Accessibility and Usability Working Together at MIT

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How we unified Accessibility and Usability within the project management and web development workflow at MIT.

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  • SWho we are and the fact that we are with MIT’s Accessibility and Usability TeamPass off to K
  • S
  • KWhat we do in terms of accessibility
  • SOur work at MIT – We are part of the customer service branch of IS&T. What we were before and where we are now, how it has evolved over time. we are consults who work on large and small projects across the instituteWe are free, we don’t do audits, we have made strides in becoming an integral part of IS&T’s development process.Reorg details – We had been working side by side and in 2009 Usability became part of ATIC and Accessibility.Enterprise wide, Student sites, Community web sites
  • KNeed concrete anecdotal examples to discuss about thisThe lack of connection on one distance teaching tool design (blossoms) between the logo, the slug line that explained the site, and the branding for what the site was about. There was no general organizing principle. Everything at the same level and visual clutter.Search box not available on every page. Irregular “go” button.Early is better : sloan executive ed, structure, overwhelming information, tab order and poorly structured forms (we were not involved in the design phase and when we finally saw the code three were major problems)Missed Opportunites: A series of surveys for MIT Research and Grant fellows were reviewed by accessibility but they have not allowed Usability Reinforcing recommendationsCaptionsGood structureReadble layoutWhite spaceColorsAll contribute to make sites and applications to be more usable and accessibleIncreased client satisfactionWe are an academic institution – students are our customers – laws protect equal access and we ensre that that happens – when we do our jobs we reduce reliance on ATIC lab – and reduce calls to the help desk
  • K
  • SEASI and Knowbility WebinarsPOUR – Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust
  • S & K
  • K and S
  • SNow we see that there’s overlap between Usability and accessibilitySites with all the hooks impact the accessibility without detracting from the visual or usable sideSmall font size, poor contrast, improper use of more links, and not enough white space ( are issues for both accessibility and usability)Where usability and assistive tech overlap - for example solid IA & consistent labels make for more coherent screen reading experienceFor course sites the lab remediates the areas where usability and accessibility are unable to make an impact or are not implemented, when we do our job well there’s less work for them.
  • K – merging reports didn’t workWe both have an understanding of the high level principles so we can advocate for each other in our absenceWe can quickly assess and see potential trouble spots and recommendationsProcess is evolving: looking at ways to tweak our work as we move forward. Ex. code recommendations for JPEGsStructure recommendations for code reviews
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  • Accessibility and Usability Working Together at MIT

    1. 1. Accessibility and Usability…<br />Working together at MIT<br />Stephani Roberts, MIT Accessibility Consultant<br />Katherine Wahl, MIT Usability Consultant<br />IS&T Accessibility and Usability Team<br />
    2. 2. Agenda<br />The landscape at MIT<br />The merger of usability and accessibility<br />Our approach<br />Our services<br />Why our collaboration works<br />Where we are now<br />
    3. 3. The landscape at MIT<br />Our work at MIT<br />Consultants<br />No charge<br />Projects of all sizes<br />Now part of the IS&T process<br />Reorganization and merger of the teams with the ATIC (Assistive Technology Information Center) Lab in 2009<br />
    4. 4. Where we started<br />Assistive Technology Lab<br /> (ATIC)<br />Usability<br />Accessibility<br />
    5. 5. What we noticed<br />Reinforcing recommendations<br />Few conflicting recommendations<br />Early is better in both practices<br />Missed opportunities <br />Increased client satisfaction<br />
    6. 6. Our Approach<br />Integrating communication<br />Established group email lists<br />Presentations to raise awareness<br />Coordinating timelines<br />Working together to assess client needs<br />
    7. 7. Our Approach<br />Some cross-training<br />POUR guiding principles<br />Bentley accessibility and usability classes<br />EASI and Knowbility online webinars<br />Library of reference materials<br />Sharing tools<br />Colour Contrast Analyser<br />WAVE toolbar<br />Firefox web developer toolbar<br />Usability evaluation template<br />
    8. 8. Our services<br />
    9. 9. Optimal Development Timeline<br />Requirements Gathering & Specification Creation<br />Alpha/Beta Release, QA, Documentation & Training<br />Overall Product Development Cycles <br />Development<br />Project End<br />Project Start<br />Reviews (Expert & Heuristic)<br />Prototyping, Design, & UI Design<br />Traditional UsabilityTesting & Evaluation<br />User Research<br />Early/Lo-FiPrototypes<br />Accessibility Evaluation<br />Accessibility Design Review<br />Accessibility Code Review<br />
    10. 10. Assistive Technology Lab<br /> (ATIC)<br />Usability<br />Accessibility<br />Bringing it all together<br />
    11. 11. Where we are today<br />Tandem processes and consistent deliverables<br />Cross-functional understanding of high level principles<br />Evolving process<br />
    12. 12. Why our collaboration works<br />Stronger advocates for the end-user<br />Fewer things ‘falling through the cracks’<br />Fewer places where ATIC Lab (Assistive Technology Information Center) has to bridge the gap<br />Helping each other meet client timelines<br />Reinforcing key issues related to both disciplines<br />
    13. 13. Accessibility Resources<br />WebAim’sPOUR principles - http://webaim.org/articles/pour/<br />Paciello Group’s Colour Contrast Anylyzer - http://www.paciellogroup.com/resources/contrast-analyser.html<br />The WAVE Toolbar - http://wave.webaim.org/toolbar<br />FireFoxWeb Developer Add-on – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/web-developer/<br />
    14. 14. Usability Resources<br />Usability Body of Knowledge <br />Boxes and Arrows: The Design Behind the Design <br />Information Design.org<br />
    15. 15. Questions?<br />Katherine Wahl - kwahl@mit.edu<br />Stephani Roberts – stephani@mit.edu<br />

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