Back to School – Universal Access

What is World Wide Access or Accessible Web Design?

The World Wide Web has rapidly become the dominant Internet tool, combining hypertext and multimedia to provide a network of educational, governmental, and commercial resources. Because of the multimedia nature of the web and the poor design of some websites, many Internet users cannot access the full range of resources. Some visitors cannot see graphics, cannot hear audio, cannot operate a mouse, uses slow Internet connections and modems or equipment that cannot easily download large files, or have difficulty navigating sites that are poorly organized with unclear directions because they have learning disabilities, speak English as a second language, or are younger than the average user.

What is Accessible Design?

Accessible design is a design process in which the needs of people with disabilities are specifically considered. Accessibility sometimes refers to the characteristic that products, services, and facilities can be independently used by people with a variety of disabilities.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops and maintains the protocols used on the web to insure interoperability to promote universal access. The W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has proposed guidelines for all web authors.

Vision is just one area we should consider when making our sites accessible to all.

Accessibility Guidelines

  • Maintain a simple, consistent page layout throughout your site.
  • Keep backgrounds simple.
  • Use standard HTML
  • Caption video and transcribe other audio.
  • Make link text descriptive so that it can be understood out of context.
  • Include a note about accessibility

Here is the link when we can read all about the Accessible Web Design.

What is Universal Design?

Universal design is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

7 principles of Universal Design

The article Principles of Universal Design explains the main principles of Universal Design and also the universal design consultation process.

These are the basic principles of the universal design –

  1. Equal Access
  2. Flexibility
  3. Simplicity
  4. Effective communication
  5. High tolerance for error
  6. Minimal effort required
  7. Suitable space and size for use

By considering each of these seven principles that we help our clients ensure that they attain universal design on all types of projects.

Universal Design Consultation Process remains consistent no matter who we were working with or what project we are working on.

Usable Design

Like accessible and universal design, usable design serves to create products that are easy and efficient to use. Usability has been defined as the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with which a specified set of users can achieve a specified set of tasks in a particular environment.

If product designers apply universal design principles, with a special focus on accessibility for people with disabilities, and if usability experts routinely include people with a variety of disabilities in usability tests, more products will be accessible to and usable by everyone.

We can read all information about the Accessibility Design, Universal Design and Usable design in following article – What is the difference between accessible, usable, and universal design?

More Informative Links

What is Universal Design

The 7 Principles

Universal Design

Usability.gov

Usability First

In this Back to school Basics we focused on Accessibility Design, Universal Design and Usable Design. We also covered Accessibility guidelines and design principles.

We hope you find these resources and overviews useful. We always look forward to your comments and feedback (whether you are a member or not).

We encourage members (and non-members) check out our social media channels. If you aspire to be a web professional and don’t know where to start, we offer a number of beginning classes to our members via our School Of Web learning management system. We even have an introduction to accessibility class. As a member, your first class is free.

 

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