Topic: Accessibility

Ensure High Contrast for Text Over Images

October 18, 2015

If you place text over a background image, make sure it’s readable by providing adequate contrast. Subtle tweaks can increase the contrast without affecting the overall aesthetic of the site.

Screen Readers on Touchscreen Devices

August 30, 2015

People who are blind or have low vision must rely on their memory and on a rich vocabulary of gestures to interact with touchscreen phones and tablets. Designers should strive to minimize the cognitive load for users of screen readers.

Low-Contrast Text Is Not the Answer

June 7, 2015

Low-contrast text may be trendy, but it is also illegible, undiscoverable, and inaccessible. Instead, consider more usable alternatives.

Video Usability

November 16, 2014

Video content is helpful only if users have control over it, understand what’s contained within it, and have an alternate way to access it.

Placeholders in Form Fields Are Harmful

May 11, 2014

Labels or sample text inside a form field makes it difficult for people to remember what information belongs in that field once they start data entry.

Seniors as Web Users

May 28, 2013

Users aged 65 and older are 43% slower at using websites than users aged 21–55. This is an improvement over previous studies, but designs must change to better accommodate aging users.

Inclusive Design: Part 2 (at

September 10, 2010

In Part One, I argued that accessibility should not focus just on the needs of the profoundly disabled, that well-crafted solutions can be of service to all. This new approach is called, “inclusive design” and it starts with organization.

Accessibility Is Not Enough

November 21, 2005

A strict focus on accessibility as a scorecard item doesn't help users with disabilities. To help these users accomplish critical tasks, you must adopt a usability perspective.

Alternative Interfaces for Accessibility

April 7, 2003

The key difference between user interfaces for sighted users and blind users is not that between graphics and text; it's the difference between 2-D and 1-D. Optimal usability for users with disabilities requires new approaches and new user interfaces.

Making Flash Usable for Users With Disabilities

October 14, 2002

Flash designs are easier for users with disabilities to use when designers combine visual and textual presentations, minimize incessant movement, decrease spacing between related objects, and simplify features.

Beyond Accessibility: Treating Users with Disabilities as People

November 11, 2001

With current Web design practices, users without disabilities experience three times higher usability than users who are blind or have low vision. Usability guidelines can substantially improve the matter by making websites and intranets support task performance for users with disabilities.

Disabled Accessibility: The Pragmatic Approach

June 13, 1999

New official standards make it easy to get the top priorities right and make websites accessible for users with disabilities (e.g., blind users who can't see images). But the single-design approach may be nearing the end of its life.

Accessible Design for Users With Disabilities

October 1, 1996

How to design Web sites that are accessible for users with various disabilities. Includes advice for designing for users with visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive disabilities. Using good ALT-tests is only one of the rules.