Under Review

Improve Accessibility of Webroot Interface for People Using Screen Readers

  • 9 April 2013
  • 3 replies

The Webroot interface is difficult for people who rely on screen readers to use. The biggest problem is a lack of keyboard control. For example, someone with a vision impairment can't independently install the product, because you need to click in the field where the license key needs to be entered (you can't tab to it). While screen readers do provide some limited review capabilities by simulating mouse movement and clicks, this is a difficult way to access an interface, particularly when you're trying to learn it, and the product could benefit greatly both from making the interface able to be controlled using the keyboard, as well as using Active Accessibility or UIA, to provide information to screen readers about major elements, e.g, what's turned on or off in status, information about scan results, etc. I could provide more information to developers if anyone is interested.

3 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +12
We plan user interface changes that will be included in our 2014 release due this fall. At this point there are no specific changes planned to address accessibility issues, but we will look to see what can be included that might help.
I am a screen reader user, and although I love this application, it is so frustrating to use, especially when you need to allow blocked software such as the screen reader or other software, and you are unable to get to the right place in the app to do so.
Even a simple fix such as adding text labels to the PC Security gear and the Identity Protection gear would make such a huge difference, as being able to activate those two icons with the screen reader would provide access to truly important functionality heretofore unavailable.  I can't imagine that providing tooltips/labels for the two icons would require an unacceptable level of effort.  A simple fix like this would provide a level of access that would really make the app much more functional for those of us who rely upon assistive technology.  Please give this fresh consideration.
Empty promises, a post by a Prodject Manager Over 4 years ago stating they will look at it and nothing!
Accessibility is not a Feature, but is good business practice!
I am a blind man that has used Webroot for many years, I have managed to use the product not without issue.
I use text to speech software to access my PC and the Internet. I use a product called JAWS 2018 for Windows, the most current and popular text to speech software in the World.
My speech software has various ways of manipulating the screen and in most cases I can manage to find a way to access a control, button, list bocks, etc...  However, Webroots's GUI interface (the one that comes up with all the settings etc) is an exception, many of the controls are not accessible to my software.
I contacted Webroot a year ago about an on going issue where I was no longer able to scan an individual file, folder, hard drive, etc., (when a user puts the mouse over the file, folder, etc, and right clicks then chooses "Scan with Webroot"), when I do this nothing happens.   I checked the online support help and found similar issues where users were told to uninstall and reinstall to fix the problem.  I uninstalled and reinstalled but no luck.  I submitted a ticket and was instructed to call tech support.  Tech support uninstalled and reinstalled, did this and that then escallated to higher support with no solution.  While I was on the phone with the tech, I suggested I unload my speech software and see if Webroot would scan a folder and low and behold it worked.  I was told then that the issue would be addressed in an up coming release that was almost a year ago...
On Nov 5, I called support again and they did the uninstall and reinstall and it worked, however, they did the scan while webroot was doing a system scan during the new install, seeing this the tech disconnected and hung up the phone.  After  the complete system scan was finished I tried a right clik scan again with no luck.  I immediately called tech support back and this time the rep tells me, "are you using Windows 10?, Microsoft has blocked 3rd party apps from accessing the right click menu so Webroot can not do a right click scan" he tells me I need to bring up the "Advanced Settings interface and initiate a scan by clicking on the gear icon to the right of "PC Security". Unfortunately the "Gear Icon" is one of these controls that my Text to Speech Software can not access, Webroot does not use conventional controls in their GUI interface so it is impossible for me to initiate a file scan through it.  I hang up the phone and then realize the guy is blowing smoke up my behind! 
If I unload my software and get a sighted person to do a right click scan it works, do these tech guys even know the Webroot Antivirus product? 
I then submit another ticket and I get a reply back
"Thank you for submitting this feature enhancement request. We would also like to invite you to join our community and post your idea on the Webroot Community Ideas Exchange. You will need to have a community account in order to do this. The Ideas Exchange is an online forum where you can vote on and discuss ideas. Ideas submitted on the Webroot Community will be reviewed by our Development team, and considerations such as the number of votes, practicality, and feasibility of implementation will be taken into account when planning future releases."
Webroot i submit, Accessibility is not a Feature, Microsoft, Apple, Android etc, do not have consumers vote on Accessibility features, they build it into there products!
 I have a couple hundred days left for my subscription, I think it's time for me to move on, years of empty promises unaccessible  interfaces and other issues over the years has me wanting a virus program I don't have to fight with any more....
If Webroot will not build in basic accessibility into their product than why would I continue.