How accessible design helps reach people of all abilities | Guardian

[MUSIC PLAYING] [CHATTER] The purpose of the lab is to
be able to emulate situations for people that have
disabilities for people that don’t have disabilities,
so that they can understand the complications
or the difficulties that people may have
just in everyday life. Most people have limited
experience with somebody with a disability. So the purpose of
this table is people could come over here and ask
whatever questions they want. So they can be questions
like, how do you do banking? How do you go grocery shopping? The idea is then you can
start asking questions and feel comfortable
asking those questions, and start getting a
better understanding. One of the things that
we’ve learned over the years is that most web developers,
most web designers, they’re not intentionally
building websites that don’t work for people. I mean, nobody goes
to work and says, I think I’m going to
build a lousy website. And so part of the
problem is that they don’t know what they don’t know. Empathy is the first step to
designing accessible systems. One of the key points that
I’d like to get across to developers, is
to put yourself into the user with a
disability’s shoes. Guardian has got the right
idea and the right approach in terms of addressing
accessibility. It’s not just about putting
a band-aid, fixing things, and then business as usual. That it really is about
rethinking the entire approach. Start with data. Understand the problem
you’re trying to solve. And then, widen your
target audiences to include people of
varying abilities. And then, go live with them. Empathize with them. Ride along with
them, shadow them, as they try to tackle
these problems themselves, because I think it opens
up a world of possibilities for the design. We’re incorporating empathy
into all of our projects. On a customer experience
team, especially, we’re looking at experiential journey
maps, where we put ourselves in the client’s shoes and walk
through an entire journey. So from the emails
they’re receiving, the websites they’re visiting– As a guardian, you reach out
to people to help out people. That’s a responsibility
of a guardian, to make sure that others
get what they deserve. So, I think this
empathy love has brought out that thing in me. You know, we’re really
trying to train our people, how to design accessibly,
how to code accessibly, how to test accessibly. We actually
incorporate real users who are disabled
so they can give us the qualitative feedback. Guardian cares
about its customers. Being a guardian, it really
means that we’re here to take care of our customers. You’re making it right
for all audiences. So, we really, I think,
have to move away from this is sort of a
special use case, right? But more so, we’re
trying to improve the experience for folks with
and without disabilities.

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