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accessibility

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This is a guest post from Zoe Coultan, an alumna of the second batch of I Am Not My Pixels interns! Each intern writes a blog post as part of their internship, on a UX and Design subject that particularly interests them. Thanks Zoe!

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been with a client or colleague looking at a site with low colour contrast, and they say “Well I can read that text perfectly!”. When I ask them whether they have visual impairments, they usually reply, “Well no, I have good vision”.

Even after I explain that we should ensure that everyone can use our site because some people  have visual impairments or other conditions that impact their ability to use our services, I’ve heard responses like:

  • Is it really worth the time and money for only 5% of our audience!?
  • Don’t they have screen readers for that sort of stuff, or people to do it for them?
  • Surely they could just call up to place an order instead of using the website!

No matter the argument, the answer is never to forget about accessibility. Good designers and developers don’t isolate their audience, any of them. You wouldn’t make it difficult for someone with a disability to get around the physical world so why should the virtual world be any different?.

The good news is, it’s pretty easy to make a website more accessible. Whether you’re a designer or developer, there are a few quick checks that you can do to design and develop more inclusively.

Here are my top seven tips for quickly and simply making your website more accessible for every reader:

There are 7.4 billion people in the world, yet we often make things that are easy for some people to use but difficult for everyone else.  As designers, it is our responsibility to think about how we might design more inclusively for people of all abilities and to reflect the true diversity of the human race.

There are plenty of resources online to help you design with accessibility in mind, but to make it as simple as possible, I’m committing to constantly updating this list with resources I come across, so that you can get as much a11y goodness as possible in one place!