Design for UX & Accessibility
As web workers, be that designers or developers, it is our job to create not only engaging user experiences but also to ensure an all inclusive design and setup. Making sure our content is presented in the most accessible and easy-to-use way will liberate our user to use the web freely and without hinderance, a benefit to all.
Design for inclusion. Design for delight.
Six thinking hats
a quick word on tools
- Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool
- by WebAIM
- Web Accessibility Checker
- by ATRC
- Check my colours
- Colour contrast checker
- by Giovanni Scala
- "… gives you insight on how well your site loads and provides actionable recommendations on how to optimize it."
- by GT.net
- Insights into key areas, including accessibility, SEO, social media and technology
- by Silktide
- PageSpeed Insights
- "... analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster."
- by Google
Using one of your online projects – use some of the listed tools to check your work for accessibility issues and let’s discuss possible solutions.
Always bear in mind, of course, that no tool results will ever replace actual user testing or show a complete list of problems. These tools and checks are great helpers but not easy solution finders. Best to adopt good practice before you start on your major project :)
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
- WAI-ARIA Overview
- The Accessibility Project
- Beautiful design for everyone, Ann McMeekin Carrier
- Inclusive New Media Design
- Accessible By Design, Andrew Spencer
- juicy studio, Gez Lemon
- HTML5 accessibility, Steve Faulkner
- Accessibility for the modern web, talk by Derek Featherstone
- W3C: Complete List of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools
- Inclusive Design, Microsoft
To understand how someone with accessibility needs views a website, I'd highly recommend that you try this out yourself. Put your mouse away and try to manage with only keyboard navigation. Set up a screenreader and try out its function to see how well you'd manage to navigate the webpage. I found this to be a humbling experiment which highlighted the necessity of good accessibility of content.
Smashing Magazine published a brilliant article, titled How A Screen Reader User Accesses The Web: A Smashing Video – in which Bruce Lawson introduces a webinar with Léonie Watson. It shows recordings of Léonie using a screenreader to access the web – an excellent demo with insights not only from a blind user but one with special expertise in dev and accessibility. Make sure to watch in its entirety!
How A Screen Reader User Surfs The Web
It was a friendly and easy-to-use, easy-to-explain tool which I highly recommended to all web students. In the past, I loved introducing this app, both for its own merit and in addition, for the beautiful work on the logo by Jon Hicks.
logo design, Jon Hicks
The reminder of Silverback app's demise prompted me to return to Jon site ~ and made me think of another logo I miss. Mailchimp started off with this lovely icon and has since evolved (and lost much of that original charm and personality in my view). When we talked about Jon's work during our icon design session the other week, I did not get the time to show you these.
Do check out the posts to read about Jon's process and have a look at his newer work while you're there ;)
A big thank you to Jon for his permission to feature these loops here :)