Switching back to old version

Hi, I switched to the web beta version. I am using the site with a screen reader, and I am having difficulties navigating it. I love the new idea, the web components have so much more potential, but at this point it is impossible to use. I would like to ask if you are planning to add more accessibility features, and how can I switch back to the old version for the time being. Thank you for your help!
  • Could you say more about what parts of the new design are giving you trouble? The new version was designed with accessibility in mind.

    You can switch back to the old version from the drop-down menu under your name at the top of the page, where there's a "Use Old Web Library" option. You can also append ?usenewlibrary=0 to the end of the URL to switch back.
  • Thank you, the URL trick worked.
    In the meantime, I was able to switch back, but it was interesting, I could not find this link in Chrome. I read through the site many times. ThenI logged into it from iOS, and the link was right there, it was obvious. Not sure what happened, but now I am able to go back and forth.

    The site in general definitely shows that lot's of accessibility work went into it. The biggest problem at this point is that the grid is not navigable with the keyboard, which is the core component of using the application.
    There could be two ways to resolve it, one is to use an application role on the grid, and ensure that you can navigate it with the arrow keys. Depending on the grid control you are using, it maybe quite a bit of JS work, see Gmail for an example.
    The other, probably easier option would be to code the titles in each column as links, or use role="button" which is an ARIA implementation for screen readers to pick it up.
    Also, there are some unlabeled menu buttons so you have to first figure out what's what.
    I would start by ensuring that the entire application can be used without touching the mouse.
    Thank you for your help!
  • I'm not quite sure what you mean here. By grid, you're referring to the items list? The items rows are certainly navigable via up/down arrow keys now. Do you mean to have a screen reader read the separate cells within a given row?

    @tnajdek could comment on this more, but making sure the whole interface was navigable via the keyboard was actually a huge focus here, and I believe should already be the case — Tab to move between components, and arrow keys within components (for example, tags in the tag selector), as recommended in WAI-ARIA guidelines.
  • I use the JAWS screen reader, which is one of the most frequently used ones.
    I can navigate the page, but once I tab into the items grid, I am lost. I did try to arrow around, but I am not hearing any information.
    The screen reader uses a virtual viewer when viewing a web page, using this, which is probably how we use web pages most often, I can read the titles, but it is not obvious how to check a record or how to open it.
    So, I understand that it was written with accessibility in mind, but was it tested with a screen reader? ARIA is used to help screen readers, and voice recognition software. So, no matter how we follow the guidelines, it is important to at least briefly test with a screen reader.
    My recommendation would be NVDA, which is also very popular, and it is free.
  • First, thank you for your valuable feedback. As Dan mentioned we're trying our best to make this tool accessible so I appreciate any information on where we're not up to scratch in that regards.

    I'm using ChromeVox as a screen reader for testing during development. Having just tested again I've noticed that indeed there is no audio cue when navigating rows in the items table using arrow keys - I'll investigate what happened there. I've created an issue on Github to track this issue (https://github.com/zotero/web-library/issues/330).

    I'll try to do some tests with NVDA as well - sadly, as with JAWS, it's only available on Windows which makes it so much harder for us to use during day-to-day development (we mostly use macOS or Linux).

    This being beta, we still have few areas where keyboard-based navigation is less than ideal and we're working on improvements. If you don't mind, I'd appreciate continuous feedback as we hopefuly improve things - I'll respond in this thread once we have deployed fixes.
  • It is not necessarily a problem if you are not testing with Windows.
    ChromeVox is not used by many blind people, particularly because of the screen reader support. It is getting better, but not there yet.
    Linux does have a screen reader, called ORCA, but it is not developed actively for years now. In Linux the command line is the most reliable with speech.
    Now the good news: the Mac has a great screen reader. If you make anything work in a web environment with VO, chances are it will work just fine with a Windows screen reader.
    Sorry if you know this, but just in case:
    Toggle VoiceOver on the Mac by pressing Command+F5. If you have a touch bar, then hold down the Command button and press the Power button three times quickly.
    Unlike in other screen readers, VO doesn't necessarily play nice out of the box, there are a few things you will need to set:

    System preferences: Keyboard > Shortcuts > Full Keyboard Access > All controls (this is probably set by default, but it is important)
    Safari preferences: Advanced > Accessibility > Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage.
    VoiceOver Utilities / Web/ Navigation / Always allow keyboard commands to navigate web sites

    Once you have these set, VoiceOver will be a much nicer experience.

    At the moment I don't have access to a Mac, but I can test on a Chromebook and on Windows.
    I will check the Github project, I would suggest we move the discussion there so we can track issues.

    I am happy you are working on accessibility. Last year, I spent weeks to find the most usable citation management software, paid or unpaid and Zotero was my choice. The way I use it, since both web and software versions have accessibility issues is that I have both open, and do different tasks on different platforms. Sounds odd, but I made it work, and this way I can not only get to things in an accessible way, but I can get to it quickly. I would be very grateful if we could further improve both versions, it looks like I will spend much of my next year in Zotero.
    In my day job I work as an accessibility consultant, I'd be happy to contribute my knowledge to improve Zotero for people with all kinds of disabilities.
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