Matching Editing to Specific Needs

A technical document goes through several stages during development and requires multiple reviews before it is complete. Using a combination of internal and external reviewers helps ensure the final product meets its intended goal and contains a negligible number of errors. An external reviewer may be referred to as an editor, but depending on the state of the document, more specific direction may be required. An editor's review can span from complex content analysis to fixing the minutia of the technical paper. It is best to have a clear set of tasks when determining editor requirements rather than use a specific term alone. Often duties can overlap at different times, and editors may use additional terms to define specific tasks. Adding to the possible confusion, when editors use other words to describe their skill-set, the result is often misleading to the detriment of time, budgets, and the quality of the technical document. This article explains potential editing terms and their variants, when to engage editors, the tasks related to the terms, and potential editor titles or skills for which to look.

Developmental and Structural Writing and Editing/Revising

Developmental and structural writing and editing or revising focuses on the content and organization of the document. An external source should complete this review either as the subject matter experts (SME) create a draft document or soon after to avoid rework. During this stage, a writer, editor looks at the document as a whole to determine if the content meets the intended purpose. They check that the content is in a logical order for the audience, not just the SMEs. They also make sure the content makes sense by asking for clarification. For example, a process step was omitted, or the content assumes the reader has specific knowledge of the subject or removes unnecessary information.

Potential editor titles to engage include:

  • Technical Writer/Editor

Consistency Editing

Consistency editing ensures consistency within a document or a group of records. This task is essential when dealing with program documentation, where there are multiple types of documents, and there are numerous documents of each type.

When reviewing for consistency, an editor verifies the single document is consistent within itself, matches records of the same type, and contains the key components that tie all of the program documentation together. This includes looking at the document structure/sections, formatting, and program-specific language.

Potential editor titles to engage include:

  • Technical Writer/Editor

Copy and Line Editing

Copy and line editing focus on the clarity and conciseness of the writing regarding the document's type, style, and audience. For example, legal and standards documents, marketing content, and training papers have different writing styles targeted to the intended audience. This task is most successful once the document is efficiently organized and content is in place, but it can be, and is, done during earlier stages. A copy editor reviews a document as a whole, and a line editor examines the document line-by-line. Still, both have the same focus on overall writing quality and consistency. They review for passive voice, long phrasing, run-on sentences, regional colloquialisms, and unoriginal phrases.

Potential editor titles to engage include:

  • Technical Writer/Editor
  • Copy or Line Editor

Mechanical Editing/Proofreading

Mechanical editing or proofreading is fixing the document minutia. While last in this list, automated editing or proofreading can be performed throughout the editing process and must be done at the end regardless of previous efforts. It is often performed multiple times, primarily if internal reviewers fixate on these small details instead of the content and overall organization. An editor reviews spelling and grammar during this task and checks for consistent capitalization, abbreviations, punctuation, and formatting. When finalizing a document, the editor verifies that no errors were introduced when changes were accepted or rejected, provides a final check, and updates all fields and links in a document, including the table of contents and any figure or table references. They also verify any publication dates, copyright years, or other aspects that may change over time are current.

Potential editor titles to engage include:

  • Technical Writer/Editor
  • Copy or Line Editor
  • Proofreader

Conclusion

Each stage in the editing process improves your final deliverable by improving clarity and reducing errors. In turn, you can trust that your audience is efficiently getting the information they need when they need it. At Radiant Digital, our Technical Writers and editors can support all of your writing and editing needs, no matter the stage of your technical documentation. Contact us today to see how we can help you meet your documentation goals.


Techniques for Outstanding Technical Writing

You can search online for technical writer qualities–clear, concise writing, quickly understand concepts, strong interpersonal skills–but those will only get you through the door. You still need to deliver results. A helpful trick to be an outstanding technical writer is to work smarter, not harder. This article will discuss the techniques and benefits of using guides provided by a client and creating your guides while working on technical communication projects. (If you don’t want to search online for technical writer qualities, see the end of the document.)

Use the guides and templates provided by the client

Most clients will have their brand guides, style guides, and templates. It would be best if you used your initial project ramp-up time to become familiar with any guides and templates. You will need to know where to find them and how often they are updated. Usually, they are not updated too often, but you will need to make sure you have the most recent versions. Knowing the guides and having them up to date helps avoid rework.

Brand and style guides

Read any provided guides and ask any questions you may have. Compile the pages that you may need to reference frequently in a separate document. Organize your compact guide so that it is relevant to you–page order, bookmarks, highlighting. Once compiled, place it in a convenient location.
Outside the Box Use your monitor’s background as a quick reference for essential information. Create an image of helpful information, company color codes, acceptable fonts, registration, trademark lists, etc., and set it as your background.

Templates

Some companies have templates for everything–from executive PowerPoint presentations to memos. Acquaint yourself with the templates you will work with and when they should be used. For example, there may be separate templates for internal versus external presentations. While they may look similar, there will be critical aspects on one or all of the slides that help protect company information.
When it comes to templates for documentation, use the styles that are in the document. However, a new style may be needed for one reason or another. When you add to the base template, make sure the style aligns with the rest of the document, including indents, tab stops, and line spacing. Once you have the types you need in a document, that document should be the one you use as the template from then on–don’t go back to the original template unless you imported the new styles. When you start a document that you know has all the correct styles, you avoid reinventing the wheel.
Outside the Box When working with PowerPoint presentations, slides that were initially internal-only may be used in an external presentation when the information is allowed to go public. Always build presentations with this fact in mind, so these internal slides that will eventually be external, are created and formatted in a way that is acceptable for external use.

Create your guides

If a company doesn’t have its guides, a project has specific requirements, or there is just a lot to remember, create your guides and job aids. No doubt you will be taking a lot of notes as you work. Compiling them in a single document or folder will help you locate the information you need when you need it. You also don’t need to start from scratch to create your guides; you can search the internet for a starting point and then adapt as needed. Creating guides helps you and helps any team members get up to speed on a project quickly.

Style guide

Creating your style guide is especially helpful when creating multiple related documents that have similar structures and content. You can list the required sections for a document and describe how to handle differences between them. Create lists of standardized text, phrases, and formatting to keep the documents consistent.

Quality control guide

If you make no other guides, create a quality control (QC) guide or checklist. As you work, you will notice common mistakes and, while you are trying to keep an eye out for them, you will miss some. By listing them in a QC guide, you will remember to look for or to use the search option, when possible, to find any mistakes. Be sure to include a list of words that are spelled correctly but are not the right word. Some may include:
• plot – pilot
• manger – manager
• flies – files
• filed – field
• too – to
• form - from
Your QC guide can also include common formatting errors or a client’s formatting preferences. For instance, making sure a heading stays with the content that follows, that the last word in a sentence is not on a new line by itself, or that a table row does not break across a page.
Outside the Box Use the search and replace it with a formatting option to highlight punctuation marks and make potential errors more visible. Highlight all the periods in a document to find paragraphs that are missing periods, bullet points with inconsistent punctuation and structure, and even find long sentences.

Process documents

Create process documents for your own work needs, especially for tasks you don’t often do. These don’t necessarily need to live up to the standards of your client deliverables–sticky notes are handy for short processes or reminders–as long as you can access and digest the information in a reasonable amount of time, they are worth the effort to create.

Conclusion

Whether you are using guides provided to you or created by you, they allow you to focus on gathering and organizing content and, ultimately, creating quality documentation rather than general aspects of the project. At Radiant, these are just a few techniques our technical writers use daily. Contact Radiant for your technical communication needs, and let us show you how our internal commitment to quality is reflected in our product delivery.

TECHNICAL WRITER QUALITIES

A Technical Writer Should:
• Have an eye for detail
• Be able to see the big picture and focus on the details
• Ask questions (even if they are “dumb”)
• Accept criticism
• Push back, but be flexible
• Avoid overthinking
• Know how to find information
• Solve problems traditionally and creatively

BENEFITS OF A TECHNICAL WRITER

A Technical Writer Can:
• Provide an outside perspective
- Identify any overlooked or extraneous information
- Help consider different approaches
• Understand multiple perspectives and adjust documentation accordingly
- Internal versus external
- Marketing versus process
• Provide experience in a variety of document types and industries
• Work independently and within a schedule and budget


The Versatility of a Technical Writer

A recent search on LinkedIn for technical writing job opportunities returned over 50k results in the United States. The deliverable types included internal-facing work processes, quality assurance workbooks, developer training resources, and external-facing consumer support content, proposals, and marketing. The delivery platforms had print, digital, and a blended format. The industries were just as diverse—aerospace and defense technology, oil and gas, computer software development, consumer electronics, and pharmaceuticals. All this was just within the first page of the results. The common link is the need for a technical writer. A technical writer's versatility allows them to quickly move between deliverable types, delivery platforms, and even industries. This article will discuss three key traits that help a technical writer meet and exceed any client needs.

Systematic Approach

A technical writer uses a systematic approach for each project. They find common threads or patterns in information that help with planning and organizing documentation of similar types. So, it is not surprising that one technical writer can handle seemingly diverse topics. For example, consider the following processes:

  • Software installation and usage
  • Global corporate workflow implementation
  • Engineering work instructions
  • Repair and Maintenance (R&M) tool teardown

Each process has the following high-level components:

  • Roles and related responsibilities/user types
  • Competency requirements
  • A flow of data or documentation
  • Steps in a specific order
  • Consequences if done incorrectly

The key differences between the processes are:

  • The need for the process
  • The asset being manipulated
  • The expected outcome or output

While the individual details may vary considerably, a similar set of questions can gather the processes' required information.

  • Why is the process necessary, and what are the goals and objectives?
  • What is changed through the process: data, people, machinery?
  • What is the result: a report, a behavior change, a product?
  • Who is involved, and what do they need to do?
  • What do the roles/users need to know and learn?
  • How is the process progress tracked?
  • What are the steps and the required order?
  • What happens if the process is not followed?

The systematic approach works across industries and can be applied to more than just processes. Consider software documentation in general. Similar documentation types are used with software regardless of the industry or the intended purpose of the application. You are likely to see some or all of the following (and more):

  • Installation guides
  • Installation notes
  • Manuals
  • Training guides
  • Help files

Each document type will have its own set of baseline questions for starting information gathering; however, the end product will be unique to each client’s individual needs.

Adaptable Writing Style

Technical writers can adapt their writing styles for each project. Since no two clients or audiences are created equal, a technical writer provides the expertise to reflect a client’s corporate identity while delivering clear, concise documentation with the appropriate level of detail for the intended audience. For this example, consider marketing and proposal writing. To be clear, these are different. Good marketing will let people know what a company can do and build interest, leading to a reasonable proposal explaining what a company will do for a client with one or more products and services.

For marketing, a company needs to reach both internal and external audiences, and each audience will include multiple roles that require a different level of detail. The primary internal audience is the sales team, and the main external audience is the potential client. (The external audience often includes competitors as well.)

Internal Roles Level of Detail External Roles
General Employee Low General Public/Potential Client
Executives Low to Medium Potential Client Executive
Business Development Medium to High Potential Client Buyer
Product Owners/Technical Associates High Potential Client Implementation Role

 

The internal and external documents all need to be informative, emphasizing the benefits to the client. Internal documents are also required to explain how to position those benefits to the client to make a sale. For the potential client, the documents and deliverables need to show them that their challenges are understood and that the product or service will help them with those challenges. Here is also where corporate identity comes in. The deliverables can tie in the company’s value proposition and use the proper tone. Does the company use a formal style when addressing clients, or are they more informal and friendly? Does the writing style change depending on the deliverable type?

The image below shows different detail levels in marketing documents, a summary of what information can be included in those levels, and some example deliverables.

On the other hand, we have proposals. When it comes to positioning a product or service, these are directed to an external audience. Proposals are very detailed and use a formal writing style. Proposals go beyond just describing a product or service. They include project management and implementation strategy, key performance indicators for assessing success or failure, just to name a few. The technical writer must ensure that the details are clear and concise and there is little room for misinterpretation.

Tech Savvy

A technical writer uses their ability to learn software applications and platforms to create and deliver technical communication projects. Below are just a few of the tools that can be used to produce print and digital deliverables.

Documents Images Training
Microsoft Word

Adobe FrameMaker

Adobe InDesign

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Captivate

Storyline 360

 

For delivering digital projects or providing digital copies, a technical writer can upload or create content on a content management system, like Adobe Experience Manager, to build out web pages or web sites, upload and tag documents and images to digital asset management systems, like Brandfolder, for general company use, and even create custom SharePoint sites for internal knowledge management and consumption. For training, a technical writer can publish training files, test functionality, and SCORM compliance and upload them to learning management systems.

Technical writers can also create training and processes in a wholly digital capacity using standard work training software like Dozuki. Here writers can blend process steps, images, and media files to engage the learner fully and still update information on the fly.

Conclusion

Technical writers are not tied to one document type or industry. One writer can tackle multiple request types. Technical writers can work with different document types, content, and initiatives by using a systematic approach to planning, adapting their writing style for each client and deliverable, and using technical knowledge to develop and deliver final products. Contact Radiant if you have multiple technical communication projects but don’t know where to start to accomplish them. Our team of technical writers has experience delivering a variety of projects across industries, including the public and private sectors.

 


Technical Writing Delivers More Than Just Editing

Many subject matter experts (SMEs) reach out to technical writers once a document has been drafted to help edit and prepare it for delivery. However, an experienced writer can provide valuable project support from the moment a documentation need is identified.

Collaborate for Client-specific Results

Any successful project requires close collaboration. Even if a technical writer doesn’t have a background in a specific subject, a strong technical writer will have the ability to identify, organize, and synthesize pertinent information more efficiently than SMEs. Partnering with a technical writer early on can take much of the burden of managing a documentation project off SMEs, freeing the SMEs to focus on providing key inputs that only they can provide.

Plan the Project Requirements

From the project outset, technical writers can provide insight for project execution from previous experience. Working with the SMEs, technical writers can clarify the document's goal and determine the objectives required to reach that goal. From there, the audience is defined. The audience makeup informs the breadth of content needed and the complexity of language used to convey the content.

Hands-on Information Gathering

Technical writers turn into private investigators when it is time to gather information. Writers will set up interviews with SMEs to ask questions designed to acquire the relevant information. A lot of questions. Using direct, open-ended, and even seemingly simple questions, the technical writer helps an SME fully connect with their head knowledge. Depending on their day-to-day involvement with the topic, it may be second nature to them, and they could accidentally leave out basic but critical information. For insight on knowledge capture and cognitive task analysis, see the blog and webinars by Sheila Mitchell, Ph.D., on the Radiant Digital Insights web page.

Technical writers can dig through existing documentation and perform research online or through other available resources to improve how they ask questions, help fill in gaps, or improve their understanding to produce a more accurate and complete document.

In addition to gathering words, a technical writer can help locate images, design new images (possibly with the help of a graphic designer), and can collect any required screenshots, as applicable.

Organize for Understanding and Execution

While technical writers may have experience with the project's topic, they do not live and breathe it, so they provide a valuable outsider’s view of the information. This allows the technical writer to see the information, so the SME does not—a new angle—and logically organize the document to serve the specific audience and task best. Does the audience need to learn to use a software application? Does the audience need to follow a Health, Safety, and Environment process to avoid environmental damage or legal repercussions?

Technical writers will organize each document depending on the required task and the capabilities of the audience. While documents can be similar, a cookie-cutter approach is rarely the best solution.

Complete and Concise Writing

A technical writer is, as the title implies, a writer. A technical writer that organizes and writes a document helps reduce the time required to edit the document. Often an SME’s role does not require much writing that will be published for a mass audience. This sometimes results in SMEs creating documents that are verbose or that are unnecessarily complex. While writing, a technical writer removes extraneous information and determines where additional information or clarification is needed to produce a concise document that meets all identified objectives.

Content-focused Reviews

Using a technical writer to gather and build the document can accelerate and improve the review process's quality. The document will begin in a cleaner state allowing the reviewers to focus on content correctness and completion, not if a period is missing or a diagram is misaligned. Those reviewing the comments won’t have to wade through comments about errors that should be caught during proofreading.

Technical writers keep communication lines open throughout the process to efficiently organize multiple reviews by multiple reviewers while maintaining version control. Reviews start with the SMEs closest to the project and expand to a larger but limited audience. Depending on the scale, timing, or importance of the document, the technical writer can set up review workshops. Here, key personnel reviews the document with the writer in real-time, allowing an open discussion of questions, concerns, and comments. Any pressing issues can be addressed more readily and more completely than in a series of emails or calls.

Finalize and Deliver

When stakeholder reviews are complete, and all comments are accounted for, the technical writer then performs a final review of all the document aspects. This review includes links to cross-references and websites, labels for figures and tables and their references, the table of contents, formatting, and all of the regular proofreading items. They can then package the document in the required format—Word, InDesign, PDF—and deliver it as specified in the project requirements—email, save to a shared drive, upload to a CMS or a digital asset management application.

“Just Editing”

Does all this mean that a tech writer shouldn’t be used for editing? Absolutely not! When a technical writer edits a document, they will still follow the same process—on a smaller scale—as they edit.

Before beginning, they will learn the objectives, goals, and audience of the document. While editing, they will proofread the document to fix the standard issues—spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.—but will also review for clarity, completeness, and organization. They will work closely with the designated SMEs—asking questions and making suggestions—to help ensure the document serves the intended purpose.

Summary of Benefits

A technical writer on a project team can:

  • Closely collaborate with SMEs and project management
  • Provide insight for project execution from previous experience
  • Determine the breadth of the content and the complexity of language
  • Allow SMEs more time to focus on their daily job requirements
  • Include input from more SMEs
  • Provide an outsider view of the information
  • Organize information for the specific task and audience
  • Reduce the time required for writing and editing
  • Accelerate and improve the quality of reviews

Conclusion

The flexibility and versatility of a technical writer can help with any technical communication project. Whether SMEs have already written a document or the information still needs to be pulled from the heads of a knowledgeable staff member or whether this is the first or the thousandth technical document, a technical writer is a valuable asset to include on the team. Radiant Digital and its team of experienced technical writers are ready to help your company meet its technical communication needs.


Creating Accessible Computer-based Training in Storyline 360

In today’s environment, companies need to rely more and more on education and training programs delivered through a digital platform. The switch from face-to-face to virtual meetings, while not without associated difficulties, has proven to be an effective and, in some cases, a more inclusive way to provide information. From this experience, there is a growing understanding of the benefits of self-paced, non-instructor lead computer-based training (CBT). The CBTs can be standalone or part of a complete blended delivery course and cover any level of information from basic introductions to complex ideas. Regardless of complexity, the CBTs need to include functionality that allows an end-user to quickly access and learn the required information.

Today’s workforce is incredibly diverse. As more and more opportunities are available to a broader range of people, CBT training courses must reflect the accessibility needs of the user. Using web accessibility laws and guidelines, companies can develop CBTs that allow all of their employees to learn effectively.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Storyline-360-article-_20201202-1024x675.png

Web Accessibility

Most people use the internet daily and don’t need to worry if they will be able to get where they need to go and if they will be able to find the information they need. However, this is not the case for everybody. The goal of web accessibility is to allow anyone to navigate web pages and consume information easily.

Laws and Standards for Accessibility

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 508) is Federal law. It requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities—Federal employees and the public. It includes accessibility standards that are incorporated into regulations that govern Federal procurement practices. Federal agencies that are not compliant can be held legally responsible.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), on the other hand, is a set of standards from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that provides actionable guidelines to achieve web accessibility. While WCAG is not a regulatory body, the procedures are accepted worldwide as the standard for accessibility and are used by Section 508 to help determine compliance. WCAG is currently on version 2.1, which is an extension of version 2.0. These guidelines continue to evolve as new needs arise and as technology advances allowing additional accessibility capabilities.

Web Accessibility Promotes Inclusion

Compliance to Section 508 helps people with different disabilities, including:

  • Hearing impairments – deafness and hard of hearing
  • Vision impairments – low vision, color blindness, partial blindness, and total blindness
  • Speech impairments
  • Mobility impairments
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Seizure and Vestibular Disorders

Who else is helped by 508 compliant CBTs? Just about everyone. The required features and functionality for a compliant CBT allow users to:

  • Navigate without a mouse—maybe the mouse batteries died, and there is no trackpad.
  • Read audio content—maybe there are no speakers or headphones available or the environment is noisy.
  • Hear what content is on the screen—may be visual attention is split, or the screen is small or poor-quality.

Making compliant CBTs also helps people who may be taking a course that is not available in their native language or those with learning disabilities by allowing the user to select the best way to take in the information.

While Section 508 focuses on Federal and Federally-funded agencies, it is in any company’s best interest to remain cognizant of who these standards help and how.

CBT Authoring Tools and Compliance

Using CBT authoring tools to make robust and engaging courses is nothing new. However, many of these same tools already provide the functionality to make consistent, accessible, and usable CBTs. Storyline 360 enables designers to create a more accessible CBT with little additional effort quickly.

Storyline 360 already supports all applicable Revised Section 508 accessibility guidelines. Some of the features are automatic, while others require the designer to set parameters or enter the required information.

Designing with Compliance in Mind

According to Census.gov, nearly 20% of all Americans have some type of disability, half of whom are believed to have severe disabilities.

Keeping this in mind, designers need to analyze the learning objectives and make CBTs accessible to the broadest audience. For this, the designer needs to think about how users will:

  • Navigate/interact with the CBT - mouse, keyboard, voice activation, or maybe a combination
  • Receive/consume the information – through the audio and visual components on the slide, a screen reader, closed captioning, or others

Storyline 360 supports users:

  • 302.1 Without Vision
  • 302.2 With Limited Vision
  • 302.3 Without Perception of Color
  • 302.4 Without Hearing
  • 302.5 With Limited Hearing
  • 302.6 Without Speech
  • 302.7 With Limited Manipulation (drag-and-drop and Likert scale questions are not keyboard accessible)
  • 302.8 With Limited Reach and Strength
  • 302.9 With Limited Language, Cognitive, and Learning Abilities

It is essential to know what Storyline 360 does and what a designer still needs to design courses. Using the latest version and the accessible player, courses will automatically support multiple screen readers, provide a discoverable structure and hierarchy for learners using assistive technologies, and provide player controls that are logically grouped, organized, and labeled. The following table shows what Storyline 360 can do, and a few things the designer should do. The lists are not exhaustive.

User Storyline 360: The designer needs to:
Without vision or with limited vision Supports: Screen readers Audio descriptions keyboard navigation Set a logical tab order for people using only a keyboard to navigate. Apply custom alternate text for images and other non-text. Add keyboard shortcuts to one or all slides.
With limited vision Course player conforms to minimum contrast guidelines Set color contrast to minimum ratio or better increase initial font size.
Without the perception of color Provides robust authoring options to engage users without the need for color differentiation Create content understood by learners who don’t perceive color. Set color contrast to minimum ratio or better.
Without hearing or with limited hearing Supports: Closed captions transcript Provide visual alternatives for audio-dependent content. Change the accessibility focus color, as needed.
Without speech Does not require speech.
With limited manipulation Provides multiple compliant interactive features Use only keyboard-accessible features. Do not use drag-and-drop or Likert scale questions or provide keyboard accessible alternatives.
With limited reach and strength Courses can be navigated via mouse, keyboard, and mobile touchscreen gestures Create content that is suitable for learners with limited reach and strength.
With limited language, cognitive, and learning abilities Provides robust authoring options to engage users in multiple ways Create content that is easily accessible for learners with limited language, cognitive, and learning abilities.

It is also important for designers to avoid using timed content or tests. If timed content is necessary, there should be a way for a user using assistive technology to extend the time or stop it to allow sufficient time.

Testing to Verify Accessibility

Once the course is built, it needs to be tested to verify all of the features work as expected. There are three primary ways to test and validate conformance to Section 508 accessibility standards:

  • Automated – High-volume 508 conformance testing tools automatically scan and test electronic content;
  • Manual – Manual testing uses a documented, consistent, repeatable process;
  • Hybrid – A combination of automated and manual testing.

Manual tests can be created using the Section 508 ICT Testing Baseline as a starting point. The 24 baseline tests establish the minimum tests and evaluation guidelines that determine whether Web content meets Section 508 requirements. The ICT Testing Baseline is not intended to be a test process itself.

The Trusted Tester: Section 508 Conformance Test Process For Web from the Department of Homeland Security uses the ICT Testing Baseline, but groups tests together and puts them in a logical, practical order.

When testing manually, there are a few tools that can come in handy. Some free applications are listed in the following table, but others can be purchased.

Tool/Software Description
ANDI (Accessible Name & Description Inspector) ANDI (Accessible Name & Description Inspector) is a free tool to test websites for accessibility. It is a "favelet" or "bookmarklet" that will: Provide automated detection of accessibility issues. Reveal what a screen reader should say for interactive elements (the accessible name computation). Give practical suggestions to improve accessibility and check 508 compliance.
Color Contrast Analyzer CCA 2.5 for Windows CCA 2.4 for macOS The Color Contrast Analyzer (CCA) is a free, open-source tool that displays the contrast ratio for two selected colors—developed by Steve Faulkner and the Paciello Group.
NVDA Screen reader NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free and open-source screen reader for the Microsoft Windows operating system.
Screen reader Focus Highlight An add-on focus highlight for NVDA. By drawing a colored rectangle, this add-on enables partially sighted users, sighted educators, or developers to track the NVDA navigator object's location and the focused object/control.
Accessibility Insights Accessibility Insights is available for Web, Windows, and Android and helps developers find and fix accessibility issues.

Using the baseline processes and available tools, perform the compliance tests by imagining how different users will go through the course.

  • Turn off the sound and use the closed captions, transcripts, and other features for hearing impairments.
  • Use descriptive audio and a screen reader to move through the course.
  • Navigate the course using just a keyboard.
  • Check for flashing screens, timed components, and interactions that cannot be completed.

The CBT is compliant when all of the testing criteria have been confirmed.

Conclusion

Storyline 360 continues to improve their accessibility options as end-user needs change giving designers access to the latest compliance options. Radiant can assist you with developing or testing 508 and WCAG compliant eLearning and other learning applications. Let us help you better reach all of your learners.

by Emily O'Neill, Radiant Digital
Project Consultant

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