Exciting news for inclusivity as there will now be accessible images on Twitter.
The social media giant has implemented the ability to insert alt text into images. Long a tool for silly internet jokes, alt text is actually an excellent way to provide a more engaging internet experience to the visually impaired. Alt text allows users to insert descriptions of the image which can be scanned by accessibility software to read the descriptions to visually impaired users. Descriptions can be up to 420 characters, and the feature is available on iOS and Android smartphones.
Announcing the feature, Twitter posted in its blog: “We’re excited to empower our customers and publishers to make images on Twitter accessible to the widest possible audience, so everyone can be included in the conversation and experience the biggest moments together.”
As we covered in our Blind Online:Considering Visually Impaired Users article, alt text is an excellent way of giving visually impaired users an extra level of online experience that others may take for granted. This update from a company as big and influential as Twitter shows that accessibility is a big topic. Accessible web design will only expand and become easier to implement as more companies adopt similar features.
We have some web design psychology tips to help enhance your design knowledge. You may produce beautiful and brilliant websites, but sometimes even the best design can simply not appeal to users due to overlooking subconscious factors. For example, having a good grasp of layout and colour means users will have an easier time navigating your site. Knowing some of these visible and invisible elements can really enhance your design and help to make it all the more engaging.
Although not technically web design, this recent news of development of a videogame for people with learning disabilities bears mention as part of our continuing exploration of inclusive design.
Working in conjunction with people who have learning disabilities in Edinburgh and Midlothian, the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and the UWS’ Scottish Centre for Enabling Technologies (SCET) have produced a prototype of #keepmesafe, a videogame which aims to live up to its title.
After our Blind Online: Considering Visually Impaired Internet Users, we thought we’d look at the experience of hearing impaired internet users. Whilst visual accessibility is not a problem for the hearing impaired, there are some interesting insights into their experience which make for better, inclusive design.
The debate about online advertising and user experience continues with news of more sites blocking Ad-block users.
As we covered in our Web Design Trends 2016 – Part Three: The Experience, advertising in the age of Ad-block is a fast-changing field. Some sites have gone in the direction of blocking users who have Ad-block installed. In December 2015, American business magazine Forbes started greeting Ad-block users with a screen urging them to turn off their software in order to continue to a 30-day “ad-light” experience.
Analytic site Kissmetrics have compiled an impressive timeline of web design evolution. From the early 1990’s to the present day, this is a fascinating look at just how far web design has come in a relatively short time.
The United Stated Federal Government has recently compiled and released its US Web Design Standards. Designed “to create consistency and beautiful user experiences across U.S. federal government websites”, this site is a wealth of developer information.
The Pantone colour of the year 2016 has been announced, and for the first time ever it’s actually two colours.
We’re all familiar with the concept of Clients from Hell, but how do you avoid being a web designer from hell? We’ve compiled some advice to bear in mind to avoid client relations going sour.
Really know what the client wants
Obviously, your client will want a website, and may have a picture in their mind of how they want their site to look. Unless you’re very lucky, chances are that your client won’t speak web developer, so it’s your job to use initial meetings to translate their ideas into practical results. These meetings also provide a good chance to sound out your client and see how your personalities and work styles fit together (more on that later). Good ways to solidify your client’s vision and your role are to consider the following:
- What does the client want the site to achieve?
- What content does the client want the site to host?
- What are the functionality requirements of the site?
- Does the client have any examples of other sites in terms of what they would like to emulate or avoid?
- What is the budget and the deadline?
Remember, there can be no mutual mind reading, so use the planning stage to foster a good working relationship and make a realistic plan. Never be afraid to ask a question or ask it again if it will make your life – and therefore the client’s experience – easier.
A major debate in web development is whether to concentrate on designing a mobile app or mobile website. With more users accessing the internet through their smartphones, this question is more pertinent than ever.