Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

RUI is not accessible? Check out Yahoo’s new Currency Converter

Category: Accessibility, Ajax, RichTextWidget, Unobtrusive JS, Yahoo!

I am proud to be able to announce the new currency converter on Yahoo finance. Why? Because it is a perfect example of how a complex rich user interface can be built in an accessible manner.


As the main developer, Dirk Ginader explains:

About 9 months ago my fellow co-worker, the User Experience Designer Graham Beale, and I started developing ideas for a prototype of a new Currency Converter for the worldwide relaunch of Yahoo! Finance.

We wanted Features we haven’t seen like this in the Internet so far. We wanted conversion without a page reload, searching for currencies like in the Firefox 3 “awesome bar”, total accessibility, much more and of course everything in realtime.

There will be an in-depth article on how Dirk and his colleagues (with a special mention to Artur Ortega who did all the screen reader testing) build the converter on the Yahoo Developer Blog after the holidays. For now, have a look at the code and see the wonderful attention to detail. One of the main tricks they’ve done can be mentioned already: dynamic re-writing of form labels.

Posted by Chris Heilmann at 12:23 pm

4.4 rating from 39 votes


Comments feed TrackBack URI

Hey Chris, this looks great! Bringing some fresh thinking to currency convertors is a good idea; most of the ones floating around the web are pretty subpar.

Comment by Brad Neuberg — December 17, 2008

It is good, but there is still a lot of room for improvements. For example, when I hit TAB after entering the first amount, the down arrow of ‘Type a Country or Currency’ is selected. At this point, you could expect the user to start entering the currency name (such as Dollar) but it seems to accept only ENTER, which brings up the ‘Currencies A-Z’ list. Again, if you are on the A-Z pane, you would expect that hitting D would expand the D, but that doesn’t happen. You can tab through the selections, but there is no direct jump.

Comment by ragjunk — December 17, 2008

Well, still my favourite converter is Google. I simply put “59.95 EUR in USD” and it works! Sure, no trends nor any advanced features, but this still covers 80% of my queries

Comment by michalfrackowiak — December 17, 2008

I can’t select currencies in the drop down in Chrome, clicking makes it dissappear. Hardly a miracle of web development.

Comment by rubley — December 17, 2008

@rubley beta browser. I will feedback your information. Thank you for bringing that up.

Comment by Chris Heilmann — December 17, 2008

@rubley thanks for the Feedback. The Issue you are referring to is already fixed and will be pushed live tonight :-)

Comment by ginader — December 17, 2008


Comment by ilazarte — December 17, 2008

Chrome is no longer a beta browser ;)

Comment by rubley — December 18, 2008

Don’t like it, I have been regularly using the site while travelling. To do this I bookmarked each result for the various currencies. This allowed me to open each of the bookmarked currencies in a different tab. This is no longer possible !

Additionally the graph of currencies is less accessible.

Comment by randomrandom — December 18, 2008

@randomrandom I filed that bug, it is a server redirect issue and is being looked at.

Comment by Chris Heilmann — December 18, 2008

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