Accessibility and User Experience

Image credit: http://hacknyu.org/

I am going to write my first ever article on accessibility and user experience. I have come to know how important it is and why it should be taken seriously.

User Experience is a broad field that includes a lot of different types of professionals. Content strategists, information architects, user researchers, designers, and developers. In any project, almost everyone should be responsible for accessibility at some stage of the game.

Here’s a quick look at how UX pros incorporate accessibility into their practice.

The user research team ensures that people with disabilities are an integral part of the research activities. They include appropriate representation for people with different types of disabilities, in all aspects of the research.That includes interviews, talk-aloud sessions, focus groups, facilitated and remote usability testing, and other dedicated accessibility testing. Early in the research phase of the project, the content strategist will work with people with disabilities to learn more about how they think about a problem and what kinds of content will help meet those needs.

  • What’s important to people with disabilities?
  • How do we create clues with words that tell people where they are and the consequences of their actions?
  • What will happen when I click on this link?
  • What will happen when I activate this button?

The information architect will determine what labels and terminology people use in a particular subject area. They’ll also extend that to see if people with disabilities have their own terminology they use for that subject area, and if they use specific phrases for accessibility-specific topics for a site.

The interaction designer will work with the insights provided from the overall research to create wireframes, task flows, and prototypes of the site. All of these are informed by the results of the research. Wireframes should take into account the positioning of buttons, error messages, and calls to action on the screen, particularly for those with low vision. They should also specify flows and source order to ensure the on-screen components are experienced in a logical order. Everyone has a job to do when it comes to accessibility.

UX designers are no exception. In fact, you, the UX designer, are very well-positioned to make the biggest difference in the way that a person with a disability uses a website. Why? Your work happens much earlier in the project than a developer or a quality assurance specialist. It is much more cost-effective to do it well the first time.

Credits:

Lynda Courses on Accessibility: https://www.lynda.com/Accessibility-training-tutorials/1286-0.html

Your thoughts are welcomed :)


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