Hosted by: UX Belfast (online).
Guest speakers: Regine Gilbert and MT McCann.
Topic: Universal and inclusive design.
What is the difference between accessibility and inclusion?
“Accessible design focuses on the outcome or end result of a design project. … Inclusive design is closely related to accessibility, but rather than an outcome, it’s a methodology for how to approach design. It’s a process for creating a design that can be used by a diverse group of people ” – Cameron Chapman.
This is a discipline that studies communications across different cultures and social groups, or how culture affects communication. This is something we must think of as we are now dealing in a global scale as designers.
Culture and language
- Identity management: This is the way individuals make sense of their multiple images concerning the sense of self in different social contexts.
- Culture: This is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities and habits of individuals in these groups.
- Self reflexivity: This is a process of learning to understand oneself and one’s position in society.
- Learning about others: The study of culture is the study of people. Be user centered.
How do electronic means of communication (e-mail, internet, social media, etc.) differ from face-to-face interactions?
- No body language
- Less cues
- Easier to be distracted
- Tone of voice
- We can communicate without actually talking
- People are less inclined to step up
How do these communication technologies work?
- Some cultures send emails in a very brief and to the point others more formal and detailed.
- Harder to be more nuanced.
- We should try to suppress cultural norms as we don’t know hoe they will be perceived.
Coined by Ronald Mace and a team of architects, product designers and engineers in the 90’s. Originally designed for buildings but is now applicable to the web.
Seven principles of universal design:
- Equitable use color contrast.
- Colour contrast is the number 1 problem in the web and its something that we as designers have total control over – be mindful!
- Flexibility in use – basically a way the user can expand or find what they are looking for and allow them to focus in a specific area. This is our job as designers. WTF = What is the focus.
- Tolerance for error – allowing users to undo and redo. We don’t want to let users get stuck.
- Low physical effort- think forms and how tedious they can be. Make forms that don’t require more information than is needed.
- Size and space for approach and use – think of all your possible users, they could be anybody.
Temporary, situational, permanent disabilities – you need to consider all of these.
Why is it needed? To ensure that users with disabilities can view the material like everyone else. It’s basically a basic right in our day and age.
Tools and preferences:
- Assistive technology: these are software and hardware that people with understanding and viewing information.
- Adaptive strategies: techniques that people with disabilities use to better access digital information.
Think about who is viewing or using what you create: think of ability, age, gender, ethnicity, etc…
The problem with the slide is that the contrast is too low, many people may not be able to even see it! what even?! The text is very hard to read due to the low contrast and therefore it is not accessible.
Good accessibilities practices
- Left align text
- Avoiding using all caps
- Adding alternative text
- Incorporation of inclusion and accessibility from the start of your project.
- Get to know who you are designing for.
Who is accessible design for?
Do not think that thoughtful design is just for the elderly, or the sick, or the disabled, it is for everyone – think of for example of people who are less educated.
It is good to try and keep things as simple as possible, don’t use language that is too specific with your field of work. Keep things as simple as you can, so everyone can understand.
Thomas Logan (started equal entry and a11y design meetup and accessibility meetup in New York) He helped designers gain a better understanding of the issues faced by people with disabilities.
America on tech is an organization that helps black and brown youths learn technological skills and gain internships whilst at highschool.
UX Belfast ESO
speaker: MT McCann
How and why she is putting a large emphasis in putting accessibility into eso
Their mission is to make a difference – to improve community health and safety through the power of data.
Ted Lasso is an inspiration for MT.
“Life might not be fair, but that doesn’t give you any excuse not to be.” – Elizabeth Jackson
We as digital technologist have a very serious responsibility to make the web accessible to everyone; don’t contribute to making anyone making feel left out.
The main focus of the design team at ESO is the humans that use the software (user centered).
The design is large and clear so that it is easy to tap with gloves in the field, moving ambulance. The interface is clear and easy to analyze.
Disabilities can be
- Permanent: Colour blindness (This is particularly important for eso), hard of hearing, hurt in the course of their job. if the software can not function for people with permanent disabilities then they could loose their job.
- Situational: Bumpy ride, lights on, sunny day reflecting off the screen.
- Temporary: Required to retain a lot of information whilst in a tense situation is incredibly difficult so the software has to be appropriate to the situation the user is in.
- Designing for our future selves: Our abilities naturally deteriorate as we get older.
Who’s job is it? – Everyone’s!
We NEED to create a culture of accessibility across the web to make sure everyone who works on, delivers or supports the services and products is part of the strategy.
Three specific motivations for upgrading to an accessible design system, now:
ESO Accessibility strategy
- Design team training.
- Make our design system accessible.
- Implementation of inclusive designs (new documentation and annotation artefacts).
- Run internal education accessibility sessions (Cover SDLC areas).
- Encourage wider software development team training.
- Create an internal champions team which has a wide variety of people from across the organization who are in the know.
- Have a tactical and strategic plan of which products to tackle first and how deep to go
- Hiring for accessibility skills.
- Get marketing teams on board, ensuring our materials are designed with accessibility in mind.
- Review our response in tenders.
- Training and implementation teams and materials (Help content).
- Support teams ~tag with accessibility issues.
- Due diligence with 3rd party software purchased (WalkMe).
- Inclusive design research methodologies and planning and recruitment of people with disabilities.
- Reporting and governance eg. Accessibility issues found over time, hires with accessibility skills, internal sessions held.
Tips to get started
- Get training so you can internally educate confidence.
- Big orgs move like supper tankers not speedboats, focus on small wins.
- Convey the risk you can carry to your legal team by being inaccessible.
- Get senior support as aircover.
- Run internal sessions early to convey the benefits and build internal advocates.
- Push to get accessibility skills added to your hiring specs.
- Start crafting your wider strategy.
- Keep fighting the good fight.
Great ways to learn and get certified:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou