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We’re Just Temporarily Abled : Designing for the Future : Designing for the Future

We aren’t just designing accessible products and websites for a subgroup of people who we may or may not know, who have permanent visual or motor issues. We’re designing these sites and products for our future selves as well.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend and present at a great conference where Cindy Li delivered a phenomenal keynote.I learned about 8 million new things during her talk, but she made one particular statement that really stuck with me.

She simply said,“We’re all just temporarily abled.”

She talked a little bit about her mother who has an ocular disease that is slowly blinding her over time. Then she mentioned that while she doesn’t have an ocular disease herself, she is beginning to require stronger glasses prescriptions each year.

Why am I talking about Cindy’s eye health? Because she then pointed out that as designers we need to design for accessibility, not only for folks who are permanently visually or hearing impaired or have severe motor issues right now, but also for our future selves.

Design for the future you.

With each passing birthday, our vision is starting to go. Eventually our hearing will start to go and so will our mobility. I will have these issues, you will have these issues–they’re just part of the aging process.We aren’t just designing accessible products and websites for a subgroup of people who we may or may not know, who have permanent visual or motor issues. We’re designing these sites and products for our future selves as well.The next time you’re tempted to brush off accessibility while you’re working on a design, picture yourself in 20 or 30 years trying to use your own website or product. It’s a pretty life changing shift in thinking. I like to call it “forced empathy.”

Curated by (Lifekludger)
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