An open thank-you to @YNAB for improving accessibility in an incredibly meaningful way..

For years, I’ve been a fan of YNAB, You Need a Budget. I love the principles behind their budgeting methodology, I love the app, I love the company, I’m just a really huge fan. YNAB has helped me to pay down debt, feel more confident about where my money is coming from, and going to, and generally feel way more in control of my financial life. Unfortunately, on 07/14, I downloaded an update to YNAB’s iOS app, an update that contained significant accessibility issues.

Tweet from Steve

I was hurt. I was up-set. I was not sure if I had set enough money aside to cover my rent payment — in short, it was not a very good day.

When it comes to making products and services accessible, it’s really important to understand that accessibility isn’t a nice-to-have, or a feature request. This is especially true if you offer a product or service that people might depend on. Sure I could have changed to another app, but I also would likely have had to change my budgeting method to one that would align with whatever new app I had chosen. That would have been especially challenging as I couldn’t put my financial life on pause while I figured it all out.

Fortunately, the fine folks at YNAB were extremely responsive and understanding, indicating that they were already working on fixes and, more importantly, were working to ensure that issues like this wouldn’t happen again.

And so here we are, roughly three weeks later, and I again get a notification that an update to the YNAB app is available. Even better, the “What’s new” section of YNAB’s App Store entry mentions:

• Two major accessibility wins:

◦ We made many improvements to VoiceOver interactions.

◦ We changed our background colors so that the Increase Contrast accessibility setting will now apply to the YNAB app and actually increase the contrast.

What’s New section in YNAB’s Apple App Store entry for version 3.01

I downloaded the app and was absolutely blown away. YNAB is now more accessible than ever, it’s a complete accessibility transformation. Because of their work on accessibility, I can use the YNAB iOS app way more efficiently than ever before.

Steve’s tweet thanking YNAB after being blown away with their 3.01 update

So, what does all this mean? Certainly this is a win for me personally, but it goes way beyond that. By

working to improve our approach to accessibility concerns to prevent instances like this in the future

Mentioned by YNAB in a follow-up tweet

YNAB has helped ensure that I remain a loyal customer: I’m happy to continue using their product, and I’m happy to continue paying for it because I feel listened to and I feel valued. And that’s a big part of accessibility that often gets left out of the conversation; accessibility is about equal access to products and services, but it’s also about listening to, and responding to, customer needs; and isn’t that a key component of many brands? When a company values me, and goes the extra mile to show me that I am valued, they create loyalty because like most consumers, I appreciate companies and brands that appreciate me.

So Thank you, YNAB team, for your work on accessibility over these past few weeks. Not only have you transformed your iOS app in an incredible way, but you’ve also demonstrated, by taking action, that you value me and others who use assistive technologies. I’m proud of the tremendous amount you’ve accomplished and am excited to see what comes next.

By Steve Sawczyn

Blind from birth, I do what I can to help make the world a more accessible and inclusive place for all.

One reply on “An open thank-you to @YNAB for improving accessibility in an incredibly meaningful way..”

Your story also means that communication is sometimes the key; polite but insistent feedback often gives results. Thanks for this, Steve.


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