Stage 1
Aug 25, 2023
10:50

Accessibility for designers in a hurry!

For all the designers who are too busy to read fat books about accessibility, yet nonetheless seek a deeper understanding of its need in today's society.

About this session

This talk is presented by Jørgen Vik and Jasmin Stensrud from twoday, formerly knows as Visma Consulting.

What you can expect to learn

Accessibility needs to be more than a buzzword used around the coffee machine. It needs to be more than a checklist we check off, just to pat ourselves on the back. It needs to be a tool for inclusivity and empathy. To make sure that all our awesome designs and creative ideas can be enjoyed, not just by most but by everyone. Accessibility is necessary for some, but useful for all! Therefore we’d like to entertain your attention for some brief moments, and give you a short introduction into what accessibility is to us, and why it should be a constant consideration when creating new solutions. Not only from a humane perspective, but also a business one.

We also want to show you some DOs and DONTs when designing your amazing ideas, and finish with some personal experience with how just the concept of accessibility, can change someone's future for the better. Our aim is that the things we share today, will help you make accessibility a priority in your own projects tomorrow!

Summary

The web is fundamentally designed to be accessible for everyone regardless of language, location or ability. However, when applications are not designed with this principle in mind, barriers are created, and people are excluded. Accessibility at its core, is to break down these barriers and prevent new ones from rising. In our world that means designing our web sites and applications according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Did you know that 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability? That’s a massive pool of people that we choose to exclude, if we’re not careful, if we stop caring. So why should we care? Aside from the obvious humane perspective of creating a better world for everyone in it. Unfortunately, often these decisions are taken from a business perspective. Time is money. But business loves numbers, so let’s talk numbers!

We mentioned that 15% of the world’s population live with a disability of some form or another. That’s about one billion people, with a B! That’s a huge amount of potential end users that will struggle to use your application, should Accessibility remain a buzzword.

On top of that, 98.1% of all home pages fail at atleast one of WCAG’s principles. So there is a real chance to stand out, if the time and effort is put in.

When we talk about disabilities or impairments, there are four main challenges we try to overcome. Visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges. For instance, users with visual impairments require text alternatives for information that otherwise is purely visual, and alongside those with motor impairments, will often use the keyboard to navigate instead of a mouse. At the same time, users with cognitive challenges would probably appreciate forms not having 10 second timer to complete, and those with hearing difficulties would be happy if videos were subtitled. These are just some examples of the barriers we should all aim to break down.

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