iOS app Accessibility review – State Bank of India’s Freedom Plus

State Bank of India (@TheOfficialSBI) is one of the popular nationalized bank in India and recently released SBI Freedom Plus app and we decided to help them by reviewing app for accessibility.

We have tested the app using VoiceOver, an in-built screen reader on iOS devices.

To turn ON the VoiceOver, Go to: Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> VoiceOver -> Toggle ON

Below are some of our findings:

  • As the app loaded VoiceOver was able to read “Welcome to SBI Freedom Plus Internet banking on the mobile” and then there are two form fields to fill in Internet User and password. However, VoiceOver failed to detect logo information and three available buttons 1. Locate Us, 2. Offers and 3. FAQs
  • Unable to activate “Login” button using VoiceOver
  • When app is authenticating user, visually screen has curtained, however, VoiceOver is reading background information such as user name, password etc.,
  • When accounts page is loaded, labels for each account is reading as a separate lines by VoiceOver. i.e. when swiping right, it reads as

    transaction – next swipe deposit next swipe accounts – next swipe accounts – next swipe savings, next swipe deposit etc.,

    ; This needs to be read as a single item each like Transaction accounts Savings, Deposit account Accounts FD etc.,

  • App requires appropriate headings
  • Good part is that VoiceOver is able read all form fields, dialogs correctly.
  • Color contrast in most part is good; however it requires improvement for text displayed for account information such as balance etc.,

Overall, the app is good and it will be great with a few improvements.

Raising awareness is rather important to build accessible world – Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Developers are awesome, designers are awesome too! Always willing and keen to put in an innovative effort and bring a wow experience to consumers; then why is that they don’t care about accessibility? If you think they don’t that’s wrong; They absolutely don’t see people with disabilities / elderly as their enemies and never intend to build something that does not work for all users. It’s just that most of them doesn’t know about these segment of user base. Because they must have never come across people with disabilities and do not know how they use technologies. Let’s be realistic, those of us working in Accessibility industry, each one has come to this industry either with an experience or for some, it’s need for own self. So raising awareness plays an important role to build inclusive experiences.

Thanks to and Joe Devon, who thought to create a platform to raise awareness on accessibility by marking 1 day every year as Global Accessibility Awareness Day. It all started in the year 2012 and initially it was celebrated on 9th May but to consider vacations in some regions, it was decided to have this day on every 3rd Thursday of the May.

There are bunch of events happening across the world – may they be in-person events or virtual events… So much energy is floating to bring in awareness about accessibility. Visit Events page on GAAD website to see what’s happening around you.

Do you think you are too late to the party and you wish, you were aware of this earlier so that you can plan something? No panic, you can still do something. Some quick ideas:

  • Are you an android / iOS user, enable accessibility options from your settings and use phone for about a few minutes using in-built screen readers. For android, it’s called talkback and for iOS, it’s called VoiceOver
  • Meet with your friends and start talking about accessibility of places around you; like if you are at work, see what are the barriers you see from an employee who uses a wheel chair prospective.

More ideas you will find on GAAD website. Wishing everyone a happy accessibility (a11y) day!

If you are tweeting about GAAD, do NOT forget to use hashtag #gaad. Let’s have it trending!