This is part of a series of posts introducing the projects built by open source contributors mentored by Creative Commons during Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2020 and Outreachy. Ayan Choudhary was one of those contributors and we are grateful for his work on this project.
“The CC Search website is a tool that is available to everyone on the internet, but its accessibility is quite low. The reasons for its low accessibility are varied in nature which affects different sections of people. Due to this reduced accessibility, it is not possible for everyone to completely utilize all the features that CC search provides and thus it becomes imperative to fix this issue. The final deliverable of this project will be a highly accessible website which everyone on the web can access from any device or region and which fully accommodates every visitor to enable them to utilize the search to its fullest.”
These were the initial lines of my proposal for the GSoC 2020. Accessibility is often one of the more overlooked aspects of any website but this is no excuse to neglect the need for important accessibility improvements as it could be the difference between a large number of users being able to use the site and those who could not.
CC Search underwent major accessibility changes. One of these involved the internationalization of the website. Internationalization is crucial to making accessibility improvements as it opens up the resource to a whole new populace, one that was restricted from its use just because of language barriers.
The improved CC Search offers varied language choices to cater to all the users without bringing any kind of linguistic barriers. Apart from the internationalization changes, other accessibility features have been added, which include but are not limited to:
- Improved screen reader support
- Easier keyboard navigation
- Better visual representation and contrast ratios
A lot of these changes are noticeable in the daily use of the website. These changes also provide a smooth and seamless user experience for those who don’t necessarily use conventional methods of website navigation.
The presence of a 100% accessible website is the ideal state that every website should achieve and CC Search is no exception. The present version of CC Search, even though highly accessible, still has room for improvement. By improving it over time can we ensure that the accessibility guidelines are always met and we continue to give each and every user the same exquisite experience unconditionally.