Common Front-End Mistakes
The most common mistake for any accessibility-related development work is assuming that all users are just like us. UX designers and software developers naturally approach problems coming from the context of our own lived experience. While that’s a fine starting point, it cannot also be the ending point. Getting features to function properly when users take the happy path might already require a lot of work, but we must pause to think about how the unhappy path looks.
It’s important for mobile design and development teams to conduct usability tests and have conversations with a broad variety of actual users, who offer a different perspective. The more you get in the habit of conducting UX research, the more you can start breaking down the assumptions, habits, and biases that your team has unintentionally adopted and start thinking about what-ifs and what-abouts earlier in the design and development process.
Starting with Squeaky Clean, Semantic Markup
We do not always have the luxury of a pure design phase. Most of the time, we have a rough idea of the product requirements and the user interface (UI) shakes out during the process of creating the HTML markup.
However, employing user-interface elements appropriately for Web browsers can be the most powerful thing we can do to make apps more accessible. Keep mobile devices’ native behaviors, animations, and responses in mind when designing and building Web apps.
Although these are not strictly accessibility concerns, if an app or Web site doesn’t behave as users expects it to on their device, they’re much less likely to continue using it. At best, users might consider an app a poor, sluggish implementation.
So make sure your markup is squeaky clean and ensure that the behaviors of your app are consistent with users’ expectations for the devices on which it is deployed.