Saturday, September 02, 2006

Can Accessibility and Usability Live in Harmony

Toward an accessibile and usable website ...

"Accessibility and usability are often discussed in the same breath, and many webmasters usually devise and implement strategies for each around the same stage of a site's development.

Since usability has taken a more integral role in the design of many of the websites with which we are most familiar, it's no surprise that this can present an unintended problem from an accessibility standpoint. Before we can determine whether a website can be 100% accessible and 100% usable simultaneously, we must first define each.

Accessibility: "Will every visitor have access to all of my content every time?"

There is more to making a site accessible than simply making sure it looks the same in every browser. As a designer, it is very important to determine what features are absolutely necessary to the site, and which are extras that might be nice.

Usability: "Will every visitor be able to find exactly what they are looking for without difficulty?"

Since there is not yet the technology to read a visitor's mind and deliver what they seek immediately upon arrival, navigation should be self explanatory and easy to use. The information that any given visitor seeks should never be more than 2 clicks away from the homepage."   (Continued via WebProNews)   [Usability Resources]

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