8x8 web chat is now WCAG 2.1 compliant
When websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them, they are considered web accessible. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) offer recommendations on how to increase the usability of your website, and how to make it accessible to people with disabilities. Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including:
Prior to this release, 8x8 Contact Center customers who are WCAG 2.1 compliant were restricted from using the web chat solution due to the lack of compliance. In this release, we have enhanced the 8x8 Contact Center web chat experience to comply with the WCAG 2.1 guidelines allowing better readability, navigability, and interactivity with our web chat elements.
Note: WCAG Compliance is limited to 8x8 Contact Center web chat only. All other features and applications in the 8x8 Contact Center are not yet WCAG compliant.
To comply with WCAG 2.1, 8x8 Contact Center introduces enhancements to the web chat experience, thus allowing 8x8 customers to be WCAG 2.1 AA compliant. Learn more (Learn more about the compliance levels > Level A: Minimal compliance; Level AA: Acceptable compliance; Level AAA: Optimal compliance)
- Better and readable user-interface (UI) even on aggressive zoom
- Ability to navigate via keyboard tab/enter
- Compliance with screen readers
- Color palette with good contrast ratio and color-blind friendly
These enhancements are designed to improve usability for all and accessibility of content for the disabled. For example, a field with an asterisk is called out as mandatory by screen readers. Adding an alternate text for an image informs the user, who may be visually impaired what the image is about.
Enhancements in Chat Design for WCAG compliance
As an admin of 8x8 Contact Center, you will notice enhancements while designing the following web chat elements:
- Chat button: A chat button in 8x8 Contact Center is an interface element for a customer to initiate a chat. While designing a chat button, the new Button Label field now mandates a label for the button. For the visually impaired, the screen reader reads out the label for better comprehension. For example, adding a button label Chat now, informs users that clicking the button initiates a chat session.
- Invitation: The chat invitation form which invites website visitors to initiate a chat, has now introduced default colors compliant with WCAG. The default colors are designed to help the visually challenged such as the color-blind. Additionally, a new field requiring a logo label has been added for screen readers.
Note: Users for whom WCAG compliance is a non-priority, may select colors of their choice and overwrite the default colors.
Pre-chat form: Using a pre-chat survey form, 8x8 Contact Center administrators can collect basic information such as name, email, account number or case number, from an existing user. This information can be used to search for existing customer records and present it when an agent accepts the chat. While designing this form, you can now add an autocomplete attribute for each question on the form. The autocomplete attribute makes it easier to fill out forms, assisting users with cognitive disabilities. It helps screen readers to explain what a specific question is about.
Additionally, the form uses default colors compliant with WCAG. The default colors are designed to help the visually challenged. A new field requiring a logo label has been added for screen readers.
See the image below for better color contrast and helper text on the form.
- Chat Window: The 8x8 Contact Center chat window is the interface between a customer and an agent during the chat. Customers use this chat window to communicate with agents. This window now uses default colors compliant with WCAG. The default colors are designed to help the visually challenged. A new field requiring a logo label has been added for screen readers.
Note: WCAG Compliance is limited to 8x8 Contact Center web chat only. All other features and applications in the 8x8 Contact Center are not WCAG compliant.
Note: Existing 8x8 Contact Center users who have implemented the web chat solution, will need to review and enhance the chat design elements for WCAG compliance, and republish.