User experience design is a subset of the field of experience design which pertains to the creation of the architecture and interaction models which impact a user's perception of a device or system. The scope of the field is directed at affecting 'all aspects of the user’s interaction with the product: how it is perceived, learned, and used.'
Although typically we think of accessibility in terms of visual, hearing, dexterity, cognitive disabilities and so on, this concept of disability is very limiting in terms of the need for accessible technology. More than 50 million Americans have some sort of disability, and the numbers are increasing as the population ages. Tens of millions of people in the European Union (EU) and half a million worldwide have a disability. Disability knows no boundaries, languages or borders.
Accessibility is one of the fundamentals of the Web, so how people who claim to be passionate about the Web and say that they deliver high quality can choose to ignore it is beyond me.
You often read advice from industry experts along the lines of "using tags as they were meant to be used" and limiting your use of advanced programming techniques in order to make your site accessible.
This article explores the many-faceted nuances of the challenge of trying to make Web content accessible in higher education. It includes an analysis of the seriousness of the problems that students face as well as an optimistic vision for the future.
The UK’s first e-Minister, Patricia Hewitt, gave a commitment in February 2001 that all new government websites should be accessible. Two years later, UK government sites are a long way from being accessible.
Web developers interested in accessibility issues often look to WAI-ARIA to bridge the accessibility gap created by ubiquitous scripting and make web applications more accessible to blind and visually impaired users. But can we recommend WAI-ARIA without reservation? Are there times when appropriate semantic HTML elements are preferable to custom widgets?
The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is a key resource for usable web accessibility. WAI’s accessibility standards are developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of providing a set of standards that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. In addition to standards, WAI produces many documents that offer guidance on how to include accessibility in a good user-centered design process, including people with disabilities and their needs early in the process. Other work of WAI focuses on how building on the benefits of accessibility for other audiences, such as older adults, people on limited bandwidth and users of mobile devices.
In order to make your website as accessible as possible, not only to users with disabilities, but also to those with slow connections, or different browsers or operating systems, the best guidelines to follow are those offered by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative.
This paper presents two sides of a debate over user-controlled text sizing of Web-based documents, and a suggested approach for designing Web sites that support full use of user-controlled text sizing, while maintaining the integrity of a site’s visual design.
For many web developers, accessibility is complex and somewhat difficult. The Accessibility Project understands that and we want to help to make web accessibility easier for front end developers to implement.
On an increasing number of web sites you can find the phrase "accessibility statement". Sometimes it is very visible and hard to miss, in other cases we can barely find it. Did you ever read any of these statements? If you ever did, do you read it on all sites where you find them? In this article I will explain what is the accessibility statement, and give you a couple of points to decide if you need it on your web site.
It's been a long trip, but we’re almost out of the dark. We finally have browsers that offer substantial support for several technologies established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and other standards bodies. Designers and developers can use many core features of XHTML and CSS and sometimes DHTML without worrying about the hazards of cross–browser chicanery. As browsers have evolved, it’s become easier to comply with the W3C’s Web Accessibility initiative (WAI) and, in the United States, with the amendments to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 (commonly called “Section 508”).
And, as a result, selling the concept is never all that easy. Sure, you can harp on about all the 'business benefits' (potential increased audienced, reduced bandwidth costs, good PR), but what you really need to be able to do is show that it's possible to do this without compromising on the design. That's often where the problems begin.
The demand for accessible sites is growing, but web workers, like you, are often unclear how to make sites more accessible. Designing an accessible site isn't necessarily harder, but it involves unique limitations that make you approach design from a different perspective.
Websites have become less accessible and more complex over time according to recent studies. Learn how to buck the trend by creating fast, accessible CSS forms that work with modern browsers and gracefully degrade.