Important Bits

Accessibility, Physical Installations @ CreateInTO Meetup

February 28, 2017

Accessibility with Alison Walden


  • blind and low vision internet users in US are almost as numerous as regular Canadian internet users
  • accessible sites give disabled users their privacy back. Accessible banking sites allow users to bank on their own. Accessible travel sites let users book flights on their own. Accessible commerce sites let users buy their own stuff.

Accessibility is part of UX design, not just development

  • information architects know the intent of the information and can structure headings
  • UX designers know what will be a link vs a button that performs an action on current content ahead of time
  • hidden wayfinding elements might be called out as issues in QA if they aren’t in the test plan. Instead, make them part of the tests
  • developers should implement accessibility features, but not design them

HTML structuring stuff

  • screen readers rely on HTML tags and structure to navigate pages
  • well structure heading tags (h1, h2, etc) are essential and should be chosen by information architects
  • developers sometimes use links and button interchangeably which is confusing for screen readers. One usually takes user to more content, the other modifies or submits existing content. Think about how to label links or buttons that offer filtering functionality
  • use hidden wayfinding elements (eg. [skip navigation links’( so user can jump to product grid of a store)
  • always use labels with form controls, even if the label is hidden eg. search fields in headers
  • tab ordering – think top to bottom and left to right

visual stuff

  • don’t disable the browser’s built in focus indicator! Designers can choose colours for it to look good with the page
  • focused elements could reveal more info as if they are being hovered over

law stuff

  • Many US websites that don’t follow guidelines have been sued by disabled users
  • Canada has fewer lawsuits and less enforcement.
  • In Ontario, WCAG A is the guideline for government and some business websites until 2021. Then it the guideline becomes WCAG AA.

Hugh Elliot talks about life of creative technologist

Hugh’s current gig has him building interactive installations with wondermakr

  • Work now includes driving places to fix installations that are ‘broken’

    • Nobody knows how it broke, or why it is broken it is broken. Be prepared with spare parts!
  • You get to buy stuff from awesome shops like robot shop, digikey, (sparkfun)[], and others I didn’t write down

  • Always buy spare parts

    • 3x the physical buttons you need because they will take a pounding from the public
    • extra monitors so you can swap screens quickly.

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Adam Sullovey

Written by Adam Sullovey, powered by Gatsby.
Find me on codepen, github, or at Toronto meetups.

tags: meetup