Digital products are about content. Even if you think they’re all about interactivity, controls are pointless if users don’t understand their purpose and cannot read about what they do. The most important thing you can do to make a Web site or app usable is to make sure everyone can read its text, on every device, under every condition.
Units and Conversions
First, let’s define some terminology. People often use the term font incorrectly these days. Technically, in the modern world, a font is a digital file containing a particular typeface. In this column, I’ll be using the term type when referring to the characters that make up printed or displayed text—including the content, the font or typeface, and its size and color. Read More
In the not too distant future, accessibility design will no longer be a nice-to-have in UX design job postings. It will be a standard requirement. An expectation. If you are a UX designer with only a cursory understanding of accessibility design techniques, you should improve on that as soon as possible. Soon, accessibility design principles will be as well known and commonly practiced as the famous Nielsen Norman Group heuristics. User empathy is rapidly becoming common practice within product companies and accessibility is gaining traction as a cardinal facet of empathy-driven design.
Designing for diverse users—that is, children, seniors, and people with physical, cognitive, visual, or hearing impairments—requires that we pay special attention to their unique needs.
With this in mind, I have been journaling some of the accessibility considerations that are top of mind in my own practice of UX design. While the accessibility design principles I’ll present in this column certainly do not represent an exhaustive list, they do provide a great starting point—or refresher—of accessibility considerations to keep in mind as you create your next digital experience. If you design digital experiences—or work with someone who does—think about where you could have applied these principles on past projects and, more importantly, start mapping out how you might leverage them on your current or upcoming projects. Read More
Has your boss or a client ever asked you to review a user interface for a Web or desktop application? Perhaps the request went something like this: Can you just look over these new screens for us? Oh, and can you check the error messages, too? It won’t take long! And, by the way, we ship next month. Whether you are an interaction designer, usability professional, technical communicator, quality assurance engineer, or developer, reviewing a user interface typically means identifying
usability problems related to the layout, logical flow, and structure of the interface and inconsistencies in the design
non-compliance with standards
ambiguous wording in labels, dialog boxes, error messages, and onscreen user assistance