The User Experience

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WCAG Principles

The WCAG 2.0 is a stable, referenceable technical standard organized under four main Principles (perceivable, operable, understandable, robust) guidelines, and defined by three testable success conformance criteria (A, AA, AAA). WCAG 2.0 guidelines and success criteria are designed to be broadly applicable to current and future web technologies, including dynamic applications, mobile, digital television, etc. They are stable and do not change. One of the key objectives of the guidelines is to ensure that content is directly accessible to as many people as possible, and capable of being re-presented in different forms to match different peoples' sensory, physical and cognitive abilities. Under each of the principles are guidelines and Success Criteria that help to address these principles for people with disabilities. Under each guideline, there are Success Criteria that describe specifically what must be achieved in order to conform to this standard.
    Understanding Levels of Conformance
  1. All Success Criteria must be important access issues for people with disabilities that address problems beyond the usability problems that might be faced by all users. In other words, the access issue must cause a proportionately greater problem for people with disabilities than it causes people without disabilities in order to be considered an accessibility issue (and covered under these accessibility guidelines).
  2. All Success Criteria must also be testable. This is important since otherwise it would not be possible to determine whether a page met or failed to meet the Success Criteria. The Success Criteria can be tested by a combination of machine and human evaluation as long as it is possible to determine whether a Success Criterion has been satisfied with a high level of confidence.

Level AA Success Criteria must consider interacting issues to all web content and web applications for various disabilities. Although content may satisfy the Success Criteria, the content may not always be usable by people with a wide variety of disabilities. Usability testing is recommended. Usability testing aims to determine how well people can use the content for its intended purpose. The content should be tested by those who understand how people with different types of disabilities use the Web. It is recommended that users with disabilities be included in test groups when performing human testing. Check out the Nielsen Norman Group For Evidence-Based User Experience Research, Training, and Consulting.

Perceivable

Perceivable Guidelines

Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive:
  • 1.1: Provide text alternatives for non-text content.
  • 1.2: Provide alternatives for time-based media.
  • 1.3: Create content that can be presented in different ways (simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
  • 1.4: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.

Perceivable Examples


Operable

Operable Guidelines

User interface components and navigation must be operable:
  • 2.1: Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  • 2.2: Provide users enough time to read and use content.
  • 2.3: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.
  • 2.4: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.

Operable Examples


Understandable

Understandable Guidelines

Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable:
  • 3.1: Make text content readable and understandable.
  • 3.2: Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.
  • 3.3: Help users avoid and correct mistakes.

Understandable Examples


Robust

Robust Guidelines

Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies:
  • 4.1: Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

Robust Examples


Usability Accessibility Issue Types

A web accessibility audit report can be overwhelming, confusing, and simply too challenging to implement. To avoid this delimma, it is important to separate the Function Testing with automated evaluation tools and advanced users, from the Usability Testing with client user groups. Usability should evaluate the ease with which users can navigate and interact with the website. Understanding the issues encountered is critical for creating an effective remediation process. That is, evaluating the user agent tools in which users use, and their skill level in understanding the features of the tools and the dynamic behaviour of web page elements, is important for rating issue severity and remediation resolution techniques. Seen the articles:
What does accessibility supported mean - By Leonie Watson, The Paciello Group, August 29, 2016,
Accessibility Consulting is Broken - By karl groves, June 9, 2014,
Danger! Testing Accessibility with real people: by Leonie Watson, May 7, 2015,
Browser Accessibility Support Status.

  • The developer did not markup/code the web page properly, or
  • The browser or media player isn't handling the markup properly, or
  • The user's Assistive Technology (AT) isn't handling the markup properly, or
  • The user doesn't know how to use the browser, media player, and user agent keyboard access features, or
  • The page is poorly designed and it is a general usability problem for all users, including those without disabilities.


Getting Started With Accessibility

Accessibility is closely related to usability. It is relevant to everyone. Accessibility awareness is growing as a worldwide recognition for the needs for rules and standards, to reduce the barriers within our communities and societies. accessibility is an issue that has to be thought of and planned for by many people in the design process: Company leadership, product planners and designers, engineers, legal experts, developers, and manufacturers, to name just a few. Building accessibility into the things that people use everyday is a proactive process, something that has a part in every aspect of a product's lifecycle: W3C-WAI tips for Getting Started With Website Accessibility.
Assistive technology compatibility tests, PowerMapper Software

To maximize your market potential, it is important to code your website and content that will reach the broadest target audience. This means understanding the WCAG accessibility guidelines to achieve business growth. Jurisdictions around the world are passing acessibility legislation, and you want to protect yourself and your clients from potential lawsuits.