Kentico Xperience Refresh 4 has officially landed. Back in March, the first Refresh was released followed by Refresh 2 in June and Refresh 3 in September. Offering a painless and smooth update, these Refreshes bring new additions designed to enhance yours and your audiences’ online experience.

So, what has evolved as part of Refresh 4? This one heavily revolves around improving the accessibility of your website with AI, allowing you to work smarter and create even better digital experiences.

Creating more accessible content

With the ever-growing importance of web, more people are becoming more dependent on it than ever before. As a result, the importance of website accessibility grows.

Website accessibility is an extensive topic to cover but it’s one that needs to be considered by every person involved in a web project, from designers to developers through to content editors. Ensuring a website is accessible is not a one-off consideration, it’s an ongoing process. As you update your website with new features and fresh content, accessibility should be reviewed each and every time.

Adding alternative text for non-text content

Even with the basic level of accessibility conformance, one of the key requirements is to add alternative text for non-text pieces of content. This can include adding a descriptive piece of text for all images on your website to assist visually impaired users in accessing your website using a screen reader or other supportive technology.

However, the issue with alternative text is that it’s not always remembered. Content editors may unintentionally forget to add it or may be unsure on how to accurately describe an image. This is where the Kentico Experience Refresh 4 comes in, introducing improvements to support users.

Refresh 4 accessibility improvements

When adding an image to your Media Library on Kentico Xperience, you can configure your alternative text in the description field. When inserting this image into rich text areas, Kentico automatically pulls the information through and adds it to the rendered HTML.

Description textbox for centrally content managing alternative text

Description textbox for centrally content managing alternative text

This is a great improvement from the Xperience team, allowing for alternative text to be centrally managed and automatically pulled through on the page. With the power of AI, we no longer have to worry about forgetting to add relevant alternative text to our images.
However, as we’ve discovered in previous Refresh releases, Kentico Xperience love an Azure Cognitive Services integration. Refresh 4 uses Azure’s Computer Vision service to analyse images selected from the Media Library and generates a readable and human-like sentence that describes the image:

An example of Azure Cognitive Services generating alternative text

An example of Azure Cognitive Services generating alternative text

The best part of this integration is how simple it is to start using. All you have to do is enable it in the Kentico Settings module, add an endpoint and API key – these are both provided by the Azure Portal – and you’re done.

Even more from Refresh 4…

Refresh 4 doesn’t stop there. Three new external integrations have also been added:

  • Disqus: If you want to add a new comments section to your website, you can now easily integrate with Disqus.
  • Intercom: Or, you may want to add a live chat tool to your website that allows your users to ask questions and get quick answers. This is where Intercom can help.
  • Jira: The final integration works with Jira, allowing page workflows and marketing automation steps to trigger the creation of tasks for a relevant person to pick up.

As each of these integrations are external, there is little effort needed to set them up and they are worthwhile using if they provide a solution to your needs.

Coming your way in 2022

Refresh 4 rounds off the year for Kentico Xperience. The next refresh is scheduled for release around the same time as the Kentico Xperience Connection event in March 2022.

This is an event that’s already on our radar where we can expect to see what’s planned for the upcoming Kentico Xperience 13 refreshes and the progress being made towards the next major release – Kentico Xperience Odyssey. Watch this space!

Want to talk more about Kentico Xperience and all that it offers? Get in touch with our team of specialists who will be more than happy to share their knowledge.

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