I always loved the way that Gov.uk styled their radio buttns and checkboxes with nice big visible labels, but it turns out that users never used the label area. And because it’s still so frickin’ hard to style native form elements, custom controls with generated content is the only way to go if you want nice big hit areas.
Monday, December 5th, 2016
Monday, November 14th, 2016
The Government Digital Service have published the results of their assistive technology survey, which makes a nice companion piece to Heydon’s survey. It’s worth noting that the most common assistive technology isn’t screen readers; it’s screen magnifiers. See also this Guardian article on the prevalence of partial blindness:
Of all those registered blind or partially sighted, 93% retain some useful vision – often enough to read a book or watch a film. But this can lead to misunderstanding and confusion
Friday, October 28th, 2016
Excellent guidelines from GDS on providing services that work well on mobile. The watchwords are:
- responsive design,
- progressive enhancement,
- open data, and
- emerging technology (service workers, notifications, etc.).
Native and hybrid apps are rarely justified.
Sunday, June 12th, 2016
Some interesting outcomes from testing gov.uk with blind users of touchscreen devices:
Rather than reading out the hierarchy of the page, some of the users navigated by moving their finger around to ‘discover’ content.
This was really interesting - traditionally good structure for screen readers is about order and hierarchy. But for these users, the physical placement on the screen was also really important (just as it is for sighted users).
Saturday, June 4th, 2016
I really like this list. I might make a similar one for the Clearleft office so what’s implicit is made explicit.
It’s ok to:
- say “I don’t know”
- ask for more clarity
- stay at home when you feel ill
- say you don’t understand
- ask what acronyms stand for
- ask why, and why not
- forget things
Sunday, September 6th, 2015
Monday, November 3rd, 2014
Thursday, August 21st, 2014
Alice Bartlett shares her experience of getting aria-live regions to work in a meaningful way.
Monday, August 4th, 2014
Friday, July 18th, 2014
A look behind the scenes of gov.uk. I like their attitude to Photoshop comps:
We don’t want a culture of designs being “thrown over a wall” to a dev team. We don’t make “high fidelity mock ups” or “high fidelity wireframes”. We’re making a Thing, not pictures of a Thing.
We don’t have a UX Team. If the problem with your service is that the servers are slow and the UX Team can’t change that, then they aren’t in control of the user experience and they shouldn’t be called the user experience team.
Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
A lovely little profile of Paul and his sketches.
The Web Is Agreement! The URI Is The Thing!
Monday, October 21st, 2013
Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
Matt looks at this year’s dConstruct through the lens of GDS.
Friday, May 17th, 2013
A nice description of progressive enhancement by Norm, as applied at GDS.
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
An excellent explanation from Tom Loosemore on why the Government Digital Service is putting its energy into open standards and the web, rather than proprietary native apps.