A few notes on accessibility

Written on 8 May 2018, 02:10pm

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1. Accessibility is not only about screen readers and keyboard users. It’s about a system being accessible by anyone, from everywhere:
– if it’s too slow, it won’t load on poor connections
– if it only works in certain configurations (i.e. browsers), it won’t be accessible to everybody
– if the content it’s poorly written, too complex or difficult to be read then it’s not accessible

2. The impairment can be temporary (broken arm, eye surgery, etc) or situational (driving, party, theater). In my experience, I also found users that didn’t even know they had an impairment: they had a form of color vision deficiency (just like I do 🙂 ).

3. There is no drawback if you design with accessibility in mind (designing for the extremes). The non-disabled users will also benefit from this approach.

4. Add accessibility as a requirement early in the design. Think inclusive!

5. Challenge your team to use the system:
– using a screen reader
– without their hands
– on a browser without JavaScript
– from a poor connection (ex. Chrome Dev Tools can simulate this)

Manuel Matuzović: My Accessibility Journey: What I’ve Learned So Far
W3C: Diversity of Web Users – How People with Disabilities Use the Web
Inclusive: A Microsoft design toolkit

Image source: https://medium.com/valtech-design/inclusive-design-dd4e03f82094

Random links #10

Written on 18 March 2017, 03:25pm

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5 random links about design

Written on 6 February 2017, 10:31pm

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1. When bad design leads to catastrophes

The Three Mile Island accident was a partial nuclear meltdown that occurred on March 28, 1979, in reactor number 2 of Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station (TMI-2) in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States. It was the most significant accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history. […]
The mechanical failures were compounded by the initial failure of plant operators to recognize the situation as a loss-of-coolant accident due to inadequate training and human factors, such as human-computer interaction design oversights relating to ambiguous control room indicators in the power plant’s user interface. […]
Despite the valve being stuck open, a light on the control panel ostensibly indicated that the valve was closed. In fact the light did not indicate the position of the valve, only the status of the solenoid being powered or not, thus giving false evidence of a closed valve.
Three Mile Island accident

2. How to deal with the paradox of choice

Reducing the number of choices for a user has, therefore, become the focus for many of today’s apps. This has been done in a number of ways:
1. Make the options more relevant (personalized recommendations)
2. or go a step further by making decisions on the user’s behalf, totally removing the burden of choice (ex. Google Now)
This notion of making decisions for users has been called “anticipatory design” and has become a topic of debate because of the ethics involved in making decisions on behalf of users
How To Build Honest UIs And Help Users Make Better Decisions