Wednesday, January 19th, 2022
Saturday, December 25th, 2021
I don’t know who’s more excited: my four year old niece waiting for Santa to visit or me waiting for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope.
🎅 🚀 🔭
Friday, December 24th, 2021
Friday, December 17th, 2021
Wednesday, December 15th, 2021
All I want for Christmas is for the James Webb Space Telescope to make it to L2 okay.
Sunday, November 28th, 2021
I don’t have an answer, but I have a hunch that the appeal of The Beatles is less like other musical artists, and more like the appeal of books like The Great Gatsby or Sherlock Holmes—something evocative of its time and yet timeless.
Thursday, November 4th, 2021
Thank you so much!
Thursday, October 28th, 2021
Ah, Galway! That was the last place I went before Covid shut everything down:
Friday, October 22nd, 2021
Wednesday, October 20th, 2021
Tuesday, October 19th, 2021
I’m writing a whole bunch about responsive design at the moment so that’s where my head is at right now. Happy to chat over video anytime.
(if you’d like to chat, my email is jeremy at clearleft dot com)
Friday, October 15th, 2021
Thursday, October 14th, 2021
Going to Lisbon. brb
Monday, October 11th, 2021
Tuesday, October 5th, 2021
The Russian actor is on her way to the space station.
I feel like this should’ve been a David Bowie song.
Thursday, September 30th, 2021
Going to London. brb
Friday, September 24th, 2021
Tuesday, September 14th, 2021
I was doing some accessibility work with a client a little while back. It was mostly giving their site the once-over, highlighting any issues that we could then discuss. It was an audit of sorts.
While I was doing this I started to realise that not all accessibility issues are created equal. I don’t just mean in their severity. I mean that some issues can—and should—be caught early on, while other issues can only be found later.
Take colour contrast. This is something that should be checked before a line of code is written. When designs are being sketched out and then refined in a graphical editor like Figma, that’s the time to check the ratio between background and foreground colours to make sure there’s enough contrast between them. You can catch this kind of thing later on, but by then it’s likely to come with a higher cost—you might have to literally go back to the drawing board. It’s better to find the issue when you’re at the drawing board the first time.
Then there’s the HTML. Most accessibility issues here can be caught before the site goes live. Usually they’re issues of ommission: form fields that don’t have an explicitly associated
label element (using the
id attributes); images that don’t have
alt text; pages that don’t have sensible heading levels or landmark regions like
nav. None of these are particularly onerous to fix and they come with the biggest bang for your buck. If you’ve got sensible forms, sensible headings,
alt text on images, and a solid document structure, you’ve already covered the vast majority of accessibility issues with very little overhead. Some of these checks can also be automated:
alt text for images;
labels for inputs.
So if you commission an accessibility audit, you should hope to get feedback that’s mostly in that third category—interactive widgets.
If you get feedback on document structure and other semantic issues with the HTML, you should fix those issues, sure, but you should also see what you can do to stop those issues going live again in the future. Perhaps you can add some steps in the build process. Or maybe it’s more about making sure the devs are aware of these low-hanging fruit. Or perhaps there’s a framework or content management system that’s stopping you from improving your HTML. Then you need to execute a plan for ditching that software.
If you get feedback about colour contrast issues, just fixing the immediate problem isn’t going to address the underlying issue. There’s a process problem, or perhaps a communication issue. In that case, don’t look for a technical solution. A design system, for example, will not magically fix a workflow issue or route around the problem of designers and developers not talking to each other.
When you commission an accessibility audit, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. Don’t squander it on issues that you can catch and fix yourself. Make sure that the bulk of the audit is being spent on the specific issues that are unique to your site.
Saturday, September 11th, 2021
Yes, but the selection is very limited:
Friday, September 10th, 2021