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Like many organizations, we didn't find out about our Accessibility requirements until the application was half done and partly in production. It's one thing to know up front that you will have these requirements and build them into your UI designs. But getting those requirements late in the game has additional challenges.

When you find out that Accessibility is needed, the following steps can be taken without any impact to the application from a user's perspective (if done well), but will lay some groundwork for future Accessibility changes.

  1. Develop a CSS scheme and utilize it consistently throughout your application for all presentation formatting.
  2. Develop UI standards that are consistent throughout your application. Be as complete as possible and include anything that shows up on the screen: tags and controls, error messages, form elements, etc.
  3. Follow best practices with regards to separating business logic from presentation code to minimize the impact that UI changes will have on website functionality and business rules.
  4. Perform usability reviews and testing to make the site easier to understand and use. This will benefit all users.
  5. Optimize the UI by removing any extraneous code that was not previously cleaned up.

By following the above recommendations, you will be well on your way to Accessibility, and when UI redesigns are decided upon, they will be quicker and easier to implement.

Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 10:14 AM | Back to top

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