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UX Mastery Q & A

 Kelly, Amir and Gallia just before the Q & A session

Kelly, Amir and Gallia just before the Q & A session

On 3 May 2018, appsforall.com.au’s very own @Kelly Schulz and @Amir Ansari had the pleasure of participating in a virtual panel discussion (online, via Slack) on app and digital accessibility, and the story behind Appsforall.

If you don’t know UX Mastery, then it’s definitely worth visiting uxmastery.com.au. It’s an amazing online community full of resources for user experience professionals at all stages of their career. Their 'Ask the UXperts' sessions are regular Slack chats where people from around the world can follow and join a Q & A session with visiting UX exPERTS! 

In this blog, we wanted to provide a summary (call it an executive summary if you will) of the themes and some key messages from the session. You can enjoy the full transcript (creative spelling and all) at: https://uxmastery.com/transcript-build-accessible-apps/

To summarise, the questions across the audience fell into the following themes:

  • WCAG, it’s function and relevance for native apps
  • Tools and processes to help aid designing for and checking the accessibility of apps
  • Gold standards or best examples of apps doing it well
  • Managing expectations for building accessibility into projects from the beginning; both the cost, and getting buy-in 

Our audience seemed to confirm some of our learning and hypotheses to date - that the industry needs better and more easily-understood resources with best practice examples to help them design and build accessible apps. Which was one of the main drivers for us starting appsforall.com.au.

Although WCAG was created with web in mind, it does provide some guidelines that can be used when developing native applications (e.g. colour contrast, video controls, and touch device guidelines). What they don’t focus on is features, functionality and code that are explicitly to do with native operating systems and apps (i.e. nothing to do with a browser). Having said that, the various operating systems have great resources - they just need to be brought together and made easier and faster to understand. 

The cost of making accessible apps was mentioned a number of times, with user experience (UX) designers and other creatives passionate about inclusion, but not getting buy-in. We believe the end-state conversation should be such that accessibility and its costs are not even something that’s talked about, inherent as security or QA testing. Accessibility is probably where UX and Design Thinking was 10 years ago when designers and practitioners had to fight to have Human Centred Design methodologies included in the technology delivery process. Now, most organisations and senior management have drunk the Design Thinking Kool-Aid, making it easier for UXers to get the job done without too much resistance. The question is: how do we help accessible and inclusive design get to the same state?

We’d love to know what you think so please share your thoughts and knowledge by commenting.

Again, you can enjoy the full transcript at: https://uxmastery.com/transcript-build-accessible-apps/
 

Amir AnsariComment