“If you do not intentionally, deliberately and proactively include, you will unintentionally exclude.” – Joe Gerstandt
Caring about accessibility means caring about our customers. At Salesloft, we always try to put our customers first, and we are committed to growing and improving in order to create a more inclusive and accessible app.
This is why, after some customer feedback, we recently refactored one of our most widely-used sections of the app to reflect these values.
Last year, a blind Salesloft customer reported being unable to complete their day-to-day responsibilities in the Salesloft app while using a screen reader. This is an assistive technology that processes the contents of a screen and then communicates it to the user through speech or braille.
When the customer would attempt to run the screen reader, the elements of the page would not be properly communicated, and the app would eventually crash. Because of this, they were forced to look for workarounds that were tedious, time-consuming, and ultimately meant they were unlikely to meet goals set out for the quarter.
This feedback prompted an audit of the most widely-used parts of the app and ensured digital accessibility was a target for improvement within Salesloft. One of our first areas of focus was on the Salesloft Dialer, which allowed customers to make and receive calls directly from within Salesloft.
Using the feedback from the audit, the Dialer product team tackled this refactor and completed it in less than a month.
While this example is only one drop in the pool, each improvement is a step in the right direction. In order to keep this momentum and ensure we continue to improve, we are making accessibility a standard. What are some ways we’ve done this?
- We conducted an internal audit of our design system which holds the most widely used components in the app. By starting in the foundational components, we broke the work down into small chunks that could be properly audited and refactored and then trickle out to other corners of the app.
- We began knowledge-sharing and focusing on internal education. We have an accessibility Slack channel where people can share ideas and ask questions. We also now have an accessibility team that meets weekly to track progress across teams and departments.
- We developed an accessibility guide for developers. The guide highlights the key areas of focus when writing accessible code and creates a single source of truth for developers to turn to. This has improved the consistency across the Salesloft app to ensure that customers receive a familiar experience on each screen.
- We are ensuring all future components are more accessible as well as easily maintained in order to stay up to date with accessibility guidelines.
We’re making strides toward a fully accessible app, but we acknowledge that our work is not, and may not ever, be complete. We are constantly learning and growing to make sure all of our customers feel acknowledged and cared for.
Each change we make towards improving accessibility is a small win and a step forward toward a more inclusive app. We’re excited to continue to learn and evolve.
Haley Barlar | Haley is a UI Engineer at Salesloft with a focus on accessibility, design systems, and UX.