Let's Design for Accessibility
When Solidsoft was engaged on the Tell Us Once project for the UK government one of the many key requirements was to meet all the accessibility requirements.
At the time this was a bureaucratic edict couched in values expressed in research from pre-2006. Yet another tick box or accreditation for us to meet. What transpired is that this was our first steps towards thinking about embracing accessibility for design not merely meeting a government edict.
Strangely enough the new Government Digital Service responsible for Gov.UK (a group I’m normally at odds with over their misuse of the open source stick!) have come to the same conclusion as we have at Solidsoft. That is accessibility is an intrinsic part of the design process to meet the needs of todays web.
Taking this approach also has a number of benefits:
By adopting the best accessibility practises results in better performance at the UI!
It can be of no surprise that a high accessible site is a highly usable site…
It takes hundreds of impressions to get a brand established, only one bad one to scar it. Positive brand perception will come with good accessibility.
It makes more sense to be inclusive rather than exclusive. Let’s not exclude what can be a large percentage of users.
Doing it Right by Design
It seems much better to do it as part of the normal design rather than trying to fix something to meet an out of date standard.
Design for accessibility because it is the right thing to do not the enforced activity everyone despises. We made Tell Us Once accessible not simply because we had to but because it made no sense for us not to do it.