Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a content-only build for accessibility, part of Mapping the Modern Web Design Process.
- To ensure the content hierarchy is adhered to and that accessibility is considered from step one, the first step in the development process should be to create a content-only build, a website that displays the content in a logical structure and order but without any style. In technical terms, this means building a website to display all the content in raw HTML first. There are two key reasons for starting with a content-only build. The first and most obvious one is that you start off with a solid and properly built foundation.
Web accessibility can be thought of as the art and science of making web content accessible to users regardless of how they choose or need to access that content. To meet accessibility standards, a website must among other things be accessible using keyboard only, voice control, and text-to-speech browsers. For various reasons, web accessibility is often treated as an unwanted stepchild of web design and it is largely ignored. In the real world, accessibility is quickly becoming a primary consideration and priority simply because everyone should be able to access the web.
Many countries are now legislating accessibility standards for websites, and new technologies like wearables and automobile integration are coming online making accessibility a priority for everyone not just those with visual, hearing, mobility, or cognitive disabilities. We are quickly converging on a time when people will start asking why they can't browse the web and have it read back to them while they're out jogging or driving their car. Accessibility can solve that.
If you want to learn more about accessibility, you should check out Foundations of UX: Accessibility with Derek Featherstone right here in the Lynda.com library. But I digress. The content-only build enables you to wire the foundation of the site for accessibility. By making it part of the core of the site, accessibility becomes part of the process rather than an additional feature to be slapped on at the last minute. Build an accessible core, and a large part of your work is done.
- Understanding what your users care about
- Creating user personas
- Creating content priority hierarchies
- Testing wireframes and interaction patterns
- Establishing a three-track build process
- Incorporating accessibility principles
- Using content blocks
- Testing and revising your web design
- Optimizing for social media and SEO
- Launching your web design
- Getting feedback from users