Eric’s response to Chris’s question—“What is one thing people can do to make their website better?”—dovetails nicely with my own answer:
The two real problems here are:
- Third-party assets, such as the very analytics and CRM packages you use to determine who is using your product and how they go about it. There’s no real control over the quality or amount of code they add to your site, and setting up the logic to block them loading their own third-party resources is difficult to do.
- The people who tell you to add these third-party assets. These people typically aren’t aware of the performance issues caused by the ask, or don’t care because it’s not part of the results they’re judged by.
All of Amy’s writing recently has been absolutely wonderful, some of the best I’ve read in a long while, but I particularly needed this one.
I don’t know where we go from here, with this latest pandemic setback, but I do know that things will keep moving.
And if you feel bad today, feel bad. Feel sad or angry or scared or whatever it is you need to feel. Give yourself to yourself as you are.
Things will keep changing. Life will keep unfolding. We will keep going.
This looks like an excellent (and very reasonably-priced) online event happening on November 12th with three panels:
- beyond accessibility,
- failure of diversity, and
- design as resistance!
Do you need a button for your next project but you’re not sure about the right markup? Don’t worry, The Button Cheat Sheet™️ has got you covered.
Spoiler alert: it’s the
This is a terrific and nuanced talk that packs a lot into less than twenty minutes.
(The secret sauce in transitional web apps is progressive enhancement.)
This speculative version of the internet archive invites you to see how websites will look in 2046.
On the surface this is about the pros and cons of minting a new HTML
search element to replace
div role="search" but there’s a deeper point which is that, while ARIA exists to the plug the gaps in HTML, the long-term goal is to have no gaps.
ARIA is not meant to replace HTML. If anything, the need to use ARIA as ‘polyfill’ for HTML semantics could be considered as a sign and a constant reminder of the fact that HTML falls short on some semantics that benefit users of assistive technologies.
This is a fascinating deep dive by Léonie on the inner workings of speech synthesis. She has quite a conundrum: she wants fast playback, but she also wants a voice that doesn’t sound robotic. Unfortunately it’s the robotic-sounding voices that work best at speed.
If you’re interested in this topic, I highly recommend listening to (or reading) the accessibility episode of the Clearleft podcast which featured Léonie as a guest giving demos and explanations.
The annual day-long online accessibility event is back on September 23rd.
No sign-up. No registration. All sessions are streamed live and publicly on the Inclusive Design 24 YouTube channel.
Businesses focus on efficiencies—doing the things that net them the most money for the least effort. By contrast, taxpayer-funded public programs are designed and expected to cover everyone—including, and especially, the most marginalized. That’s why they’re taxpayer-funded; so they don’t face existential risk be eschewing profit-driven decision-making. Does this work perfectly? No. But I think about it a lot when people shit on the bigness and slowness of government. That bigness & slowness is supposed to create space and resources to account for the communities, that a “lean,” fast approach deliberately ignores.
A great introduction to structuring your content well:
Google Workspace Updates: Google Docs will now use canvas based rendering: this may impact some Chrome extensions
We’re updating the way Google Docs renders documents. Over the course of the next several months, we’ll be migrating the underlying technical implementation of Docs from the current HTML-based rendering approach to a canvas-based approach to improve performance and improve consistency in how content appears across different platforms.
I’ll be very interested to see how they handle the accessibility of this move.
This is a great deep dive into a single component, a password toggle in this case. It shows how assumptions are challenged and different circumstances are considered in order to make it truly resilient.
A very comprehensive directory of accessibility resources.
Given the widespread browser support for
prefers-reduced-motion now, this approach makes a lot of sense.
A good tutorial on making password fields accessible when you’ve got the option to show and hide the input.