This article was written in 2017. It might or it might not be outdated. And it could be that the layout breaks. If that’s the case please let me know.
A few months ago I invited two designers to give a guest lecture for my web design students. The first guest, Johan Huijkman, a creative technologist at Q42, gave a brilliant talk about designing accessible websites. The second talk by a former colleague of mine, wasn’t that good. He basically showed a series of images of things he had worked on in the past. During his talk a student interrupted him and asked if he had ever thought about colourblind people. He had noticed that the contrast of almost all the designs was very low. A thing Johan had pointed out before. The second speaker had to admit he hadn’t.
This question by my student gave me the idea that accessible design may have a certain aesthetic. And this seems like an excellent thing to investigate for my masters degree. I want to know what things look like when they’re designed in an inclusive way. What are the characteristics of an accessible thing. This also means I’m interested in inaccessible design. What does that look like, and why do people create it? It seems like inaccessibility is somehow attractive. I wonder if it’s possible to make in unattractive.
I’m starting a collection of visible attributes of accessible design. Things like: high contrast, basic rules of thumb about readability, clear hierarchy. I guess no unnecessary animations might be one as well. Do you have any others? There must be many.
Another thing I could use your help with is this: For my research I’m looking for resources. Do you know any? Any books or blogs I should read about this issue? Any experts I should get in touch with? Of course I’m very much interested in meeting all kinds of accessibility experts, but I’m especially interested in the aesthetics of accessibility. Please let me know.