How Considering The Needs of People and Mobile Devices Works
By McDonald, T. | Date: 6th of December 2017
Almost everybody likes to use the internet for a varied number of reasons. With the increase in disability awareness and the mobile market, every developer needs to think carefully about accessibility from the beginning of the design process. It is a top priority it to consider the needs of accessibility for legal reasons, and because of the mobile market.
Accessibility and the lawAccessibility needs is a top priority for a developer for legal reasons. Some users will be using assistive technologies to access the internet, for example, screen readers used by people with sight impairments. Subsequently, HTML has attributes in image anchors such as alt and longdesc, which will allow the reeding aloud of a text description of an image or graphic by a screen reader. This is, however, only one example, so it is good practice to involve people with disabilities throughout the design process to get a better understanding of individual needs. Achieving this by employing people who use assistive technologies in everyday life is acceptable; planning for accessibility need not get in the way of the design process. Not only is it polite to think of people with varying needs, but it is in the interests of the developer since it makes the website accessible to a larger audience and it is against the law not to consider the needs of people with disabilities. For this reason, the Home office has set out guidelines in the Equalities Act 2010: guidance and the Making your service accessible: an Introduction (2017). In other words, a developer must consider the accessibility needs of a range of abilities exhibited by the potential users for self-interest, but mainly legal reasons.
The mobile marketIt is a top priority for a developer to consider the mobile market. The mobile market is growing and supports an increasing range of mobile devices of different shapes, sizes and bandwidth speeds. Furthermore, the mobile market is very lucrative because almost everyone is using a phone or data pad; thus, businesses are keen to have their website available to the mobile user. In other words, ignoring the mobile market will exclude a business from a huge customer base; people can be spontaneous and think, ‘I want something’, reach for their mobile device, find that product and purchase it within seconds. Following on from this, if a website is not accessible to a mobile device or is slow and cumbersome to use, the potential customer will leave the site and look elsewhere for the desired product. Can a business afford to lose such a custom; a businesses’ website can ill afford to ignore the accessibility needs of mobile devices. As a result, it is in the best interests of the developer to ensure a website is fully accessible to mobile devices.
To conclude, the accessibility needs of both people and mobile devices is a top priority of any web developer. Ignoring accessibility needs in web design can leave a developer out of pocket and in trouble with the law. It is in the best interests of every developer to think carefully about accessibility or struggle to survive in a competitive market.
UK Home Office (2015) 'Equality Act 2010: a guidance'
Government Equalities Office and Equality and Human Rights Commission [Online] Available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance Accessed on (20/11/17)
UK Home Office (2017) ‘Making your service accessible: an introduction’ [Online] Accessibility Community available at https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/helping-people-to-use-your-service/making-your-service-accessible-an-introduction#think-about-accessibility-from-the-start (Accessed on 12/11/17)
W3C (2008) ‘Web Content Accessibility Guidelines’ [Online] W3G available at https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ (Accessed on 12/11/17)