Committed to web accessibility

In an increasingly digital world, equal access to online information and experiences is essential for an inclusive society. However, many people with disabilities face significant challenges when trying to access web content, including multimedia virtual tours. From difficulties interacting with complex interfaces to the inability to access visual or auditory content, online barriers can exclude a large portion of the population.

For people with visual impairments, the lack of appropriate labels on elements and insufficient contrast in design can hinder content comprehension. Those with motor disabilities may struggle to navigate the interactive elements of a virtual tour, especially if keyboard accessibility is not considered in design. Meanwhile, individuals with hearing impairments may miss crucial information if subtitles or transcriptions for audio content are not provided.

To overcome these barriers, many people with disabilities rely on assistive devices such as screen readers, alternative keyboards, eye-tracking devices, and other adaptive tools. These tools enable them to interact with web content more effectively, but only if the content is designed with accessibility in mind.

At 3DVista, we firmly believe in the importance of creating online experiences that are accessible to everyone. That's why we are committed to improving accessibility in our multimedia virtual tours and, above all, providing tools in our software that enable creators to publish content that is more accessible and inclusive for all communities.

New Options to Enhance Accessibility:

Use of Labels for Screen Readers on Buttons, Dropdowns, and Thumbnail Lists:

Thanks to this new addition, when these elements are selected by the user, screen readers will be able to view and read the text content of those elements, greatly helping communities with visual impairments.

Automatic Tab Order for Skin Elements:

This new option has been added in the skin properties, allowing navigation through components (buttons, dropdowns, thumblists, etc.) using the 'Tab' key in the order they are added to the component list or “Shift + Tab” to go back. The user can click on them using the «Space» or «Enter» key, and deselect with the «ESC» key.

Custom Tab Order for Skin Elements:

Regardless of whether the previous option is enabled, it is possible to force some components to be selected using the «Tab» key, and above all, to modify their order. This can now be done by accessing the advanced options in the component settings and checking the «Tab index» option. By doing this, a new numerical field appears where you can indicate the position of that component relative to the general order.

Navigate through hotspots using Keys and the Pointer Mode:

This includes a kind of central point, like a «sight,» in the tours with which to interact with elements when passing through that area. It moves the camera so that when the hotspots are centered on it, it will activate turning orange (as if it were a rollover), and by pressing «Space» or «Enter,» you can activate it. This option is activated in the Project tab / Navigation Settings / Pointer Mode at Startup.

Activate/Deactivate Pointer Mode with Action:

Although this mode explained above is enabled at the beginning of the tour, through this new action, it can be deactivated and activated live. This can be assigned, for example, to a skin button, so that users can change mode during their visit. It is important to note that the button must be a «toggle» mode to add it. It is found in the action list, in the «Media Control» group / «Toggle Pointer Mode.»

Subtitles in Audio:

Now it is possible to add subtitles to our audio tracks, in the same way that we already had for video files. So when playing these audios, you can display a text version of the same content. Supported formats are .srt and .vtt. Just upload the subtitle file in the settings of your audio.

Pause/Play Videos with the «Space» key:

Now, automatically without having to activate anything, videos have this function enabled by default. This makes access easier without needing special buttons or anything similar.

Other Actions to Improve Accessibility:

In addition to these new options in our software, there are several additional actions and guidelines that virtual tour creators can implement to improve accessibility according to WCAG guidelines:

  • Providing alternative text for images, or using titles and subtitles in our case.
  • Ensuring high contrast between text and background for improved readability.
  • Designing a clear and consistent user interface to facilitate navigation.
  • Providing transcriptions and subtitles for video content.
  • Avoiding flickering content.

Old features to improve accessibility:

Remember that alongside these new added options, we already had some other features available for these purposes, which you can also use to expand accessibility possibilities:

Keys to control the camera in panoramas and 360º videos: Although the usual practice is to use the mouse, we have the alternative of being able to use certain keys such as the arrow keys on the keyboard to rotate the view, or the «A» and «Z» keys for zooming.

Video subtitles: Add subtitle files in the video settings. Common formats (.srt and .vtt) are supported to address hearing problems.

Text-to-speech: Automatically narrates or triggers text included in the tour, distinguishing between Infowindows, E-learning questions, or tooltips. Check our old Post dedicated to this. Very useful for those with reading or text vision difficulties.

Media Control: With this action, you can assign a variety of controls to buttons or hotspots to interact with media, such as camera rotation, zooming, play/pause… to not depend on mouse movements for individuals with reduced mobility.

At 3DVista, we are committed to continuing to explore ways to improve accessibility in our products and to promote a more inclusive web for everyone. Join us on this journey towards a more accessible digital experience for all!

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