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Accessibility doesn't exist

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This presentation is a discussion of good and bad accessibility practices, leading up to the point that accessibility that accessibility should not be a separate subject, but instead should be a …

This presentation is a discussion of good and bad accessibility practices, leading up to the point that accessibility that accessibility should not be a separate subject, but instead should be a mandatory part of good web design.

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  • 1. Accessibility doesn’t existTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 2. Accessibility doesn’t existTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 3. Accessibility doesn’t existTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 4. Accessibility doesn’t existTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 5. Accessibility doesn’t existTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 6. Accessibility doesn’t existTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 7. Accessibility doesn’t existTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 8. Accessibility doesn’t existTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 9. Accessibility doesn’t existTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 10. Accessibility doesn’t existTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 11. Hi! I’m Chris Mills! ‣ Open standards advocate and education agitator ‣ dev.opera.com editor ‣ W3C web education community group chair ‣ Loves the Web’s universal nature ‣ HTML5/CSS3 wrangler ‣ Heavy metal drummerTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 12. cmills@opera.com @chrisdavidmills http://www.slideshare.net/chrisdavidmills http://dev.opera.com http://www.w3.org/community/webed/Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 13. Accessibility doesn’t exist?Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 14. Of course it does!Tuesday, 8 January 13‣ Of course it does!‣ I’m not really saying it doesn’t‣ I’m certainly not saying we should ignore the requirements of people with disabilities
  • 15. But it should be ‣ Invisible ‣ Built in, not bolt on ‣ Part of your standard toolkitTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 16. Which means ‣ HTML ‣ CSS ‣ JavaScript ‣ UX ‣ User testing ‣ Responsible attitude!!Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 17. The problem with accessibilityTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 18. Tuesday, 8 January 13‣ Dirty money‣ I’m not saying all a11y consultants are bad‣ A lot of projects need specialist a11y knowledge‣ But too much dirty money is made out of a11y
  • 19. Common attitudes towards accessibility ‣ It’s a bolt on extra ‣ Expensive ‣ Fraught with legal issues ‣ And it is so frequently handled badlyTuesday, 8 January 13‣ The common idea is that a11y is a bolt on extra that adds more to the budget, plus there’s legal issues involved.‣ So no wonder people either say they can’t afford it, or hire expensive a11y consultants to say what is wrong with a project (they are scared of getting sued)‣ And no wonder many disabled users are put off the idea of engaging with the web, and other related technology
  • 20. Lack of basic knowledge ‣ Lots of money charged for basic knowledge? ‣ Clients don’t know, and shouldn’t be expected to ‣ Basic education? ‣ Developers should take responsibility, surely...Tuesday, 8 January 13‣ But often loads of money is charged to highlight a simple issue that any web developer should be able to handle anyway, and shouldn’t be an issue if things are just done right in the first place
  • 21. Tuesday, 8 January 13‣ When we go to the doctor, we don’t then go to a health consultant who will tell us if the doctor did a shit job or not, and then charge us loads of cash for the privilege. (ok, maybe we do sometimes)
  • 22. Retrofitting ‣ Can be really hard ‣ When it has been done badly in the first place ‣ Often doing it again from scratch would be better. ‣ But you should do what you can ‣ It’s not “all or nothing”Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 23. Common accessibility mistakesTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 24. Bullshit HTMLTuesday, 8 January 13‣ Is it that hard to use headings and paragraphs?‣ alt text?‣ Meaningful link text?‣ form labels and table headings?‣ Good semantics in general?
  • 25. Obtrusive content ‣ Highjacked links that don’t work without JS ‣ Unsemantic nonsense ‣ Needless Flash content ‣ Ajax for everything ‣ http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/stop-using- ajax/ ‣ Autoplaying videos!!!Tuesday, 8 January 13e.g. if you using Ajax to make user-entered content more responsive, then great, but itwould also be great to provide a normal HTML form version for non-Js browsers, orscreenreader users, and/or use WAI-ARIAAnd if you have an awesome canvas/Flash/Silverlight-powered store locator map, why notalso provide a simple form that hooks into the same information, to benefit multiple groupsof users, not just disabled?
  • 26. Overcomplicated communication!Tuesday, 8 January 13Both visual and languageUIs are getting too complex. There is too much marketing BS on web sites.And horrible colours, and too many icons, and too many fonts.It should be as simple as possible. John Maeda’s laws of simplicity are a good guide to this.And of course the immortal “Don’t make me think”
  • 27. Overcomplicated communication! Tah be sure, this is a subject that is perhaps too obvious, therefore we don’t consider it enough. Verily, stout yeomans of the web, the synergies of simple intuitive content are too rarely leveraged to form a lasting relationship between you and your users. Instead you resort to too much , overcomplicated marketing bullshit and colloquialism that make your content hard to understand for everyone, but especially people that have a different first language to you. Oh man, the colours: Jim Morrison, the doors! Oh god, and now I’m using Comic Sans: It almost makes me moist.Tuesday, 8 January 13Both visual and languageUIs are getting too complex. There is too much marketing BS on web sites.And horrible colours, and too many icons, and too many fonts.It should be as simple as possible. John Maeda’s laws of simplicity are a good guide to this.And of course the immortal “Don’t make me think”
  • 28. Overcomplicated communication! Tah be sure, this is a subject that is perhaps too obvious, therefore we don’t consider it enough. Verily, stout yeomans of the web, the synergies of simple intuitive content are too rarely leveraged to form a lasting relationship between you and your users. Instead you resort to too much Whizzy shit , overcomplicated marketing bullshit and colloquialism that make your content hard to understand for everyone, but especially people that have a different first language to you. Oh man, the colours: Jim Morrison, the doors! Oh god, and now I’m using Comic Sans: It almost makes me moist.Tuesday, 8 January 13Both visual and languageUIs are getting too complex. There is too much marketing BS on web sites.And horrible colours, and too many icons, and too many fonts.It should be as simple as possible. John Maeda’s laws of simplicity are a good guide to this.And of course the immortal “Don’t make me think”
  • 29. Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 30. Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 31. Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 32. Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 33. It’s 100% accessible!Tuesday, 8 January 13No it isn’t.things are never 100% accessible - you’ll always get edge cases.Never say this.You need to show you care, and not make false promises
  • 34. My site is accessible because WCAG says so...Tuesday, 8 January 13aaaaaaargh!It can still easily be an unusable messThese are conformance criteria to follow if you want to employ best practices for making yourcontent accessibleNot a magic bulletYou can still take the finest baking ingredients and make a horrible cake
  • 35. I don’t need to worry about disabled people because... ‣ Market share ‣ Target audience ‣ Site functionalityTuesday, 8 January 13a low number of disabled people use the internet? 1 in 5 people are registered disabled, in US and UK285 million people are visually impaired worldwide (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs282/en/). that’s about 4%.Interestingly, 41 million people worldwide own an iPhone.disabled people are not in the site’s target audience/they are not the people we are aiming this functionality atdisabled people shouldn’t be able to use the internet! They’ll be asking for driving license nextYou also do need to think about the legal issues, and general moral standing.
  • 36. Accessibility is just about disabled peopleTuesday, 8 January 13Yeah, what aboutCross deviceCross OSYoung and old peopleDifferent languages and culturesDifferent bandwidth
  • 37. Acc es sib ility ClubTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 38. #1: You do not talk about accessibility club ‣ Reframe it is part of the standard process ‣ Adopt best practices from the beginningTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 39. ‣ HTML ‣ CSS ‣ JavaScript ‣ UX ‣ User testing ‣ Responsible attitude!!Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 40. Start with basic HTML, then progressively enhance ‣ JS functionality ‣ CSS layoutsTuesday, 8 January 13wherever possible. Use CSS and JS to enhance, but don’t rely on it.JS - use Ajax for updates, but also provide a more accessible non Ajax version, which canalso double as a basic fallback version.CSS - make sure source order makes sense, then tweak layout with CSS as needed.
  • 41. Equivalents and alternatives ‣ Not identical! ‣ The business term is “equivalence of service”Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 42. Bring up potentially costly tasks ‣ e.g., transcripts, captioning ‣ Even these aren’t that costly for the most part ‣ Use WAI-ARIA to make complex functionality more accessible where possible ‣ http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/introduction- to-wai-aria/Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 43. Other bargaining tools ‣ Human rights/discrimination ‣ Morale ‣ LegalTuesday, 8 January 13like mobile users, iPhone users, Windows users,
  • 44. Don’t claim 100% Accessibility ‣ Or WCAG AAA compliance or whatever on the front page ‣ There’ll always be an edge case... ‣ Make a sensible statement about what you’ve done ‣ And make yourselves easy to talk toTuesday, 8 January 13Instead, have an a11y statement saying what steps you’ve taken to make the site accessible,and any conformance guidelines it passed at the time of launchAlso have a very open attitude - make it easy to contact you about such problems, and takereasonable steps to resolve issues
  • 45. User testing!! ‣ If you can afford it, get diverse users in ‣ Do testing early on in the projectTuesday, 8 January 13If you can’t afford it, make sure your team members have a good grasp of how diverse usersuse the internet.Find a good bank of videos and tutorials.
  • 46. WCAG — enjoy responsibly ‣ It is a useful tool ‣ But it’s not the be all and end allTuesday, 8 January 13I’ve already mentioned this - a site can be WCAG compliant, and still be a pile of crap.
  • 47. Do what you can! ‣ A11y is never black and white ‣ Do as much as you can ‣ Even in situations involving horrible CMSes ‣ The small things can make a huge differenceTuesday, 8 January 13For example, proper headings and paragraphs, link text.Try to wrangle those CMS templates as much as you can.
  • 48. In summary...Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 49. Bring the needs of disabled people into the mainstream But do it invisibly Don’t patronise themTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 50. Forget accessibility Just do good web designTuesday, 8 January 13
  • 51. License credits Wheelchair icon - thenounproject.com Immortal picture - http://www.ruthlessreviews.com Money picture - http://www.flickr.com/photos/aresauburnphotos/ 2678453389/ Dr Nick Riviera - simpsonstrivia.com.ar Cowpat - http://www.flickr.com/photos/debbcollins/6191313441/ iPhones - http://www.flickr.com/photos/rickyromero/2672913333/ Fight club font - http://www.dafont.com/fight-this.font Soap picture - http://www.flickr.com/photos/savor_soaps/2206491355/Tuesday, 8 January 13
  • 52. Thanks! cmills@opera.com @chrisdavidmills http://www.slideshare.net/chrisdavidmills http://dev.opera.com http://www.w3.org/community/webed/Tuesday, 8 January 13