How can we engage more effectively with inclusive design as a way to enhance user experience for everyone, including people with disabilities? Presented by David Sloan and Sarah Horton at UX Lausanne, June 4th 2015.
Medium is a great place to share information and opinion, and start conversations, about topics including accessibility. But it also has its own accessibility limitations, which have been pointed out very forcefully. So do we stop using it as a place to talk about, promote and encourage accessibility? Wouldn’t it be better if we used it as part of a publishing and communication strategy?
JIIG-CAL, 1980s software for telling teenagers their future career paths.
Persons help us understand the diversity of accessibility needs, but also to recognise the beneficiaries of accessibility are people who have goals, opinions, characteristics, tolerances… just like everyone else.
There can be a tendency to look at accessibility as only dealing with the extreme margins in a bell curve of a population, which can restrict attention, support, and influence of the efforts that are applied.
A door, with a fundamental accessibility barrier. Not everyone has same means of use.
Same means of use—a design where everyone can enter the same door, and the step is no longer present as a barrier.
Equivalent use: Understanding what AT can do that you don’t have to. Text resizing widgets are redundant, but skip links still help people, even though arguably they should be a browser feature not a content feature.
Photo credit: Tom Magliery https://www.flickr.com/photos/mag3737/6265874898/
Stage of a continuum of accessibility maturity
Issues people encounter when working with the website Suggested areas of focus for improving accessibility
An example of poor placement of critical information—in a place that’s difficult to see if you’re a screen magnifier user, and a place that takes time to find if you’re a screen reader user
The HTML timetable contains only a subset of information available on the downloadable PDF timetables (which are extremely complex and very difficult to interpret using a screen reader)
Challenge to creativity: Opportunities Indi Young has talked about gaps in mental models. Do we care about our gaps in understanding how people with disabilities interact with digital products? Do we want to fill them?
Empathy, Education and Excellence in Inclusive Design
Empathy, Education and Excellence
in Inclusive Design
David Sloan, UX Research Lead, @sloandr
Sarah Horton, UX Strategy Lead, @gradualclearing
Perceptions around accessibility
Introduction: Accessibility and disability, to a teenager…
Empathy: People are people
Photo credit: Valerie Fletcher, Institute for Human Centered Design
A (Rough) Manifesto for Accessible User Experience
Digital resources can reduce social
and economic exclusion; without
deliberate attention, they will increase
People’s capabilities and preferences
are unique and variable;
environmental factors influence
Principles of Universal Design
• Equitable Use
• Flexibility in Use
• Simple and Intuitive Use
• Perceptible Information
• Tolerance for Error
• Low Physical Effort
• Size and Space for Approach and Use
North Carolina State University, uxfor.us/universal-design
• 9 people over 2 days
• Sessions lasting ½ to 1 hour
• Low vision: Large monitor, ZoomText, large type,
• Blind: JAWS, VoiceOver
• Deaf: Captions
• Limited mobility and dexterity: Dragon
The right column is a bad location for critical information
Online information should match what’s
available in print
Excellence: Designing for pleasure
• Creativity: Using accessibility as a driver for innovation
• Maturity: Integrating accessibility into culture and
• Inclusivity: Caretaking the whole experience
Empathy: Understanding the value
Education: Knowing what’s needed
Excellence: Designing for pleasure