Derek Featherstone Profile picture
Chief eXperience Officer @LevelAccessa11y. Practice/teach Inclusive design, and UX; Accessibility. Speaker. teacher. Openly makes mistakes.
2 Apr
My 20.5 old daughter just logged into an online system at her college.

It was a system that I named (or at least contributed greatly to the name).

She got an error message and an image.

That I created.

In 2001 or 2002.

Just kinda letting that sink in a little.
I am 90% certain that I used Macromedia Fireworks 2.0 to create the image.
Code includes this gem of a comment:

<!-- it would be really nice to have this as an h2 but it messes up NS 4.x -->
Read 16 tweets
20 Mar
Accessibility was never a "nice to have" thing. It has always been a "must have" but people/orgs deprioritized it. Made it a thing for phase 2. A thing they can add later. As we go through this public health crisis, people are realizing it is an absolute MUST HAVE for all things.
Amidst all the uncertainty and increased focus on public health, people will be asked to make all materials accessible. That will include web sites that are providing critical info about disease, its spread, and prevention measures. It will include social media posts...
It will include emails. It will include resources on effective remote working. It will include educational resources and learning materials as we turn towards a "remote first" and/or "asynchronous first" initiative rather than in person/live first proposition.
Read 10 tweets
14 Nov 19
You simply cannot expect that 2 days of training will get you to where you need to be when it comes to something complex.

You'd never expect to be a great designer after a 2-day training. You spend thousands of hours working on your design skills over a period of years.
You'd never expect to be a great developer after a 2-day training.

You learn new programming languages, new constructs, and new ways of thinking about abstract problem solving, and develop those over thousands of hours over a period of years.
You'd never expect to be a great writer/content creator after a 2-day training.

You learn to write better, with more flow, and more richness by honing your craft over thousands of hours over a period of years.
Read 15 tweets
5 Jun 19
Some collected thoughts for designers for when you're contemplating and exploring error message treatments... Here's some accessibility considerations for your design:

#UX #a11y #accessibility #thread
1. Is your error messaging strategy relying on colour to show error states? If so, think of other ways of conveying error state - iconography, and words that support that use of colour.

Note: I'm not saying "Don't use colour!" I'm saying use other methods in addition to colour.
2. Do your error states/icons/messages/borders have enough contrast against the adjacent colours? Can you tell when a field with an error state is focused?
Read 11 tweets
12 Feb 19
Brain: don’t buy those notebooks. You already have enough to last until 2037.

Me: can I just look?

Brain: ok. Just look.

Me: oooooooh... I’ve never seen one like that before!!

Brain: stop.

Me: wow… dots AND lines. That’s a must have.

Brain: that’s it. We’re out.

Me: ok ok. No notebooks. I get it.

Brain: much better. 2037 wasn’t a joke.

Me: I know, I know.

Also me: So.... what about these pens over here?
Brain: you have a problem.

Me: you’re stifling my creativity.

Brain: you don’t need new notebooks and pens to be creative.

Me: I know this.

/time passes

Me: can I ask a question?

Brain: i will regret this. Yes?

Me: sketch paper is different than notebooks right?
Read 7 tweets
24 Dec 18
I remember two moments very early on in my teaching career that led me to REALLY understand the importance of keyboard accessibility. They turned out to be pivotal moments that made web accessibility feel completely natural to me.
The first? In 1995 I bought my own computer, and noticed that there were really tiny screws on the back that I could remove. When it was time to get online, I bought my own modem (US Robotics 14.4 fax internal model) and endeavoured to install it myself.
I went for it but messed it up. I installed the modem on the right COM port but with the same IRQ as my mouse. I didn’t know any better //shrug
Read 12 tweets
21 Dec 18
OK, I get it. You created a search results page using the latest single page app hotness. But here's the deal. When I click on one of the items to see its details and then go back to the search results page, here's what I expect:
1. You need to remember the change that I made to the "number of items per page" dropdown. If you don't, I was on page 1 of 2, and now I'm on page who knows what of who knows how many.
2. You need to remember the filters I had applied. Because I explicitly said I wanted French door refrigerators only, and now you're showing me mini-fridges and fridge only and side by side models and now I'm angry at you because I HATE our current side by side with a passion.
Read 11 tweets
7 Dec 18
If you're creating a tool that posts things on the web, or allows a person to create content, please make sure that your tool(s) pay attention to the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG):
First, your tool should be accessible itself.
Second, your tool needs to facilitate authors creating accessible content, and should guide them towards it.
As an example - Guideline B.2.3: Assist authors with managing alternative content for non-text content.

If your tool allows people to set a text equivalent for an image or some other type of content, then you should allow them to edit it.
Read 9 tweets