Hey all. App developer here.
The app I work on has a pretty custom user interface and I'm working on trying to make our VoiceOver situation a lot better for our users, starting with our Mac application. Something I am looking at currently and I have a few questions on preferences of users with regard to certain things and was hoping to get some feedback.
First, our application is a 3 pane application, left to right, like Mail. Currently our VoiceOver setup lists pane splitters in the accessibility control list. So you'll get a pane, then a splitter, then a pane, then a splitter as an example. Do VoiceOver users generally want those splitters skipped, or do they provide value by being listed? I can see low vision users maybe wanting them there, so it is pointed out to them, while those who are blind probably have no real care about those splitters as they can't see the contents anyway so why list a control that has no impact on their daily usage.
The second situation is a little different. It also revolves around the various panes. We start the user inside of search, which is in the second middle pane. Does it make sense that if the user starts in the middle pane that VO+Left/Right (after they exit the pane with Shift+VO+Up) would send them in the direction of the controls visually? I.e. Left would send them to the left pane, which controls the hierarchy of what the middle pane shows, and likewise, VO+Right would send them to the right most pane, which the middle pane controls the hierarchy of.
My concern is that if they start in the middle then it's not clear they could technically go left. Or is this generally easily learned and/or expected?
Thanks all. I'm sure I'm going to have a ton of additional questions but this is where I'm starting and will be overhauling large swaths of the app over the next 6 weeks so I would love to make sure I'm consulting with actual users of these types of features so thank you in advance for putting up with my potentially stupid questions!