Examine an ecommerce experience for context.
- In this course we're going to explore accessible design from a lot of different angles using three typical scenarios. They are pretty common tasks that people would do online and they are things that you, the designer or developer need to think about as you're building sites for yourself or your clients. Here's a high level walkthrough of those scenarios that we'll work through in this course. Let's say you're looking to buy a gift for your best friend to celebrate an occasion. Think about that process for a minute. How do you find that gift? You're going to go through several steps.
You'll spend time looking for different ideas. Looking for inspiration because of course, you want it to be perfect. You search and search. You read reviews. You research pricing. You do a lot of comparison. After all of that process, you find just the right thing. You check the price, select the color, maybe enter a promo code and you add it to the shopping cart. You're ready to check out, so you fill in the shipping details and payment details.
You mark the order as a gift, which allows you to add a note, a gift receipt, and maybe even get it wrapped. Because you're not just a good friend, you're a best friend. Then you craft a meaningful and playful message and you send off the order. You wait patiently for the shipping notice and look for the gift to arrive so you can make your best friend's day. You need to arrange for a lawn mowing service to come and take care of your lawn for the upcoming summer season. You and your partner will be gone on a three month trip with your two teenage children.
Normally your teens take care of the lawn as part of their regular chores, but since you'll all be away roaming around the country for three months, you'll need someone to come take care of the lawn while you're away. You saw an advertisement for a local landscaping service. So you go to their website and look for their lawn maintenance packages. You review their services, find that they have a weekly option and then you fill out their form asking for a quote. You send it their way and wait for an email confirmation that tells you they've received your inquiry and will get back to you as soon as they can.
You love how popular podcasting has become. Your favorite celebrities, business leaders and even radio shows are now available as a podcast. It's your main source for getting up-to-date information. To stay in sync you regularly load podcasts onto your phone. You find new ones on all your favorite topics. Science, poetry, productivity, you name it. You share episodes you love with your friends and colleagues and you're always researching new podcasts for your library. You'll take them with you on your commute to work and listen every day as you travel to and from the office, 25 minutes each way.
Now, that's a really high-level overview of those scenarios. There's a lot more to it than that. There's decisions that need to be made in each case. Put yourself in the shoes of the person that is completing each of those tasks. Better yet, put yourself inside their heads. Try to remember the last time you bought something online or inquired about arranging a service from a business, or even researched a new podcast you read about in your social media feeds. Remember that all of the things you've wanted and needed to do there in those three simple scenarios are going to be exactly the same for people with disabilities.
Thinking about people with disabilities and how they use digital things, often seems very different to us and yet it isn't. If you woke up and suddenly had no use of your hands, would your job change? Would your hobbies change if your vision started to deteriorate? No, the requirements of your job would stay the same and your interests would stay the same. People with disabilities are trying to accomplish the same goals and same tasks as your or me. They just might use specialized tools to do it.
Here's what that means for you. As a designer, you'll need to keep a few things in mind as you're designing and working with others to write content and build your sites. Okay, it's more than a few things, but if you take some very specific actions, you're going to go a long way to making things accessible for everyone.
- Using color, contrast, and animation in an accessible way
- Making experiences accessible via the keyboard
- Working with touch gestures
- Image and multimedia accessibility
- Form accessibility
- Responsive design and accessibility
- Structuring content