In the backdrop of International Day of Disabled Persons 2021, Swiggy has made its apps for food delivery and grocery delivery (Instamart) accessible to people with disabilities. Users of Android, iOS, and MWeb will now be able to navigate the app using gestures in the menu to check what simplifies the ordering flow.

In iOS, along with voice over, the company has implemented voice control using Siri to help users with reduced mobility order food.

“At present, we are 70 per cent through with our efforts in making Instamart accessible to all and are working to add other segments such as promo banners and post-order screens. In the first three months after we started making changes, the daily orders from our accessible sessions have increased 12-fold,” Madhusudhan Rao, SVP Consumer Platform (Product and Tech), wrote in a company blog.

The company also aims to make all its current offerings — Swiggy Genie, meat and alcohol delivery (available in select cities) — accessible to all, by Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which falls on May 19, 2022.

“We understand that with these accessibility features, we have only tapped the tip of an iceberg. Going forward, we will continue investing in automated testing tools to catch accessibility issues. Through annual reviews with the right agencies, we hope to be on track to make Swiggy more accessible and inclusive for users with disabilities,” Rao added.

Petition for change

The company started working on the app’s accessibility features earlier this year, following a petition seeking the same for people with visual impairment. The petition was supported by 27,934 people and closed three months ago with the update that Swiggy has made its app accessible.

The company noted that the easiest way to make the app accessible for people with visual impairment would have been to enable screen readers that allow reading out focused text and content on the screen.

However, this would mean these users will not be able to experience Swiggy’s intuitive UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) design. Hence, early this year, the company transformed its approach to accessibility by solving for it at the product end.

‘Two kinds of support’

Since then, the company has innovated the app’s user interface with two kinds of support. The first is “switch access” which enables users with motor issues to operate the app with just two buttons. The other is a “talkback” feature for Android users and a “voiceover” feature for iOS users, both of which will deliver the information displayed on the screen in the right context than merely reading out the text on the screen.

Further, the company has also made various modifications to other important elements including home screen, restaurant listing screen, menu selections, navigation, payment, order tracking, and quick-action features.