Marcy Sutton is collecting good examples of websites and interfaces where accessibility and beautiful design go hand-in-hand. Subscribed.
Eric Bailey posted a terrific list of principles that should be kept in mind when working on web accessibility.
Digital accessibility work is not easy, but it is vital. It is a holistic, multifaceted discipline that touches on multiple interconnected social and technological issues.
The Possibility Gap is a dark pattern that arises when a product takes advantage of unknown unknowns on the part of their users, as it relates to their understanding of what is possible in digital products today.
A repository of styled and “styled” form control elements and markup patterns, and how they are announced by screen readers.
What we know is that native and custom calendar controls are often a problem for users and applied where they are not needed. Before dropping the code on a screen as a matter of habit, consider if it genuinely helps the user or just your workflow.
An open-source community effort to map support for web accessibility features across different Assistive Technologies. It’s still early days, but I hope this flourishes — accessibility interop is a complex topic in dire need of de-mystification.
One thing that is often forgotten about accessibility is that keeping things simple and utilising semantic HTML gets you most of the way towards providing a fully accessible experience for everyone.
I was just talking with Dave about the accessibility of moving images on the web, and he said:
hm… I wonder if you could use
He then sends the following code:
<picture> <source srcset="no-motion.jpg" media="(prefers-reduced-motion: reduce)"></source> <img srcset="animated.gif alt="brick wall"/> </picture>
Whoa! This is a revelation.
There are a few CSS techniques for hiding content visually while keeping it accessible to screen readers, but none of them are perfect — and in some cases may even be harmful.
@zellwk has put together a great round-up of the issues.
It could seem like an enticing option for our users, at first glance: an enhanced, fully-featured website, on the one hand, a fully accessible alternative experience on the other. That unravels with even the slightest examination, though: if the fully-featured website isn’t accessible, the accessible website won’t be fully featured. By choosing to have the “accessible experience” deviate from the “real website,” we end up drawing a sharper line between those two definitions, and we nudge the “accessible experience” closer to an afterthought—limited and frustratingly out-of-sync with the “real” website, like so many dedicated mobile sites quickly became.
There’s a widespread movement in design circles to reduce the contrast between text and background, making type harder to read. Apple is guilty. Google is, too. So is Twitter.
My plea to designers and software engineers: Ignore the fads and go back to the typographic principles of print — keep your type black, and vary weight and font instead of grayness. You’ll be making things better for people who read on smaller, dimmer screens, even if their eyes aren’t aging like mine. It may not be trendy, but it’s time to consider who is being left out by the web’s aesthetic.
A deep dive into
figureaccessibility from Scott O’Hara:
figcaptionis meant to provide a caption or summary to a figure, relating it back to the document the figure is contained within, or conveying additional information that may not be directly apparent from reviewing the figure itself.
If an image is given an empty
alt, then the
figcaptionis in effect describing nothing. And that doesn’t make much sense, does it?
When you stop to consider all the implications of poor performance, it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that poor performance is an ethical issue.
Many people I meet think title texts, also known as tooltips, improve both the accessibility and usability of their sites. They don’t. In fact, they can even cause problems.
When you strip away all the stuff we do to try to control the experience of a website, it turns out the web is pretty darn accessible. It only breaks when we break it.
Text-only sites like these are usually treated as a MVP of sorts. A slimmed-down version of the real site, specifically for emergencies.
I’d argue though that in some aspects, they are actually better than the original.
This is the web as it was originally designed. Pure information, with zero overhead. Beautiful in a way.