10 votes

Fighting uphill - the demoralizing state of accessibility on the web

4 comments

  1. [3]
    ThatFanficGuy Link
    This is the kind of a thing that designers shouldn't have to worry about because it'd be baked into the system by default. For now, I'm reduced to dancing around in a shaman's attire, trying real...

    This is the kind of a thing that designers shouldn't have to worry about because it'd be baked into the system by default. For now, I'm reduced to dancing around in a shaman's attire, trying real hard not to screw up implementing what is, to many people, the only natural, reasonable way of using the Web.

    That would be alright for simpler interfaces: Tildes, Reddit, many of the personal websites. It gets way crazier – and trickier – when you get around the more-complex things, like this terrible introduction to a decent font by a billion-dollar company. One could probably navigate it well if they have a color-blindness of any sort. How on Earth could you vocalize that for people who can't see? (Not this particular case, necessarily, but – things with similar ideas about presentation.) Keyboard navigation, too... It already works for most HTML by default – but try going about the Plex page with keyboard only.

    1. [2]
      Deimos Link Parent
      A lot of what the article and the accessibility analysis are about is the fact that it is baked into the system, as long as people use the system properly, but they don't. As just one example out...

      A lot of what the article and the accessibility analysis are about is the fact that it is baked into the system, as long as people use the system properly, but they don't. As just one example out of the many in there, all people have to do is use <label> elements or similar attributes correctly to have accessibility baked in on their form fields, but the majority of them didn't do that. And (I think) that's just for actual form elements, and wouldn't even pick up on the all-too-common unholy monstrosities built out of javascript and <div>s that behave almost, but not quite, entirely unlike standard form elements.

      I honestly don't understand what you're talking about with the Plex page or how that's relevant here. That's a completely visual presentation that has no need to be made accessible, and isn't related to basic web accessibility at all.

      1 vote
      1. ThatFanficGuy Link Parent
        I disagree, on both accounts. If someone as competent as IBM can't make their font presentation keyboard-accessible (which is, like, the basics), that's a big honkin' red flag to anyone...
        • Exemplary

        That's a completely visual presentation that has no need to be made accessible, and isn't related to basic web accessibility at all.

        I disagree, on both accounts. If someone as competent as IBM can't make their font presentation keyboard-accessible (which is, like, the basics), that's a big honkin' red flag to anyone lower-level. How can you expect people to follow accessibility guidelines and make use of the native HTML functionality when one of the higher-level players doesn't?

        Now, granted: IBM is not a web tech company. They build hardware, and they do so well. Maybe they don't quite have the resources to handle all cases with precision, the way Mozilla or Google do.

        But.

        Would you feel the same about the lacking accessibility for the font presentation if it looked simpler – without the fancy animations, and the scroll hijacking?

        All the "complex" accessibility concerns are all the basic accessibility concerns combined. You could have a tree of <div>s you could traverse via keyboard if that's an expected functionality (CSS Grid tables, anyone?). You could have accessible non-text <input>s without their associated <label>s. It would be a longer, more tiresome route with a lot of JS, but you could. You don't – and the way I see it, it's not just because many devs don't know about this intrinstic accessibility: it's also because they don't care that much about anyone differently-abled from them. The issue is lacking empathy in a profession that's supposedly built upon it. It's sure being tooted about a lot. (Google → designer empathy)

        1 vote