Or do we need to develop our own custom UI toolkit? Is eye tracking, audio cues, magnifiers, color contrasts, and closed captions features something that we can add in the future? And beyond our software, I think for marketing strategies, we should have at least closed captioning in our videos and tutorials.

We are very new to the Accessibility realm in software if I can just be candid. And we really want to learn what the needs are, suggestions on how to fix or add things to get any type of developer creating 3D experiences with The Machinery. Please [email protected], DM, or comment in the forum with your thoughts, ideas, and opinions.

by Tricia Gray