Contrast is King

Being colorblind doesn’t mean not seeing color. It means seeing it differently. If colorblindness challenges the colorblind, it also challenges designers. Some of us think designing sites that are colorblind-friendly means sticking with black and white, or close to it. But the opposite is true. Using contrast effectively not only differentiates our site’s design from others, it’s the essential ingredient that can make our content accessible to every viewer, including the colorblind. By understanding contrast, we can create websites that unabashedly revel in color.

Accent Folding for Auto-Complete

Another generation of technology has passed and Unicode support is almost everywhere. The next step is to write software that is not just “internationalized” but truly multilingual. In this article we will skip through a bit of history and theory, then illustrate a neat hack called accent-folding. Accent-folding has its limitations but it can help make some important yet overlooked user interactions work better.

The Inclusion Principle

To make accessible design an organic element of front-end development, we must free our thinking from the constraints we associate with accessible design and embrace the inclusion principle. Margit Link-Rodrigue tells us how.

This is How the Web Gets Regulated

As in finance, so on the web: self-regulation has failed. Nearly ten years after specifications first required it, video captioning can barely be said to exist on the web. The big players, while swollen with self-congratulation, are technically incompetent, and nobody else is even trying. So what will it take to support the human and legal rights of hearing impaired web users? It just might take the law, says Joe Clark.

Deafness and the User Experience

Because of limited awareness around Deafness and accessibility in the web community, it seems plausible to many of us that good captioning will fix it all. It won’t. Before we can enhance the user experience for all deaf people, we must understand that the needs of deaf, hard of hearing, and big-D Deaf users are often very different.

Accessible Data Visualization with Web Standards

When designing interfaces for browsing data-driven sites, creating navigation elements that are also visualization tools helps the user make better decisions. Wilson Miner demonstrates three techniques for incorporating data visualization into standards-based navigation patterns.

Findability, Orphan of the Web Design Industry

Findability is to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as “web standards” is to “table layouts.” In a web whose vastness exceeds comprehension, sites with findable content win. The good news is that everyone on your team can help make your site findable. Get a taste for this essential discipline from Aarron Walter, author of Building Findable Websites: Web Standards, SEO, and Beyond.

Graceful E-Mail Obfuscation

Hide e-mail addresses from spam bots while revealing them to readers as real, clickable links. This transparent and fully automated solution guarantees that all addresses on your site will be safe—even the ones that show up in blog comments!

Put Your Content in my Pocket, Part II

Screen size matters. And now that Apple is embedding mobile Safari in more iPods than the iPhone alone, it matters even more. Concluding his remarkable two-part series, Craig Hockenberry covers the down and dirty details of designing and coding with the iPhone (and its brethren) in mind.