Let's Help Fictionpress Make Their Fanfiction.net App Accessible

iOS and iPadOS

I hope I put this in the right place, if I didn't let me know and I'll change it.

I spend a lot of time on a website known as fanfiction.net, which has a mobile app companion. I have always been disappointed on how their app was completely inaccessible, but the website worked just fine so it didn't bother me that much. I still made a comment about it on Twitter though, and completely to my surprise they responded. I answered them as best I could and thought that would be the end of it. That's usually how it goes with mainstream things like this, or at least that's how it is in my experience. But much to my surprise it wasn't.

When I checked the app again today because I was curious as to if anything had improved, I was shocked to find that it had. More buttons were labeled, you could actually read the stories again, and best of all it wasn't even a fluke. According to the AppStore update descriptions, the devs are Legitimately trying to make the app better for us.

This doesn't happen very often in my experience, so I had to share this. I want to help them iron out the remaining accessibility issues, but I don't know the first thing about coding or anything like that. i'm still going to try and give them some suggestions, but I think it would be good if others contacted them as well.

Here is the link to the app in question's entry:




Submitted by Patrick Smyth on Friday, May 1, 2020

Just wanted to say...good work. We move forward one step at a time and these kind of efforts matter a lot!

Submitted by Zoe Victoria on Friday, May 1, 2020

In reply to by Patrick Smyth

So does this mean you might take a look at the app and send them your findings? I've already done so, but the more people who bring this up the better.

Submitted by Patrick Smyth on Friday, May 1, 2020

OK, I'll put my money / time where my mouth is. Here's what I'm sending them now:

Two-finger scrub gesture should go back in all or most contexts. Currently, clicking the back button is necessary.
Fanfiction.net tagline doesn't appear on first screen on initial startup for the first time.
Word "unpronounceable" appears in the help screen after first login, likely on the hand pointing to the avatar.
On a second help screen after clicking "read," the overlay does not register in Voiceover, instead the page underneath registers (you can read the names of fiction categories). The hide help view is selectable with Voiceover but it would be easy to miss it.
The plus sign to create new folders after selecting to download a book is labeled "Button to create new folders," just "Create new folders" would probably work better.
Hiding the top bar when exploring lists of stories may result in confusion, as a pulldown gesture not directly available in Voiceover is required to make the "back" button and top bar reappear. If Voiceover is on, menus shouldn't be hidden, or, at least, they should reappear when moving to the top of the screen with the standard Voiceover three-finger swipe to move vertically.
The more button at the end of forum posts is not labeled.
The avatar image at the beginning of forum posts is unlabeled.

Submitted by Zoe Victoria on Saturday, May 2, 2020

In reply to by Patrick Smyth

That's quite good, I didn't realize those bugs. One thing I wish you'd mentioned though (even though I already have) is kind of a deal breaker for me. The sort tags function e.g. genre, characters etc doesn't work at all for me. It's all just a bunch of unlabeled buttons that don't do anything, and you can't exit out of it unless you turn off VO and touch the screen near the sides or close out of the app. Also the document editor reads in a Japanese voice for some weird reason but I usually write my stuff in a different word processor then upload it so it's not that bad for me personally.

Submitted by Patrick Smyth on Saturday, May 2, 2020

If they haven't fixed it in a few months, make another thread and I'll also poke them on those issues. Seems like they're moving forward, guess we'll see what happens. :)

Submitted by Zoe Victoria on Thursday, May 7, 2020

I’m still yet to receive a reply from the devs, nor has the app been updated. I saw that they have an email address especially for reporting bugs, and forwarded my message to it. If anyone’s interested, the address is dev@fictionpress.com

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