My Initial Impressions of Malwarebytes Accessibility

Well, Malwarebytes has certainly added a good deal of accessibility in their latest release. The latest 1.x release, which I believe was 1.75, had enough accessibility to make the program usable with screen readers. When 2.0 was released, the program’s accessibility completely disappeared. I was pretty miffed at this unwelcome change, as Malwarebytes was one of the programs I used on a weekly basis to scan my PC for malware.
I registered on the Web site’s user forums, where users can ask questions to both other users as well as to staff members of the company. I submitted a request that the company add accessibility back in version 2.0. I received a positive reply back from someone in development, who assured me that accessibility was going to return shortly to Malwarebytes. It would seem that this latest version is the realization of their promise.
Today, I downloaded and installed the latest version. I tested this on a windows 7 Pro 32-bit system in my computer lab at work with NVDA 2014.3, with one brief test with the latest JAWS 16 beta. While we do have a copy of Window-eyes 8.4, I have not yet tested Malwarebytes with that screen reader and 99% of my testing was with NVDA. The installation dialogs are the same, standard typical dialogs you frequently encounter during most program installs and all of them, as they always were, are completely accessible. Once MB was installed, I ran it to see what would happen.
Well, pressing the tab key does indeed read the various options, such as options to scan, update signatures, check license, etc. Oddly, NVDA kept reading the word “border” before each button, which is harmless but somewhat annoying. My brief test spin with JAWS 16 beta 2 read things a bit nicer, omitting the annoying “border” message.
While this is certainly a terrific start, I was a bit confused when pressing the button to update signatures seemed to work but produced no verbal feedback letting me know what was happening. I couldn’t tell whether Malwarebytes was actually updating its signatures or whether my command was being ignored. After doing a lot of screen review with the numeric keypad, I eventually discovered that MB had updated signatures to the Oct. 14 revision. This info was really hard to locate, however. You really need to know how to use object navigation and how to drill down into the correct window to determine this info, which novice NVDA users won’t have the patience to do. JAWS didn’t seem able to identify anything in the window while navigating with the JAWS cursor, although I didn’t think to use the autographics labeler to see if that might help.
While doing a scan, the progress messages during the scan seem to read automatically and MB presents a fairly accessible window with progress info, such as letting you know that it’s finished scanning startup items, registry entries, etc.
OK, here’s where things got a bit squirrely, if you’ll pardon the expression. At some point, and I don’t remember what I did, things got locked up and I couldn’t navigate within the window. when I closed the program and reopened it, it told me that Malwarebytes wasn’t responding and there was nothing I could do to get it to start up properly, even after restarting my system twice. The program locking up during a scan was apparently too much for it and there was nothing I could do to get it to start properly with the normal window of options. I uninstalled it and may revisit it on that same system later on.
In spite of these initial problems, this is a wonderful first step for Malwarebytes 2.0. I think that more of us need to try using it and send positive feedback to the development team. I certainly plan to do this. I hope this information will prove to be helpful for anyone interested in giving Malwarebytes a try.


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