Categories
a11y evening ramblings

Responsive Websites and Accessibility Go Hand-in-hand

I have a hard time understanding why sites that promote accessibility do not have responsive websites. It is so hard reading articles when I am getting the desktop version of the site (1200px wide) on 320px wide device.

Focus on the good.

One of my favorite sites to visit is SimplyAccessible.com. The font size, color contrast for text and responsive nature of the site make it very easy to use on mobile. See. It looks great! But, what is even better, if your on a desktop and you zoom in 250% the site transforms into the mobile version. It’s 100% operable, but it also has the added benefit that it can work for someone that has low-vision. Video demo.

So, if you site is not responsive, you’re missing out on an opportunity to offer low-vision users a better desktop experience AND you missing the boat on mobile traffic. Mobile users have high expectations, if they see the desktop version on their mobile device they don’t even try to deal with it. They just abandon the site. See how going responsive changes that.

Mobile screenshot of SimplyAccessible.com's site

 

Categories
evening ramblings

Change-Haters

That moment when the project you have been lovingly/painstakingly working on for several weeks is finally getting it’s time to go live into production. You are both excited and nervous because you’re really happy with the challenges you’ve had to overcome to develop the project and hoping nothing goes wrong with the release.

Lego Movie Meme: Everything Is Awesome!

The code goes live and, for the most part, everything seems fine. A few tweaks here and there will be needed, but overall, the release was a success. Time to pop open the bubbly, right?

Or, so you thought.

Less than 24 hours later, you start getting emails that client has TONS of changes.

What happened? The site looks just like the approved mockups and most of the changes were design related. Make text bigger, bolder, move this, change that. Fine. Ok. Whatever.

Wile E. Coyote's Gravity Lessons
From: http://looneytunes.wikia.com

Then, there are changes to elements that took a long time to implement well. Those change requests can take a toll on you. The challenges we have to overcome as designers/developers are what make the job fun and interesting, but it can be a little demoralizing when those solutions will only see the light of day for a week before they ripped out because the featured changed so much. Deep breaths.

Don’t get mad, get some perspective.

Why are these changes being requested now?

Put yourself in their shoes for minute. It might be, that the mockups were last seen and approved 6 months ago OR maybe seeing it live made certain flaws stand out like glaring little sore thumbs. Whatever the reason, maybe a little more communication in the future will help.

Why were features left out of original scope or being removed now?

Stuff happens, no one is perfect. Sometimes the revisions are not as hard/bad as you think they will be. Even if they are worse, does it really matter? Unless you are being overworked, underpaid, treated badly or something along those lines: if someone is paying you to do the work, should you really complain?

Might as well embrace the situation and see it for what it is: an opportunity to overcome challenges that go beyond the code/design. Cheers.

Maybe even grow a little as a person. 🙂

Betty White and Someone else clinking Giant Wine Glasses

Categories
evening ramblings

#HonoringWebFolk

One of the hardest, yet most important, things I’ve learned over the years is knowing where to get reliable information from.

I remember in college when we used dogpile and askjeeves to try to find the information we needed to design and build webpages. It was so hard to get people to knowledge share in the web community and when they did, it was hard to filter reliable information from the trash. I’ll admit it, at one time in my younger years, I thought the w3cschools was a reliable resource.

Thankfully, Adobe helped facilitate an open and connected community where product users shared knowledge, encouraged and celebrated each other’s accomplishments (and it still does). Flash developers were solid group of people that loved making tutorials and sharing knowledge. But, as we all know too well, Apple killed Flash.

During my Flash dev years, I was fortunate to start learning names of web dev people like Jeffery Zeldman and Eric Meyer. I stumbled upon A List Apart (yep, I still remember the article) and eventually learned of An Event Apart. I attended a conference or two before AEA, but they were nothing compared to that one.

When I attended my first An Event Apart (look at that line up!!!), it completely opened my eyes to what I was missing.

  1. I had finally found my people. Everyone that I met there, whether speaker or attendee, was awesome, humble and nice.
  2. The information presented at it was AMAZING. I immediately joined twitter and started following the speakers and people I met. I was hooked and I still am. I have attended 3 AEAs and counting.

Now, I’m starting to venture out to other conferences such as JS/CSS conf, BD conf, Sass Camp and many other types of conferences. At each of these events, I have met amazing people that open my eyes new and great things.

So, that being said, my #HonoringWebFolk list is the web community. Over the years, I watched it grow and change into something that I am honored to be a part of.