LWS Accessibility talk

Billy Gregory @thebillygregory was very entertaining, but with a very important message. Talking about a tweet that he sent out over a year ago that he didn’t think much about at the time. This then caught on about, and he came over from Canada to talk through Some User experience eg SUX.

Billy Gregorys original tweet was:

“When UX doesn’t consider ALL users, shouldn’t it be known as ‘SOME User Experience’ or SUX?”

What was interesting was looking at the learning curve of various ages. Struggling to find a iOS app that his dad would understand using gesture based controls, and then looking at his daughters who were way more advanced than he was. Talking about how he is stuck in the middle,  getting a little bit more out of touch with how you the younger generation interact with technology, and pointing out all the different people that we need to be designing for from WWE wrestlers to visually impaired to people finding it hard to move, and how inclusive shouldn’t have no boundaries.

A few things that are half-arsed online

  • Headings
  • Lists
  • Forms
  • Focus management
  • Poor contrasts

What to focus on when building design requirements

  • Colour contrast and meaning
  • Structure
  • Focus and content order
  • Focus states
  • Touch target size (recent read that the average size of the thumb print is 40x40px)
  • Describe how custom components work

I would very much recommend to go to a talk of Billy Gregory, as he was very entertaining and gives you something to think about.

Leonie Watson presenting the accessibility techniques for SVG. Very much aimed at the Developer, but did highlight some amazing things you could do to SVG imagery to bring these to life for visually impaired.  Highlighting that within background imagery you can now be using a High Contrast Mode (HCM) detection script. What looked great about SVG + ARIA is that you can now start to explain graphs and animation within the SVG bringing them to life.

Within the question and answer phase, a lot was said about CMS’s that can’t achieve full accessibility and how sometimes the excuse is made that because they can’t be fully accessible that there was little point spend much time on this by client managers, but it was the thought from everyone in the room that making little changes along the way even if it is just explaining an image correctly can have a huge benefit.

In the QA at the end another thought was looking at the little icons that come as standard such as radio buttons, and how it does look cool to redesign these to match site branding, but how this can then also be becoming a barrier to accessibility. Another one brought up was how fancy date picker pop ups can be horrendous to use when only using a space bar or screen reader.