Swiggy makes its platform accessible to visually impaired Indians

SoftBank-backed food delivery company Swiggy makes its platform accessible to visually impaired Indians to ensure convenience for all. The move is in line with its mission to improve the quality of life for urban consumers by providing unparalleled convenience. Visually impaired people were not able to easily use the Swiggy app because it was not designed to be accessible.

“We realized that it was important to make Swiggy accessible to visually impaired Indians to ensure convenience for all,” said Madhusudhan Rao, SVP Consumer Platform (product and technology), in a company blog post.

The easiest way to do this would be to activate screen readers which allow you to read targeted text and content on the screen.

“However, this means that our visually impaired users would not be able to enjoy the true experience of Swiggy’s intuitive user interface (user interface) design and user experience (user experience) of which we are extremely proud and of which we. we are striving to improve every day, ”said Rao. “Therefore, in early 2021, we started our journey to transform Swiggy’s approach to accessibility by resolving it at the end of the product. “

Over the past year, Swiggy has grown from a food delivery platform to one where consumers have access to everything from groceries and hot meals to personal care items and more. essential items, delivered safely and reliably. It was also around this time, and thanks to organizations like Change.org, that Swiggy realized how many disabled users are using Swiggy.

According to the World Health Organization, more than one billion people currently suffer from a disability. Globally, at least 2.2 billion people are visually impaired near or far.

Swiggy Started Upside Down by rSwiggy Started Upside Down by researching how users with limited vision use their website and app. This has helped him gather information on what works and what works, researching how visually impaired users are using his website and app. This has helped him gather information on what works and what does not. Diving deeper, he did workshops with the DEOC (Center for Diversity and Equal Opportunities). She has set up a dedicated team at Swiggy whose mission is to ensure accessibility for all. This team worked with engineers, designers and others within the company to ensure that all existing products are designed with accessibility in mind.

From his research, Swiggy understood many nuances that affect the customer experience of people with physical disabilities. For example, when ordering food on Swiggy, users typically rely on information such as cuisine, rating, and delivery time to make informed choices about what to order and what. or. Since this information was previously only available as text on the screen of the user’s device, accessing it would naturally be a challenge for users with visual or motor impairments.

To remedy this, the firm has innovated on two types of media. The first is “switch access” which allows users with engine problems to operate the application with just two buttons. The other is a “talkback” feature for Android users and a “voice-over” feature for iOS users, both of which will provide the information displayed on the screen in the correct context rather than just read the text on the screen. Changes like this would make a tangible difference in their user experience.

“To make accessibility easier, we’ve also made various changes to other important elements – the home screen, restaurant list screen, menu selections, navigation, payment, order tracking. and fast action features, ”Rao said.

Today, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Swiggy announced the first milestone in its accessibility journey. The company is making two of its biggest and most widely used offerings accessible – food delivery and its express grocery delivery service, Instamart. These two services are accessible to millions of Indians. “We are confident that the accessibility features will allow us to provide unparalleled convenience to more users every day,” said Rao. “Ordering food through Swiggy is accessible and hopefully a quick and effortless experience.”

Android, iOS and MWeb users will have access to these accessibility features. They can navigate using menu and checkout gestures, simplifying the order flow. In iOS with voiceover, the company implemented voice control using Siri that helps users with limited mobility in the food ordering flow. As of now, the company is 70% done on efforts to make Instamart accessible to everyone and is working hard to add other segments such as promotional banners and post-order screens. In the first three months since the changes began, the daily orders for its accessible sessions have increased 12-fold. “We are very excited and touched to see this positive response from our users,” said Rao.

Swiggy’s next milestone and commitment is that by World Accessibility Awareness Day (May 19, 2022), all current Swiggy offerings – Swiggy Genie, Meat and Alcohol Delivery (available in select cities) will be accessible to all.

Swiggy said her in-house designer, Prasanna Venkatesh, who grew up with a hearing loss, could understand the challenges people with disabilities face on a daily basis, acting as the cog in her mission to design accessible solutions.

“When designing an application, we strive to make it accessible to as many people as possible and provide the best user experience,” said Prasanna Venkatesh, Senior Product Design Architect. “In today’s mobile world, accessibility is an important part of any application. Especially for a brand like Swiggy which is democratizing convenience, offering everything users need from sanitizers to pizza. I am personally happy that at Swiggy we have achieved this and acted on it, not only with a stopgap solution, but something that will make the true Swiggy experience accessible to everyone, ”said Venkatesh.

Accessibility evangelists, including Aziz Minat, have also been in touch with Swiggy in recent months for their significant and actionable contributions.

Going forward, Swiggy will continue to invest in automated testing tools to detect accessibility issues. Through annual reviews with the right agencies, he hopes he is on the right track to making Swiggy more accessible and inclusive for users with disabilities. For example, the DEOC (Center for Diversity and Equal Opportunities) has partnered with Swiggy as part of the accessibility and inclusion journey. “They take a systematic and sustainable approach to making their services accessible that other service providers can learn from,” said Rama Krishnamachari, director of DEOC.

Accessibility evangelist Srinivasu Chakravarthula said the food ordering industry is growing and has in fact become essential in the lives of people with disabilities.

“It’s good to see that Swiggy has started on its journey to make its products and services accessible to all users, including people with disabilities,” said Chakravarthula. “It’s also great to see that Swiggy is looking forward to continuing on its path to accessibility and serving more customers. “

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