Chuck’s This Week in UX #3

Hola a todos to the third edition of Chuck’s this week in UX! Also known as #chucksTWIX this is a weekly (and sometimes fortnightly) blog series dedicated to shedding light on articles and videos I found to give some new angle or insight on the UX industry. From small tips and tricks to earth shattering discoveries, this is my week in UX.

In this edition – do you design for the disabled and impaired..?

7 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About Accessibility
Jesse Hausler. 15 April 2015.
Read more here.

So I know this is a relatively old post but it touches upon a subject that I personally feel is worth bringing up from time to time – designing for the disabled and impaired. More often than not a project can go on to completion and delivery to production without ever having a minute spent designing for people with visual impairments such as colour blindness or mobility issues. Jesse covers some very simple techniques and considerations that can give your website or interface the edge to connect with your audience.

Most importantly the first point is to get over the fear that adapting your designs for accessibility will hinder progress and innovation. If anything it encourages you to actively plan your designs and come up with creative and fully developed solutions. Imagine trying to write a program without error handling – sure it works, but it seems like it’s missing something right? Now try and write a program then add error handling afterwards. Exactly, it’s painful (trust me I’ve learned the hard way) and your work is so much better planning it in from the start.

The other point I want to highlight is enabling accessibility via the keyboard. Not very often will we imagine people who can’t use a mouse, a touchpad or even a touchscreen phone. Operating without those tools is hard enough but when the content they’re trying to access doesn’t accommodate that I wouldn’t be surprised these people give up. Even for myself I find it more comfortable to fully utilise the keyboard before using pointing devices and designing carefully for them will tackle two demographics: those with hand mobility issues and power users.

Myself being a DevOps engineer I’m always looking to automate and streamline processes and for those who know Vim will love the Vimium plugin on Chrome. It helps immensely to prevent RSI and hopefully anyone needing an alternative to navigate the web better will find this useful. The link is just below here:

That’s all I have time for so keep designing, plotting and streamlining our way to a better connected future. For everyone.
– Chuck


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