Deque Introduces Worldspace Sync Suite at CSUN

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Deque Product Lifecycle

With the growth of our field,  we have an opportunity to expand the impact of our accessibility efforts, and help organizations more fully express a commitment to accessibility. New tools and new approaches are needed to ensure that we are providing the best outcomes for our customers and end users.  For these reasons, Deque would like to introduce, Worldspace Sync, an upgrade to Deque's enterprise software suite, and a leap forward for organizations who have large, dynamic web sites and a commitment to accessibility.

Worldspace Sync provides tools for web teams to ensure accessibility in every part of the software production life cycle, rather than just focusing on a 'scan and report' snapshot approach solely at the beginning of a web development project.  The centerpiece of the WorldSpace Sync Suite is the ability to manage your organization's accessibility efforts from a single, easy-to-use module that allows for priorities to be set, proactive automated site analysis to occur, specialized reports to be generated, and follow up tasks to be assigned to team members. By ignoring the complete life cycle, we limit the impact that accessibility can have within the organization. The life cycle of Worldspace Sync contains five important phases:

Design Phase: It's important to get designers involved early on in the build and revision process.  We must equip designers with tools to help produce aesthetically pleasing results that are also accessible. Worldspace Sync offers one of the most accurate color contrast tools available, so that designers can work on different concepts and get immediate feedback on design schemes and their level of accessibility.

Coding Phase: Deque Worldspace Sync ensures that accessibility is built into coding from the beginning.  Other features during the coding phase include:

  • Worldspace Sync's Developer and QA plug-in tests for pages prior to submission, evaluating a range of accessibility factors, including how a screen reader with interact with the page
  • Automated tests can be scripted that include user input, such as logging into a password protected page or entering data into a form
  • A number of accessible component libraries to provide developers with modules that have accessibility built in from the beginning
  • Page analysis tools to allow developers to self-check their work, both increasing their knowledge with feedback occuring in the workflow, and reducing bugs found during the QA process

Testing Phase: In this phase, adherence to accessibility requirements are confirmed.  Worldspace Sync includes the following features:

  • Increased accuracy and speed
  • Customizing both scans and reports so that specific, actionable feedback can be provided to different combinations of functional groups in a project team.
  • Expanded breadth of tests, focusing particularly on helping QA testers test the more dynamic elements that are so important for modern web
  • New specialized reviews, called "Spotlight Tests" that allow for testing particular types of elements, such as ARIA elements.
  • Scripting user input variables so that filling out forms or menu picks that drive dynamic content can be automated.

Launch Phase: As organizations move to website launch, the key becomes how to ensure their accessibility over time.  At the launch phase, Deque's WorldSpace Sync offers:

  • Scripting and scheduling of automated tests that can run to ensure accessibility over time that include simulating user input.
  • Site testing in CloudScale, the ability to use cloud-based computing resources from Amazon on Demand, scaling up the resources when a large accessibility test is scheduled, and scaling down once the test is over, so that the costs for using cloud computing power are incurred only when necessary.

Post-Launch Phase: After launch, it can be a challenge to ensure that large web sites remain accessible. Worldspace Sync's automated testing tools can monitor sites regularly to make sure that new pages and content are accessible for all users.

To learn more about Deque's WorldSpace Sync Suite, visit our WorldSpace product page. If you're attending CSUN, make sure to visit us in Elizabeth Ballroom G and demo Worldspace Sync for yourself!

About 

Glenda Sims is the Team A11Y Lead at Deque, where she shares her expertise and passion for the open web with government organizations, educational institutions, and companies ranging in size from small business enterprise. Glenda is an adviser and co-founder of AIR-University (Accessibility Internet Rally) and AccessU. She serves as an accessibility consultant, judge, and trainer for Knowbility, an organization whose mission is to support the independence of people with disabilities by promoting the availability of barrier free IT. In 2010 Glenda co-authored the book InterACT with Web Standards: A holistic approach to Web Design.

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