Saturday, March 03, 2007

Adding accessibility to an application or web site shouldn't be like putting toothpaste back in the tube.

Good experiences don't just happen; they are planned for and executed on. Why is the accessible experience any different? An afterthought? An additional margin/metric/number that pads project time and cost?

When deciding on a target audience for any web site or application, there's always that under lap and over lap of users. "We want to target Intermediate-Advanced users, but there will be some Intermediate users and some Expert users and we want everybody to get exactly what they want…" Those fringe use cases can drastically change the experience for that those target users and everybody's OK with it. I'm OK with it. Yet, when accessibility comes up, it’s somehow more than fringe. It' like long-tail or outer limits.

The exercise of creating an accessible experience forces us to break down the message into very simple terms and figure out how to deliver those terms in a new way. If we take this into consideration early in the design process does it not enhance the visual design?

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