CAPTCHA remains by far the most problematic item reported by respondents. “Screens or parts of screens that change unexpectedly” has seen a significant increase over the years and is now reported as the 2nd most problematic item. This likely is due to the dynamic and complex nature of modern web pages and application.
Why is accessibilty seen as an after-thought, or at worst an expense to help a handful of disadvantaged people?
Have you ever tried using a website or app on your smartphone whilst riding a bus when the sun is streaming through the window? You probably have. How did that work out for you?
…the internet was no longer being consumed solely on a desktop, viewing through a large monitor perched on a desk whilst in a comfortable chair. The iPhone broke a barrier. The web would start – and continues – to push its way into every moment of our day, regardless of what environment (surroundings or situation) you happen to be in.
microsoft inclusive design impairments
It’s lunch time at the Accessibility Scotland Conference and I take a stroll up the road to grab a soda. I find a shop and low and behold a 10cm step. With the challenges that wheelchairs users have fresh in my mind, I looked down, shook my head and walked on in.
The 10cm step
On my way out a ramp appears! “Well that solves that”. I am then greeted by a delivery man with a trolley full of supplies for the shop. The ramp belonged to him. He finished his delivery, threw the ramp in the back of his truck and drove away. Leaving me with the 10cm step. So not only would consideration help those we would often think to require the support (those in wheelchairs, those with limited visibility or even those with prams) but it would help the main function of the shop – getting supplies in both quicker and easier – but also be less intrusive to all users.
So, what’s the digital equivalent of the 10cm step?
There’s a few. For example, the contrast between text and background. Dark colours on a light background work well for users with visual impairments but also work well for “able-bodied” users reading a phone with bright sunlight glaring off the screen.
What about the move towards ‘smart homes’ and the invisible interfaces such as Alexa and Siri? How accessible are they? Users that are mute (permanent impairment) or users with laryngitis (temporary impairment) will struggle to communicate with them. But also those, like myself, with a strong accent (situational impairment) that will struggle with these new technologies.
Thanks to their specialist skillsets and proximity to a given project, UX Designers are set apart from the majority of their target audience. As Jakob Nielsen explains, “one of usability’s most hard-earned lessons is that you are not the user. This is why it’s a disaster to guess at the users’ needs.” However, there’s another fundamental ability that can be damaging to assume of your user: Computer literacy.
As the Norman Nielsen Group concludes, “if you think something is easy, or that ‘surely people can do this simple thing on our website,’ then you may very well be wrong.”
UI OptionsObjectiveEasily add UI Options to your website. Add a simple separated-panel preferences editor to any page.DescriptionUI Options adds a simple preferences editor dialog with a set of six panels in a collapsible panel at the top of the page, accessible through a button in the upper right corner of the page.
This post contains everything you need to know about alt-texts! When to use them and how to perfectly craft them. By me, Daniel, a web developer with vision impairment who use a screen reader in my day-to-day life.
“You are not your users.”
“Involve people with disabilities in user testing.”
“The average user does not exist.”
“Design for the extremes, and the middle will take care of itself.”
We hear these phrases all the time, yet a lot of people still believe that accessibility is mostly a quality assurance or developer’s responsibility, something they should only have to think about when the actual coding phase begins. But some of the really impactful decisions that make or break accessibility for people with disabilities and seniors are, in fact, made during the design phase.
Yes, you read that right. Let me rephrase it for you: a lot of the accessibility issues that people run into on our sites and applications are caused by uneducated decisions made during the design phase. You and I have the power to do something about that.
In this post, we’ll explore some of the design trends we increasingly run into on the Web today, and how decisions made during the design phases can have a hugely detrimental effect on anyone who uses the web in a slightly differently way. But first…
Contrast Ratio Requirements for Text in WCAG 2.0 Level AA & AAA
When designing or developing accessible websites, web applications or mobile apps, it may be obvious that text should be very legible. After all, the more difficulty user have reading your information, the less likely they are to interact, engage, purchase or take whatever other action you consider key to success. This is doubly so when developing for persons with low-vision.