Web Design/Accessibility

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Web Design Accessibility
This page is part of the Web Design project.

What Accessibility Is and Isn't[edit | edit source]

Accessibility focuses not only on people with disabilities, but on ANYONE who may experience difficulty in reading or navigating a website. For example, users with a very old computer system, a visually impaired user, or even down to someone with a broken arm who can't use a mouse! See wikipedia's definition for one of the best explanations. w:Web_accessibility

Accessibility on the web is governed by the W3C and currently based on WCAG 1.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) with WCAG 2.0 Working Draft closing on 22nd June 2006.

Usability is often confused with Accessibility. Although hard to define, it comes at a more general approach- ensuring everyone (disability, disadvantages, or totally able) is able to use the site in the most straightforward manner. This could include, having things that are easy to find in prominent spots, ensuring common or repeated tasks on a website can be shortcutted etc. You'll often hear about GUI (graphical user interface) and whenever I think of usability I think about improvements I would make to the GUI.

Methods of maximizing accessibility include progressive enhancement, where optional and more sophosticated site features are built on top of a widely compatible HTML-based site, and adaptive web design, where different web front ends are served based on devices' web browsing capability.

As a summary-

Accessibility- ensuring information is physically retrievable to maximize outreach
Usability- ensuring the information is retrieved in an easy and simplified manner

Resources on Accessibility[edit | edit source]

- Great collection of articles on accessibility on the web
- A website that showcases 'accessible, usable web sites built with universality and standards in mind'. It also has a very detailed list of criteria which these sites have met and/or surpassed to received this recognition.
- A huge mega-reference (nearly 6,000 links) of information and articles about web design and development. It is dedicated to disseminating news and information about web design and development with sections on accessibility, books, tools, CSS, web standards, user experience, and much more.

Resources to help make your site Accessible[edit | edit source]

Tools[edit | edit source]