Find out how accessible your website is.
In news sure to be of interest to councils in Australia, an annual UK-wide survey of every local council website in Britain revealed that one third of local government sites failed first-stage testing to find out how accessible their websites are for users with disabilities.
Overseen by the Society of IT Management, the Better Connected usability test examines and evaluates local authority websites on a range of factors, with site accessibility for users with impairments, a high priority. This includes assessing how users with low vision, sight loss, mobility impairments, colour blindness, or dyslexia, along with others using assistive technology or keyboard navigation, can access council websites.
By designing products, interactions and websites for people with a disability, we’re not just designing for a minority – we’re actually designing for everyone. Before I try to convince you that accessible design is better design, let me begin by correcting some myths about accessibility.
There are two myths that I want to bust; the first one is that being accessible means that a design must be boring, daggy, clunky or boxy. And the second myth I want to debunk is that you need to shelve your big ideas when ensuring that what you are doing is accessible to as many people as possible.
Accessible design isn’t just designing for a minority group who identify as having a permanent ongoing impairment. At its core, accessibility is about designing for diverse user needs and it benefits everyone, because everyone has disability.
With the increased awareness around user experience, most newly-developed products, applications and websites undergo usability testing throughout the design process. Yet, there is a significant limitation to this testing, if it’s not done across a diverse range of people.