KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the flag carrier airline of The Netherlands, and the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name.

Over a two years I worked on many projects and digital touchpoints, from creating an Android Sketch library for the mobile team, through to designing the first iterations of the ‘My Trip’ page for the BlueWeb website project, a combined website for Air France and KLM.

A substantial part of my work was focusing on improving the experience for persons with disabilities when interacting with the customer-facing digital touchpoints, mobile, web, and kiosk.

An annotated screenshot, showing where improvements could be made for the seat map.
An annotated screenshot, showing where improvements could be made for the seat map.
An annotated screenshot, showing where improvements could be made

Client: KLM & Air France
Platform: Website, iOS, Android, Kiosk
Role: Senior User Experience Designer & Accessibility Consultant
Date


Accessibility Design Speaker/Trainer

I have had the pleasure of speaking at the offices of large recognised companies such as Google and Apple, and also experienced the joy of talking at smaller events and seeing new designers get new insights. Helping people to understand that accessibility is usability is my key goal.

I also offer half-day interactive workshops for (UX) designers to get a better understanding of the challenges that we face, and how we can approach our designs differently to ensure we include others. …


Accessibility Consultant

Through accessibility audits, internal workshops or presentations, or working directly on design problems inside a company’s design library I help businesses reach wider audiences, strengthen brand reputation and comply with legal guidelines.

“Dean has done great work supporting our Design System by helping us to have accessible components. Besides that he also helped to increase the knowledge of the design team and the entire product team by doing workshops, creating accessible design solutions and supporting the team in general.” — Luiza Breier, Product owner, KLM

Experienced Accessibility Consultant who can:

  • audit products to locate the issues and advise Product, Design and Engineering…


Senior User Experience Designer

After spending many years being a ‘UX team of one’ I’m able to step in and immediately support your team in a variety of ways, from research and wireframing to usability testing and UI design.

“During the two years Dean worked for AssistiveWare he made a very significant contribution. He helped our product team to transition to a more formal user-centered design approach for our product development. As an allround UXer he was able to not only help us shape the design process but also carried out design workshops, did user research, developed prototypes, did usability testing and much more.” …


A list of upcoming and past talks.

Upcoming

There are no talks currently scheduled, if you would like me to speak either at in-person events, or online then please contact me.

I mainly talk about accessibility and user experience to design communities, or business leaders.

Previous

Accessibility for UX Designers, UX Athens

May 14th 2020

A remote presentation for UX Athens, sharing ways in which our designs can be made to include, rather than exclude.

Accessibility for UX Designers, Ironhack

April 9th 2020

Online presentation with workshop elements for a group of Ironhack students who are entering the industry.

KLM Accessibility, Google

November 14th 2019

This talk was given for the Google Accessibility Breakfast session in Amsterdam, where KLM, Lufthansa and Booking.com …


Recently, Twitter released a new feature to a limited number of people on their iOS app, this feature gives people the ability to record a tweet with their voice, and in their own words, “Everyone will be able to see (hear) them and reply.”

There are several issues with this feature and the specific quote above.

Twitter on the iPhone showing how it looks when you tap the button to record a tweet.
Twitter on the iPhone showing how it looks when you tap the button to record a tweet.
Recording a voice tweet

Firstly, when adding video or audio, this creates an immediate barrier to people with hearing impairments. Unless of course alternative methods are supplied, in this instance, captions or a transcript.

Secondly, for those without the first barrier, there is a reliance on the listener understanding the spoken language. Written text can be easily translated. …


I was recently asked what I meant when I say that I come at design problems through an accessibility lens, and on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, it seems a great day to answer that question.

Man holding a lens, with the Global Accessibility Awareness Day logo added.
Man holding a lens, with the Global Accessibility Awareness Day logo added.

Companies with some UX maturity will use a methodology to tackle problems creatively.


Yesterday evening, Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister of The Netherlands announced that a number of restrictions that had been put in place due to the global pandemic are being slowly lifted. From June 1st, public transport will be running as normal. With one notable difference.

Hairdressers and other professions can restart operations from May 11, cafes and restaurants will be able to open from June 1 — within limits — and face masks will also be compulsory on public transport from that date.

There have been numerous articles and thought pieces already about face masks being inaccessible for people with hearing impairments and some solutions, which can be used in certain situations, such as The Communicator Surgical Mask and ClearMask, but although they may solve this particular issue, or at least improve the experience for some of this audience this situation feels so familiar. …


AssistiveWare develops assistive technology software for iOS and Mac OS, creating applications for people with physical, vision, communication and reading impairments.

Proloquo2Go and Proloquo4Text belong to the same family of apps, one is used by non-verbal people without literacy, and one by non-verbal people with literacy. The first task a new user would do after installation would be to create a new user, the current flow used jargon, had many steps and was a little uninspiring.

Visit the AssistiveWare website

Two screens side by side, one showing the original way to select a language, and the other the newer easier way.
Two screens side by side, one showing the original way to select a language, and the other the newer easier way.
The original and redesigned select a language screen

Client: AssistiveWare
Platform: iOS
Role: UX Lead
Date: 2015

The objective

The two apps were misaligned, they shared similar screens but used different terms. The main objective was to get the two apps aligned and to make it both simpler to understand and easier to complete. …


The CSUN Assistive Technology Conference entered its 32nd edition in March, but despite it being on my to attend list for the last few years, I didn’t foresee this opportunity for a while yet.

I was in Melbourne, Australia, enjoying the fact that I had once again managed to escape the miserable Dutch winters when I received a message from my boss asking if I wanted to go with him to CSUN. …

About

Dean Birkett

Versatile, Senior-Level UX Designer on a mission to design and inspire more accessible solutions.

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