1. What are the most common accessibility issues you have encountered and how did you resolve them?
During my previous experience as a Web Accessibility Engineer, I have encountered various accessibility issues. One of the most common issues I faced was poor color contrast on websites or web applications.
To resolve this issue, I followed the WCAG 2.1 guidelines, which recommends a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text. I used color contrast analyzer tools to check the contrast ratio of the text and background color and made the necessary adjustments to ensure that the content is accessible to users with visual impairments.
Another issue I encountered was with the use of images, where alt text was missing or not descriptive enough. In such cases, I worked with the content team to provide proper and descriptive alt text for every image on the website. This helps users with visual impairments to understand the context of the image and provides them with a better user experience.
Finally, one of the most common accessibility issues I encountered was with the use of keyboard-only navigation. Many websites did not have proper keyboard navigation and this created difficulties for users with physical impairments. To resolve this issue, I worked with the development team to ensure that every interactive element on the website was keyboard accessible. This involved adding appropriate ARIA roles and attributes, using tab index, and ensuring that all the interactive elements could be accessed using a keyboard alone. As a result, we saw an increase in user engagement and satisfaction for people with physical disabilities, which was evidenced by a 20% reduction in bounce rate.
2. In your opinion, what are the most important accessibility features that a website should have?
There are several important accessibility features that a website should have in order to ensure that users with disabilities can navigate and interact with it effectively. Some of the most critical features include:
Alternate text for images: images should have alternative text, or alt tags, describing the image or its function. This helps individuals who use screen readers to understand the content of the image.
Keyboard-only navigation: website navigation should be designed to be fully accessible via keyboard-only navigation. According to a recent study by WebAIM, nearly 19% of people with disabilities use the keyboard to navigate the web.
Color contrast: ensuring that text and background colors have sufficient contrast is important for users with low vision or color blindness. A minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 is recommended by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Video and audio captions and transcripts: providing captions and transcripts for video and audio content makes it accessible to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Proper use of headings: structure and prioritize content using proper heading tags. This helps screen reader users understand the hierarchy and organization of content.
In fact, a recent study by WebAIM found that over 98% of homepages have at least one WCAG 2.0 Level A failure, with the most common being image alternative text, empty links, and missing form input descriptions. Therefore, it is important to prioritize these features to ensure usability for individuals with disabilities.
3. How do you ensure that the websites you create are accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities?
I am passionate about creating websites that are inclusive and accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. In order to ensure accessibility, I do the following:
1. Conduct thorough accessibility audits: I use a variety of tools, such as WAVE and axe, to audit websites for accessibility issues. Through these audits, I identify potential barriers and take appropriate actions to fix them.
2. Use semantic HTML: I ensure that the HTML code I use is semantic and includes appropriate tags, such as header, nav, main, footer, and landmark regions. This ensures that assistive technologies can navigate the website easily and users can understand the content.
3. Include alternative text for images: I add descriptive alternative text for images, so that users with visual impairments can understand the content even if they cannot see the images. This also helps with SEO.
4. Use ARIA attributes: I use ARIA attributes to help assistive technologies navigate websites that deviate from standard HTML structures while still preserving their accessibility.
5. Conduct user testing: I conduct user testing to validate the effectiveness of my accessibility implementation. Testing with users with disabilities, for example, has helped me identify additional opportunities to improve the site's usability and accessibility.
As a result of these efforts, I am proud to say that I have developed websites that are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. In one recent project, the company's website accessibility score increased by 30% after implementing my recommended changes. Additionally, the bounce rate for users with disabilities decreased by 20%, which demonstrates that the changes were positively affecting user acquisition and retention.
4. Can you explain the difference between contrast ratio and color blindness and how it relates to web accessibility?
Contrast ratio and color blindness are two important factors to consider when it comes to web accessibility.
- Contrast ratio: This refers to the difference in color between text and the background it appears on. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) recommend a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for normal text, and 3:1 for large text. Ensuring proper contrast is important for people with low vision, as it can make it easier for them to read and comprehend content on a website.
- Color blindness: This is the inability to distinguish between certain colors. There are different types of color blindness, but the most common is red-green color blindness. In fact, about 8% of men and 0.5% of women have some form of color blindness. This means that if a website relies too heavily on color to convey information, people with color blindness may have trouble understanding or navigating the site.
- Relating the two: It's important to keep in mind that contrast ratio can affect people with color blindness as well. If the contrast between text and background is too low, even people without color blindness may have trouble reading it. However, by ensuring proper contrast, a website can help mitigate the effects of color blindness, making it easier for people with this condition to use the site.
In fact, a study by WebAIM found that websites with good contrast performed significantly better on accessibility tests than those with poor contrast. On average, sites with good contrast achieved a score of 76% on accessibility tests, while those with poor contrast scored only 46%. This highlights the importance of considering both contrast and color blindness when designing for web accessibility.
5. Can you describe your experience with assistive technology and how it impacts your work as a frontend engineer?
My experience with assistive technology has been crucial in creating accessible websites. As a frontend engineer, it is important to consider the needs of users with disabilities and how they interact with websites. This is why I always integrate accessibility tools in my development process.
For instance, I have extensive experience working with screen readers like JAWS and NVDA. This has enabled me to create websites that are fully compatible with these and other assistive technologies. Additionally, I always use semantic HTML markup and ARIA attributes to ensure that assistive technologies can easily read and interpret the content.
One of my recent projects was a redesign of a government agency's website. Before I started working on the project, the website had accessibility issues which were highlighted by the client. I used assistive technologies during the development stage to test the website's compatibility. Through this process, I was able to identify numerous accessibility issues and address them accordingly.
- Improved website readability by using a higher contrast color scheme
- Added ARIA attributes where applicable to improve semantics
- Ensured keyboard navigation was functional and intuitive
6. How do you approach designing for users who are visually impaired or blind?
When designing for visually-impaired or blind users, my approach is centered around providing an inclusive experience for all users. This involves considering accessibility guidelines and standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1).
My first step is to ensure that all content on the website is accessible through a screen reader. This includes adjusting the website's code to ensure the screen reader is able to read labels, buttons, and images with proper alt tags.
Next, I make sure that all text on the website is high contrast and easy to read. I use color contrast analyzers to ensure that the text can be easily distinguished from the background. A study conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group found that the use of high contrast text increased legibility by as much as 73% for users with low vision.
I also consider the use of audio and video on the website. For example, I ensure that all videos include closed captions for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. In addition, I make sure to include audio descriptions of visual elements in the video for blind or visually-impaired users. Statistics show that 85% of users watch videos without sound, with the majority of these users citing their surroundings as the reason.
Lastly, I conduct user testing with visually-impaired users to ensure that the website is meeting their needs. This feedback helps me to make necessary changes and adjustments to provide the best possible experience for all users.
Overall, designing for visually-impaired or blind users is an important aspect of web accessibility engineering. By following accessibility guidelines and conducting user testing, we can create an inclusive experience for all users. Some of the benefits of designing for accessibility include increased user engagement and satisfaction, as well as expanded reach and audience for the website.
7. Can you explain the importance of semantic HTML in web accessibility?
Semantic HTML is crucial for web accessibility in 2023. Using semantic HTML tags, such as headings, paragraphs, lists, and tables, improve the structure and readability of web content for people with disabilities who rely on assistive technologies.
For example, a screen reader will interpret semantic HTML correctly and provide a user with the appropriate information. This is particularly important for users with visual impairments who rely on screen readers to navigate the web. An analysis by the World Health Organization shows that there are 2.2 billion people around the world with vision impairment or blindness, making up approximately 35% of the world's population.
Semantic HTML also improves the overall user experience, even for those without disabilities. This is because semantic HTML helps search engine algorithms categorize and understand the content, which can lead to higher search engine rankings. A study in 2021 shows that websites with good accessibility ranking tend to perform better in search engines, resulting in more traffic and potential revenue.
In summary, the importance of semantic HTML cannot be overstated. It not only improves accessibility for those with disabilities but also enhances the user experience for everyone and improves a website's SEO ranking. As a Web Accessibility Engineer, I am committed to implementing semantic HTML in all my projects to ensure equal access to information for all.
8. How do you test for accessibility, and what tools do you use for this purpose?
As a web accessibility engineer, testing for accessibility is an essential part of my job. In order to ensure that a website is accessible to all users, I follow a rigorous testing process using a range of tools.
- Automatic Accessibility Testing Tool: I use automatic accessibility testing tools like aXe or wave to quickly assess the accessibility of the UI and highlight any issues that need to be addressed. This helps to identify simple accessibility errors that may have been overlooked.
- Manual Testing: Manual testing is also an important part of accessibility testing. I do manual testing using a range of tools like screen readers like NVDA, JAWS, Voice-over, and Talkback to test the website's usability for blind people, color contrast analyzers to test color contrast, a keyboard-only navigation test, and many other manual tests that can assess the website's accessibility.
- Users' Feedback: Another important tool I use is feedback from users who require accessibility features. I engage with people with disabilities to get their feedback and find out if the website is truly accessible. This helps me identify and address issues that may not have been apparent during testing.
Using these tools to test accessibility has enabled me to help increase website accessibility's quality. For instance, with a recent site redesign, we used these methods to ensure the site met WCAG 2.1 criteria. We were able to increase the site's accessibility from a score of 70% to 90 %, meeting the WCAG 2.1 AAA rating.
9. Can you provide an example of an accessible website or application that you have designed or worked on, and what made it accessible?
One example of an accessible website that I have designed and developed is a hotel booking portal for individuals with visual impairments. To make the website accessible, I followed the WCAG 2.1 guidelines and made sure the website was compatible with screen readers and other assistive technologies.
Some specific features that were implemented to make the website accessible include:
1. A clear and consistent layout using hierarchical heading tags (h1-h6) to help screen readers understand the structure of the page.
2. Alternative text descriptions provided for all images to help users with visual impairments understand the content.
3. A high-contrast color scheme to accommodate users with color blindness.
4. Forms were built using proper markup and labels to allow users with mobility impairments to easily navigate and interact with them.
The efforts we put towards accessibility paid off with an increase in bookings from individuals with disabilities. In fact, our data showed a 30% increase in bookings from individuals with disabilities within the first six months of the website's launch. The website also received positive feedback from accessibility advocacy groups, and was awarded a Silver certification from the Accessible Travel Alliance in recognition of our efforts towards accessibility.
10. Do you have any experience working with accessibility guidelines such as WCAG, and if so, how do you ensure that your work adheres to them?
- Yes, I have extensive experience working with accessibility guidelines such as WCAG 2.1.
- To ensure that my work adheres to these guidelines, I use a combination of manual testing and automated accessibility tools such as Axe and Wave.
- For manual testing, I follow a checklist that covers all success criteria outlined in WCAG 2.1. This includes testing with keyboard-only navigation, screen readers, and with high contrast mode enabled.
- One example of a success criterion that I have successfully implemented is 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum). I conducted a thorough audit of a website and implemented necessary changes to ensure all text had sufficient contrast ratios, resulting in improved accessibility for visually impaired users.
- I also implement ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) attributes where appropriate to improve accessibility for users with disabilities such as blindness or low vision.
- Using automated accessibility tools, I am able to quickly identify any accessibility errors that may have been missed during manual testing.
- One example of a concrete result of my work is when I worked on a project that had previously failed an accessibility audit. After implementing my testing and audit process, the website passed the audit with flying colors and received positive feedback from users with disabilities.
- I am always staying up-to-date with the latest accessibility standards and guidelines, and I regularly attend accessibility conferences and workshops to improve my skills and knowledge.
Congratulations on finishing our list of interview questions and answers for Web Accessibility Engineers! Whether you're feeling confident or nervous, the next steps are just as important. A great cover letter is crucial to landing a job, so make sure to check out our guide on writing an impressive cover letter. Additionally, you'll want to make sure your resume stands out from the rest, so take a look at our guide on crafting a remarkable resume. And don't forget to use Remote Rocketship's job board to search for remote frontend engineer jobs. We wish you the best of luck on your job search!