On May 20th, we are hosting a free webinar on Web Accessibility Guidelines for UX/UI designers with Patricija Perše – Digital Art Director at Futura DDB Agency, Slovenia.
The fact that designing within web accessibility standards has become mandatory in most western countries is only secondary to its importance to individuals, businesses and society in general. Patricija believes that web accessibility makes for a better digital world, a more valuable and inclusive place for everyone.
Here are her thoughts on the subject and what to expect in the webinar Designing for People: What do UX designers need to know about web accessibility?:
Brainster: Hi Patricija, welcome to the Brainster Blog. On May 20th, 2021 we are hosting a webinar with you as a guest lecturer! What would web designers benefit from attending this webinar?
Patricija: Hi! Thank you for having me 🙂 I have some stories to share and real web design cases to show. Web designers will learn about different web accessibility levels, which one to follow, how and when.
Brainster: Will this webinar be useful only for professional web designers or there’s content in it for beginners as well?
Patricija: The webinar will be useful for beginners as well. Following web accessibility standards is the basis for creating accessible and inclusive web designs followed by a great digital experience. Improving access benefits all of us from a UX point of view as well as a visual point of view for creating a clear, seamless, and beautiful visual experience.
Brainster: How much do companies focus on incorporating web accessibility into their web designs and what can designers do to raise the level of its implementation?
Patricija: The big corporations and public services are pretty much aware of it, mainly because of EU regulations. Unfortunately, I can not say that for smaller businesses as well. As designers, we have the responsibility not only to raise awareness about web accessibility but also to implement it in the very early stages of the design process. Creating a monochromatic colour palette may look amazing but it’s not accessible. So try to add some contrast to your colours. This goes for graphic designers as well. We are the creators of visual experience and it is our job to make the digital experience pleasant and usable for a variety of people. After all, designing for accessibility benefits all of us and not just people with disabilities.
Brainster: Have you come across a real-life experience where you’ve seen web accessibility help web users and how?
Patricija: Three years ago I had eye surgery for removing dioptre and saying goodbye to the contact lenses. For a couple of days after the surgery, I couldn’t open my eyes and didn’t see anything. I tried to rely on my other senses, but honestly, I would be completely lost without my partner 🙂 I was using my phone and TV through voice commands and Siri became my good friend.
As well, using your mobile phone in bright sunlight and someone with colour vision deficiency or colour blindness may both have difficulty perceiving colours. Increasing contrast and having sufficient font size will benefit both. The user trying to watch a video in a noisy environment, and a hard-of-hearing or deaf user may be unable to hear the audio. So, having captions or video transcripts benefits both.
Searching online while multitasking, perhaps being distracted by talking to someone you also need more time to perceive and interact with the web content. Just like someone with motor or cognitive impairment. Providing enough time and clear communication again benefits both users.
Another example is having alternative text to describe imagery and visual icons on the website. Screen reading technology used by blind people will read the description of an image. But the alternative text will also come in handy when you are having a poor internet connection or if you’re using some old technology.
Brainster: What are the biggest challenges UX/UI Designers face when implementing web accessibility standards into their designs?
Patricija: The biggest challenge is trying to imagine how your designs will be interpreted by different kinds of users. We often got caught in how the final design will visually look and feel or how to create fancy buttons and other interactive elements. But we should also view designs from a different point of view. Is it clear, robust, specific? How will the user navigate through content with the keyboard? UX and UI significantly overlap and if you ever have the opportunity to test your designs by users with disabilities don’t miss out.
Brainster: How important is teamwork with copywriters, developers, and content creators when developing an accessible web design?
Patricija: It takes an extra mile to make the design fully accessible, so teamwork between all the participants is very important. Developing an accessible website is not a linear process, especially before launching. Providing alternative text, ARIA labels, establishing clear communication and structure through all web content is significant.
The hidden heroes behind web accessibility are web developers making digital products accessible with scalable text, keyboards, and screen reading technology.
Brainster: What do you hope attendants will get out of this webinar?
Patricija: Designing within accessible standards is not only mandatory by law but is an excellent challenge and opportunity to make the digital world a better, more valuable, and inclusive place for everyone 🙂
The enrolment of the next UX/UI Design Bootcamp is already open. Secure your spot on time and hit it off with a prep programme until the start of the Bootcamp.