Make Corporate Travel More Accessible with VoiceOver

November 30, 2021

Etta, the corporate travel booking and management software from Deem, is filled with versatile and powerful functionality. But did you know that it can improve accessibility for your travelers? Etta was created from the beginning with accessibility for business travelers in mind. 

Meeting the AA-level guidelines from the World Wide Web Consortium, Etta can assist travelers who may contend with a number of different challenges. In this blog we’ll discuss the VoiceOver feature, which helps travelers with visual impairments book and manage their own travel.

Our Etta for iOS app integrates VoiceOver in Apple devices. Apple refers to the VoiceOver feature as a gesture-based screen reader; it enables users to use certain gestures, such as touching the screen with three fingers and swiping left, to perform specific functions. With VoiceOver in the Etta platform, people can experience and navigate travel booking on an iOS device without physically needing to see what’s on screen.

Travelers who are blind or have vision loss can use Etta to book flights and hotels for upcoming business trips without additional assistance. Visually impaired travelers may appreciate the autonomy they’ve gained through Etta.

How did we do it? First, we conducted exhaustive end-user research to see how we could best implement and optimize the ways VoiceOver is used. Later, after we built the feature into Etta based on those findings,  we had users test the feature in the Etta program. And we’re pleased to say that it’s making a fantastic impact.

Best of all, VoiceOver on Etta can be used to improve accessibility for everyone, including people living with multiple conditions. Let’s take a look at the ways VoiceOver on Etta can make it easy to travel anywhere, for any body. 

How does VoiceOver improve accessibility?

VoiceOver enables a phone to vocalize a description of each object displayed in the app as someone’s finger touches different elements of the user interface. This helps paint a picture with words, giving a clear explanation of on-screen options to any user so they can quickly navigate and complete the task at hand. It’s kind of like having a buddy who can always point you in the right direction with the right information at the right time.

This particular accessibility feature is especially handy because it applies to a wide variety of users. People who get carsick from reading their phone during a bouncy car ride can activate VoiceOver to avoid the strain on their eyes (and stomachs). Some folks have even used VoiceOver controls to overcome a broken screen on their iPhone. It’s that flexible.

Read related blog: Web Content Accessibility and Why It Matters

How to navigate Etta with VoiceOver

How does VoiceOver work with Etta? I’m so glad you asked! VoiceOver is capable of performing a wide selection of functionalities. We wanted to make sure we give travelers an easy way to book and manage a trip with Etta. With that in mind, we implemented a few key controls in Etta for iOS so travelers can focus on the right gestures while in the app: 

  • Swipe left or right to navigate to the next or previous UI element
  • One-finger double-tap to activate the selected element
  • Two-finger tap to stop and resume speaking
  • Swipe up with two fingers to read everything on screen.
  • Three-finger triple-tap to turn your screen on and off with Screen Curtain

At Deem, we truly believe in making it easy to travel anywhere, for any body. And by making Etta more accessible to as many people as possible, more people than ever are able to book business travel so they can get their jobs done. It’s not just good business, it’s the right thing to do.

For a closer look at how accessibility features are changing the landscape of corporate travel, take a look at the IDC Analyst Brief: Accessibility Drives Travel Software Innovation


My Phung
Director, Product Marketing

With a passion for both storytelling and technology, My found the perfect combination of the two as a product marketer. She feeds off the pressure and excitement for product launches, and loves to collaborate with cross-functional teams to orchestrate successful launches. When she’s not at work, she spends her free time in the kitchen, tweaking recipes and making them her own.

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