- As designers. we create a lot of meaning with the visual treatments we give to parts of a page. A lot of that visual information needs to be expressed to somebody that can't see the screen. Here's a really simple example to show what we mean. Take a look at this navigation block for this site. Not only is it a functional part of the site but it also provides wayfinding and orientation for someone. How is color used to communicate meaning here? What about font weight? Or even the indentation of the navigation items.
And what about those little arrows? All of those elements of the design are visual in nature. They tell us about which item is the current section, which items are parent and child pages, and which sections are expanded or collapsed. So how do we communicate all of those things to someone that can't see the screen? They'll need things that seem redundant but really aren't. Visual information must be represented in a non visual way for those that can't see or can't see the entire screen at once.
Someone that is blind or has low vision needs other text-based ways of representing this information. They get it from the page title, from the headings on a page, and from textual ways of saying you are here in the navigation. The developer's job is to make sure all those things are coded properly. Your job as the designer is to ensure that there is redundancy, so that there are multiple ways of finding out the same piece of information.
- What is accessibility?
- Managing flow
- Ensuring proximity in your design
- Understanding how screen readers and voice recognition programs work
- Designing for hearing, vision, mobility, and cognitive issues
- Considering accessibility in layout
- Integrating accessibility into your content strategy