What is digita11y?
Digita11y is a website to help young designers learn the basics about Inclusive Web Design. The name is derived from the term "a11y" which is the numeronym that stands for accessibility. It is synonymous with web accessibility and has been popularized by sites such as The A11y Project. Digita11y is a culmination of the research done for my Thesis Project and is still under development. I will continue to develop the site in my free time because inclusive web design is my passion.
What is inclusive Web Design?
Inclusive web design is an evolving philosophy with the goal to create functional interfaces that can be used equally by everyone; regardless of age, gender or disability. These interfaces need to be fully compatible with devices such as screen readers but should also be mindful of other elements such as color choices and navigation that can make experiences better for every user.
Why does this matter?
People care about the issue of web accessibility, but many are unaware of how inaccessible the internet really is. A study which interviewed 73 blind adults found that 70 percent of internet sites are inaccessible to the point of preventing users from completing the site’s main objective. This is more than someone trying to order a pizza from Dominos. These users were unable to use some of the most popular news, e-commerce and government websites. Addressing these issues not only minimizes the risk to companies, it increases customer engagement. On top of that, designing for inclusivity fuels innovation by interrupting old habits and using design constraints to your advantage.
Where do I start?
It is understandable to feel overwhelmed. Maybe you don’t know where to start. Knowing you want to design for a better online world is a great place to start. There are many resources available on this site to help you learn about inclusive design practices regardless of your experience level. The best thing for any designer to do is keep empathy at the heart of your design. This could be involving people with different life experiences and disabilities in your projects or just making sure to think about all users rather than just the ideal user when designing.