There’s no shortage of content, manifestos, and opinions these days on how design can be evil. But if they’ve left you feeling more frustrated than empowered, wishing for practical, real-world ways to enact change in your work, we hear you. In this piece, Lennart Overkamp lays out a practice-based approach to daily ethical design. You might be surprised to find out how much you can already do.
Design decisions across our projects can mean the difference between affirmation and invalidation—and sometimes safety and danger. Erin White explores the repercussions for trans, non-binary, and gender-variant users and what we can do about it.
To rebuild a system, we must understand it. Enter the structural audit: a review of the site focused solely on its menus, links, flows, and hierarchies. Lisa Maria Martin explains in this excerpt from her new A Book Apart book, Everyday Information Architecture.
Money and tech have a complicated relationship. We trained our users to expect things for free. Quickly we realized that wasn’t a sustainable business model, so we sold their data and served ads, which invites its own problems.
Now, we’re trying to undo this tangled web. How do we get back to a democratized web? Our own Jeffrey Zeldman invites us to discuss how and to #LetsFixThis.
Developer Facundo Corradini shares how his temporary disability taught him about why accessibility testing is so important. Focused on vestibular disorders, he both shares best practices to create sites that avoid triggering symptoms and informs us of the potential impact.
Like a mine can fill up with toxic gasses, technology can become a toxic platform for hate. As the people building the web, we have an ethical responsibility for how these products are used—whether we intended it or not. ALA’s own Tatiana Mac lays this out using her own experience as a woman of color in tech.
As an extension to our From URL to Interactive series, designer and front-end developer Melanie Richards takes a deep dive into how our content is accessed by a wide array of screen readers, which are highly customizable to users. Understanding the nuances of accessibility APIs, thorough testing approaches, and the wealth of resources available, site creators can create the most widely accessible content for the most users possible.
Quantifying the success of creative work may not be easy for designers and developers, but for many clients, it’s a necessity. Through tools like A/B testing and conversion rates, formerly nebulous qualities like user satisfaction can take on clear measures of success. Developer Brandon Gregory provides an overview of these and other tools, and discusses the benefits of designing for conversions, which allows products to reach their targets and serve the right people.
Designers want to create fully branded experiences, which often results in customized highlighting colors or pixel-perfect typography. While these design touches can enhance the experience for some, they can render the experience inaccessible for others. Designer Eric Bailey makes a case for leaving key accessibility features to the browser to ensure the most accessible experience possible.