This evening I went to a very enjoyable talk by Robin Christopherson of AbilityNet hosted at uSwitch / ZPG.

Robin uses his camera more than most users. For text reading and object recognition.

The Be My Eyes app pairs those who can see with those who are visually impaired for assistance.

Now that 50% of web traffic is from mobile it’s important that it’s accessible. If the app doesn’t have accessibility built in, or colour choices are poor in bright light, then mobile access apps mean every one’s going to struggle.

If they can’t use the app properly, your users are temporarily disabled. That’s 50% of your traffic.

If you’re carrying a coffee and using a phone one-handed you’re temporarily motor-impaired.

If you’re under pressure to complete a task in the 90 seconds between a conversation and your next meeting, you have an insight into the usability issues face by someone who’s learning impaired.

It’s good practice to follow Accessibility Guidelines for site usability. 90% of websites today don’t even meet Single-A. The minimum legal requirement for WCAG is Double-A.

Please don’t think of it as bolt-on. Something that’s bolted on can always be dropped off.

Which companies are doing accessibility well? Facebook have been working hard at accessibility and have auto-generated alternative text for user content. Other social media sites should do this too. Also the BBC and Government Digital Services.

It’s easy to check how good a site’s accessibility is with the Wave tool. EHRC could levy fines on big corporations. Let’s get a shift towards inclusive design.

Software will be the point of differentiation between the different driverless cars from Google, Ford, Apple and others.

The average home car is in use only 2-4%. There will be moves towards car share. Car ownership will not make sense.

People are going to get sick looking down at screens in driverless vehicles. They may not be looking forward. WCAG in the years will have something to say about motion sickness. Minimal scrolling. No transition effects. Will need to think about what inclusive design will look like when travelling in a driverless vehicle.

Felix Baumgartner’s free fall from the edge of space intended to break two World records: he broke the highest free fall jump but failed to make the break the longest free fall jump because his Heads-up Display fogged up and he opened his chute early. If he’d had redundancy built in, like haptic feedback or an audible signal when he’d reached the record he could have made the second record.

Here’s an online version of Robin’s talk:

From AI to robots, from apps to wearables – let’s design for everyone, OK? - Robin Christopherson - btconfMUC2018 from beyond tellerrand on Vimeo.