Adobe Sneaks: An Accessibility Tool for Building Digital Experiences

Image of a candy bar with the words tast the texture.

by Steve Hammond

posted on 04-24-2020

Once a year, a call goes out to over 21,000 employees across Adobe’s offices around the world. Anyone in the company, from engineers and data scientists, to UX designers and product managers, have a chance to put forth innovative ideas that can evolve the way in which brands engage online and in the physical world.

Leveraging the latest technology in areas like AI and mixed reality, submissions are whittled down to a final set of 7 projects that are shared publicly. Over the years, Sneaks has become a core innovation engine for Adobe, delivering capabilities like an AI assistant in analytics and personalized web layouts, chosen by a machine.

Project Access Ace

The World Health Organization estimates that 2.2 billion people around the world suffer from some form of visual impairment. When these individuals want to engage with their favorite brands online, they are unable to experience it in the way it was intended. On websites, in emails and more, they can have difficulty with color contrast or text spacing. And for those that are completely blind, screen readers often omit or add incorrect words.

Project Access Ace gives marketers an easy way to build content (including emails and web pages) that is more accessible for people with disabilities. Importantly, it can be integrated with any app or used as a standalone tool, making it as easy as possible for organizations to leverage. In Adobe Campaign for instance, an app used for building and managing marketing and email campaigns, a widget would instantly detect image or copy issues that are not compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Through AI, an accessibility checker scans the asset and provides a score (out of 100), which can be improved when accessibility issues are corrected for. With the same simplicity of a spell checker, these problems can be fixed with a just a few clicks. If the color contrast of an email banner is the issue for instance, one click automatically changes that portion of the email. Or, if the screen reader does not include the proper alt text, all the instances are identified and can be corrected.

For marketers and anyone who creates web experiences, this tool does not interrupt an existing workflow as it can integrate directly into their existing apps. It offers an incredibly simple way to ease the challenges of the complex and important task of ensuring that digital experiences are accessible for all users.

Topics: Adobe Summit, News