Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Designs on Access Online


Want to be more accessible? Use of good colour contrasts, legible font sizes and linear, logical layouts really help – but that’s not all good public sector website designers can be doing

For example, sites can be too restrictive for some users simply by assuming the primary input device will be a mouse – which immediately means users with motor disabilities will be at a disadvantage, especially if precise movements are required by your workflow, whereas keyboard use is much easier. 

Another example: well-structured content using appropriate HTML tags really helps screen readers by tabbing through content – so using tags for a header, as opposed to simply making the font bigger and the weight bold, helps screen readers structure the content more effectively, delivering much higher user understanding. 

That’s just some of the advice on a new GDS blog by accessibility consultant Karwai Pun, part of an accessibility group at Home Office Digital, whose work she is now sharing. 

Pun, whose work concentrates on helping users with autism, outlines at top level an extensive set of accessibility “dos and don’ts” – or in her terms, a set of “general guidelines and best design practices” for making digital services as accessible as possible. 

‘Better services for everyone, whatever their access need’ 

accessibility_postersPun has been working out how to help users with low vision, or who are deaf and hard of hearing, have dyslexia, motor disabilities or who might be on the autistic spectrum, as well as users of screen readers. 

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