Most websites in North America and Europe now need to meet accessibility requirements. These include requirements described by Section 508 of the American Disabilities Act (ADA). They also refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).
Follow these five easy steps to make your wireframes more accessible:
One: Document the heading structure.
Two: Document hidden way-finding cues.
Three: Document focus order information and specify the visible focus state.
This morning I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Marcy Markusa of CBC Radio One broadcasting from Winnipeg, Manitoba. The interview is included in .mp3 format, and the transcript is below.
It is 6:13, it is school day number 2, and today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. And if you’re like most people in this technological world, you’re starting your day on a mobile device, I’ve already been on three myself, but not everyone has equal access to what’s on the web. It is because even the most user-friendly websites are rarely accessible websites.
If you have found this page, you must be looking for a way to ensure the content you put online is accessible. Congratulations. In this post, I will show you some quick tests you can do to accomplish this.
Merriam-Webster defines "usable" as "capable of being used." Oxford dictionary defines "usability" as "the degree to which something is able or fit to be used." These definitions do not specify who should be able to use that thing, but the implication is that the thing should be able to be used by everyone. Why then, is usability a different field than accessibility? Accessibility should be at the very root of usability. ...continue reading Usability should include accessibility
If you care about your web content being accessible, try accessing it with a screen reader. Learning to use a screen reader is easier than ever. Both Windows and Mac operating systems (OS) have free screen readers available. This article refers to the Mac OS built-in screen reader, VoiceOver. ...continue reading How to use the VoiceOver screen reader
October, 2016: Update! I used to encourage experience designers to capture annotations for accessible keyboard functionality separately in "linear wireframes." The reason for that was that it was new to them, and it felt like a very separate exercise. More recently I have recommended that keyboard events be captured in the same wireframes that capture all other interactions as a more holistic experience. I have edited the article below to refer to linear interactions as opposed to linear wireframes.